YMB #63 Transitioning to Morning Time with Older Kids: A Conversation with Cindy West

What happens to your morning time as your kids get older? Does it change or do we stop requiring them to attend? Can your teen outgrow Morning Time? These are the questions that Cindy West from Our Journey Westward joins me to answer today.

In this episode of the podcast we talk about how the tone of Morning Time changes as your kids get older, how to get their buy in with what you are doing, and what a Morning Time with older kids can look like. Enjoy!

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Pam: [00:03] Cindy West has homeschooled her three children for 18 years. Her 22 and 19 year olds are in college now, but she and her 12 year old are still having tons of fun together. They follow an eclectic style, but identify most with the Charlotte Mason method of homeschooling. Cindy is the author of the popular Nature Explorer series, which can be found on her website at ourjourneywestward.com. Nature explorer books are a unique blend of in-depth science and living literature that bring families closer to nature. Cindy, welcome to the podcast.

Cindy: [00:45] Hey, Pam, it’s good to hear you.

Pam: [00:48] It is so good to hear you too. You are one of my very favorite people and we love using your No Sweat Nature Study in our morning time, so it’s fun to have you on.

Cindy: [00:59] You will be so excited that that is a giant project that I’m working on this summer; to add more to that series.

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Pam: [01:06] I am so excited because No Sweat Nature Study is my kind of nature study, right there. Well, I wanted to have you on today because I thought you were uniquely suited to talk about this particular thing that we’re going to be talking about. This idea that as our kids grow out of the elementary ages, we kind of have to shift our expectations as homeschool moms for anything in our homeschool for morning time, you know, things of that nature. The way we’ve been doing something with our elementary kids is not necessarily the way we need to do things with our middle school kids. And so I think, as moms, sometimes it’s hard to see this when we’re in the thick of it. So just start a little bit by telling me about how it was as your kids got a little older, did you wake up one day and realize, “Whoa, wait a second. These kids have gotten bigger, I need to change things up a little bit.”

Cindy: [02:12] That is a really great question. So I would say for me it was a little bit more of a natural progression. So each summer as I reevaluated what we would be doing for the upcoming school year, just like curriculum grew for us, so did morning time. I probably should tell you that in the thick of homeschooling, I had two older kids who were three and a half years apart, which made them three years apart in school, and then a younger one who is six and a half years younger than the youngest older kid. So, I almost had this group of two older kids, and then the little guy who just was either joining in before he was school-age or kind of a completely different, need-based group, I guess. That’s not a great way to put that, but while he joined us, no matter what we were doing, it was very typical that I was doing things with the older kids and then some specific things with him as well. Does that make sense?

Pam: [03:25] Yeah. So when you were doing morning time, there was probably a pretty good chance that a lot of what you were doing was kind of above his level and he was just kind of following along and getting what he could and then later you might do a little something for him.

Cindy: [03:38] Absolutely. That’s, yeah, exactly. And so as I was, you know, like I said, through the summer, I would just think about, “What am I going to do for morning time now?” And it was just this gentle growth of now they’re ready for this, now they’re ready for this. And I really did, even though they were three and a half or three years in school apart, those older kids, I really did keep them almost always completely together in what we did.

Pam: [04:07] Okay. So, but this was a very conscious thought process that you were going through as you sat down and planned out your school year, it was like, “Okay, we’re here and now we kind of need to push it along a little bit to the next level. I need to raise the bar.” And I hate to use raise the bar because I think morning time can be quality and excellent for a five-year-old. So it’s not like it’s going to be a better morning time, but it’s a different, it’s a different morning time because if you don’t quote-unquote raise that bar and hold their interests, then, you know, they feel like it’s kind of babyish, right?

Cindy: [04:49] Right. For instance, if we just talk about Bible memory which is one of the things we’ve always included, it went from simple verses, to more difficult verses, to small chunks, to either entire chapters or parts of chapters that we were memorizing so that, you know, when you’re talking about raising the bar, we’re still doing so many of the things that are similar. We’re just taking them and bumping them up a notch in their level.

Pam: [05:20] Okay. Yeah, that is such a good example. I absolutely love that because you’re not going to do necessarily entire passages, long passages or chapters with younger kids, but it’s perfectly appropriate for older kids.

Cindy: [05:34] Right.

Pam: [05:38] What is the value for those kids who are just starting to, let’s call it age out for lack of a better word, some of those typical morning time activities and you know, picture books are so much fun to use in morning time and they reach a certain age where their attitude changes towards picture books, whether it needs to or not. I mean there’s a, we could make an argument for using picture books with older kids. What do you think is some of their greatest needs that we can still meet with morning time?

Cindy: [06:11] Okay. So I heard a couple of questions in there, really. I’m going to try to remember them both. The first, what I think the value of keeping older kids in morning time is, for me, for our family, it was a time of we all get together, we all kind of get on the same page, we worship together, we read the word together and we do some start to our day together. And that was very, very valuable. It’s almost like, the way that we built our daily family culture and homeschooling. And so that is a huge, huge value. And during that time, you know, like I’ve said many times so far, that was a bible time for us among many other things, which we can certainly talk about. But when you’re doing “bible-y” kinds of things with kids, you know, it really opens up really great discussions or questions or somebody says, you know, I just struggled with this problem. And so you’ve got this family behind you in talking about that kind of thing. So the value is, whether you’re doing Bible study or not doing Bible study during that time, the value is, you’re really connecting everybody on this point that, “Hey, we’re a family and we want to start our day well together. And I understand that you, my sweet oldest one are aging out of some of this and that’s totally okay. But what I would like you to do is join us on the front end for some of the things that are going to be acceptable to everybody.” And that, you know, like we would tell, we would often tell people who have big kids and then toddlers, we would say, “Alright, start everybody off and then let the toddlers wander off.” Well, it’s kind of the same flip-flopped. Do what you can with everybody and then let the big kids wander off when things don’t necessarily fit them.
Pam: [09:02] Yeah. So, one of the things I wanted to ask you about were those picture books. Because, you know, when you look at the morning time plans, like the ones we have available on our website and that we’ve used so many of your products in, when moms ask me about those plans and what ages are they good for, you know, we tell people, everybody wants a number. And so we tell people, “Okay, they’re great for kindergarten through sixth grade.” But what I’ve started telling moms are, well look, you know, you’re listening to Bach and Beethoven, you’re reading this, you know, The Charge of the Light Brigade and this wonderful Tennyson poetry or Emily Dickinson poetry. You’re looking at this beautiful artwork. I mean this is good for grownups right here. But I think the place where the kids get hung up and by kids, I mean the older kids especially, are the fact that we put picture books in there for everything. And so, you know, that’s what I tell the Mommas is, “You know, other than these picture books here, these plans are, are really good for somebody from six to 106.” So did you use picture books with your older kids and how did they react to them?

Cindy: [10:26] Well, I can’t believe, I forgot that you asked me about picture books because that’s actually one of my very favorite topics to talk about of all times. But, so I might be a little biased because I do use picture books with older kids all the time. Even if I’m teaching high schoolers at Church and there’s something pertinent that I want to tie into what we’re teaching, they are listening to a picture book; me reading aloud a picture book to them and they actually love it, usually. But, so with homeschool, I mean with morning time picture books have almost always followed us through and I would say, until my big kids actually got to be really big kids, and that was high school when one was a senior and one was a freshman. They were honestly, besides that Bible time, pretty much aged out completely of what our typical morning time had been. I say pretty much, there were always exceptions to that, but if we were doing something that was reading, it was typically something that had a lot more, depth to it that, that likely went along with the subject that we were studying. But picture books. Oh, go ahead.

Pam: [11:42] Well, I was just going to say, I mean I love picture books. I learned so much from picture books and I think, I think the problem is, you and I, we’re just beyond cool. I mean we, you know, we don’t care if it’s cool. We don’t care if it’s cool or not, you know, to read the picture books. We just, we just enjoy the picture books for what they are. But I do think kids go through that stage where, and if you’re a momma out there and you haven’t given a lot of thought to looking at a picture book lately, go do it, and be beyond cool. Because I mean there’s, they’re just so good and you can learn so much from them if you get your hands on a good quality book. And Jessica adds so many good quality books to our morning time plans.

Cindy: [12:26] Well, and the difference is, you’ve got picture books that are meant for little people and then you have good quality picture books. And so what I would say, you know, when you’re talking about your plans are really just incorporating picture books into morning time in general is choose books that are worthy of older kids. And, you know, that’s, that’s really not that hard to do. Jessica, like you said, is picking good books, especially as you guys start creating some things for older kids. I have tons of lists of books that are appropriate for, picture books that are appropriate for middle schoolers and even high schoolers on my website. So, you know, the value to me in picture books is that they can do some really good learning fast and you don’t have to spend three weeks reading a chapter book. And I think chapter books are very, very great things to add into morning time as well. But a picture book, let’s say you wanted to, you know that, that 14 year old who is learning to drive some new hormones is having a hard time with a certain character quality. You pull out a good picture book, even something as simple as let’s say, The Little Red Hen and you’re just like, “You guys, we’re all gonna read this together today. I know it seems Babyish, but I’ve got a point to this.” And you read it and then you start talking about, okay, let’s, let’s think about character qualities. So what’s a character quality that was really awesome in this book and one that was maybe really stinky. And, so picture books for me are, and were a great way for me to gently guide those hormonal teenagers into understanding the clear picture of how their behavior has been kind of stinky without me having to say, listen, your behavior’s been kind of stinky. And those picture books could teach it for me.

Pam: [14:19] Yeah. And so before we move on to some alternate suggestions, because we have some moms out there who are going to say, “Excuse me, this is great but, you know, this never gonna work with my kids.” I think it’s easier when there are younger children in the house. You know, and then have the teenager read the picture book. Have them be the one that reads to everybody. But, but you know, Center for Lit, with their, Adam Andrews and Missy Andrews with their Teaching the Classics program. I mean, they use picture books every year to introduce like, the elements of the story to high schoolers before they dive off and read things like Dickens and Shakespeare and all of that kind of stuff. So, yeah, I think, I think there’s a place for them, but if they’re starting to feel like they’re too cool for this stuff, how do we respect their feelings?

Cindy: [15:17] Hmm, that’s a great question.

Pam: [15:18] And still keep them engaged.

Cindy: [15:20] That’s where chapter books are going to come in, but you know what, we don’t necessarily have to be reading aloud during morning time and that’s the beauty of morning time. You do what you want that works for the particular group that you have at the time, whether you’re doing ages that are, you know, 10 years span or a much smaller span or you even break it into two different spans to meet both groups. I definitely have always tried to respect my kids’ wishes. Now, you know, you don’t always get what you want, but if you’ve got a good case for why you don’t want to be part of the picture book reading time again, that’s where I might say, “Hey, we’ll do that at the end. Thanks for joining us for the rest of this, see you later.” Or what about if I do picture books at the beginning with the younger ones, then we all get together for the other morning time activities. The younger ones go off and then we sit and we do a chapter of a chapter book together. There are lots of different ways that you could kind of respect their feelings that, that some of the things that you’re doing, you know, we’re using picture books, but this could really be any activity that seems babyish to them. There’s lots of different ways to organize it. But respecting their feelings is going to mean that they respect morning time more because mutual respect is, you know, it’s a good thing.

Pam: [16:50] Yeah. And I just wanted to point out, a lot of times we use picture books in the morning time to convey information. So like if we’re looking at a painting by Van Gogh, we might also read a picture book about Van Gogh to learn a little bit about his life and how it affected his artistic style or this painting or something of that nature. And if you’ve got a kid who feels like they’re too cool for the picture book, you can find a lot of this stuff, same information, usually in a short YouTube video. As my kids have gotten older, they love, you know, we just find a good, appropriate YouTube video that I can use with them or simply by doing a little research on an appropriate website with just nonfiction reading. So to them it seems a little more palatable to get the information that way than it was. All I’m trying to do is convey this information. You know, it doesn’t, picture books are a great way to do it, especially when they’re little, but it doesn’t have to be done that way. So we could use these alternatives as well.

Cindy: [17:51] Absolutely. And sometimes a YouTube video might do it in two minutes and save you a little time in the morning time to add other things.

Pam: [18:00] Yeah. So why should we even bother? I mean, why don’t we just let them skip morning time at some point? What’s the point in keeping them around?

Cindy: [18:08] Well, you know, like I mentioned earlier, I really feel like that whole family culture that we were able to create when all three of my kids were homeschooling was just a precious time. You know, we were at church just yesterday and the preacher mentioned teenagers and their awful hormones and how, you know, they just give parents so much trouble. And I thought, you know, I didn’t, of course there were hormonal problems and there were this, that, and the other, but I really, really attribute homeschooling in general, but that culture of morning time that was just so sweet and so precious and we weren’t just doing character based kinds of things and deep discussions. It was a lot of other things. But we were building this relationship that was so close knit that we were able to handle some of those typical teenager problems. You know what I mean?

Pam: [19:12] Yeah.

Cindy: [19:12] I think that’s part of the value in it. You’re, you’re just building such close relationships with your kids. And of course, you know, we talk all the time about morning time being this great moment to add truth, beauty and goodness into your homeschool that you might otherwise skip. So just in general to continue to incorporate older kids, if you could talk to them and say, “Hey, listen, there are certain things we need to get done in a day and morning time allows us to do that more efficiently. So I need you to be okay with morning time so that you can move on to the other things you need to do faster. And we get our school day finished earlier.” Um, you say words like that and they’re on board.

Pam: [19:59] Yeah, yeah. They want to see some of the efficiency in it. Because they do often get into that mindset and I wanted to point out, so, you know, my kids are now 14, 12 and nine and so we’re very much, all of mine are moving lockstep together. But they’re very much getting into that age group or even the nine year old is kind of too cool for school and our morning time is not all like sunshine, roses and Kumbaya. It’s more like, sarcasm and jokes and you know, those little inside jokes and you know, they very much have my personality and so we’re playing off of each other. Our family culture, we have these wonderful things in there that we share, but it’s not, you know, always tea time with our pinkies up. You know, we’re, we’re being goofy, we’re, you know, doing our inside jokes. There’s a fine veneer of sarcasm that just covers everything that we’re doing. We’re enjoying the heck out of each other in our own way.

Cindy: [21:06] And that is what’s building your family culture.

Pam: [21:10] Yeah. And that’s all part of our morning time. And so I wouldn’t have it any other way.

New Speaker: [21:15] Well, I don’t remember if it was the last time you and I talked, but we talked about brain training once and that was a time that I specifically built in fun, game-like activities that woke my kid’s brains up in the morning and actually still do that. Eli and I still do that on a daily basis. And it’s because I wanted to really, really infuse some fun and some laughter and just a happy start, joyful start to our school day among all the other benefits that games that wake up your brain do for us. But yeah, I mean that was the whole purpose. I didn’t want it to be all Kumbaya either. And a lot of times when the Kumbaya was going south, putting a game or something fun, I know that you use Madlibs sometimes, we do as well, doing something fun that get’s everybody goofy and laughing is a really good way to especially help those older kids know, “alright, this isn’t all horrible.”

Pam: [22:18] Yeah. I was actually talking to some moms this past weekend and they were starting morning time. And so I think too, this is almost, I won’t say a completely different challenge, but it is different related to what we’re talking about. If you’re a mom who’s starting morning time for the very first time or you’re thinking about doing morning time and you’re thinking, oh, this sounds great, but I have like this 10 or 11 year old boy and that’s my oldest right there and the little ones are going to follow him, you know. You so very much have got to, right out of the gate, pick something that is going to hook that kid and it might not be him singing and it’s probably not going to be Shakespeare. You’ve got to find the thing that’s going to get that 10 year old ringleader on board with what it is you’re doing pretty quickly or else the whole thing’s going to go south. And it might not be the thing that you want to do first. So I think morning time is just kind of, it’s so beneficial for families because it’s, you know, it really emphasizes the give and take that comes with being in a family. And I told that mom, I’m like, pick, you know, we always tell people start small and build slow with morning time. Start with one thing. And then add one other thing and then add one other thing. And I said, put one thing in for each of your kids first before you put in the first thing that you want to do.

Cindy: [23:52] That is great advice. And not only are you getting everybody kind of hooked with their own thing, you’re also planning a specific, I can’t think of the word I’m looking for. You’re doing things that are multi-age so that you’re not necessarily completely gearing it towards your older or your younger. You’re making sure that everybody’s got something that they enjoy that’s on their level and it becomes this wonderful mix of activities. And I want to say really quickly while we’re on that, so you can have the exact same activity and it can be really, really good for all the ages involved. And so I’ll give an example of a geography game. So we’ve got one called quick picks geography, it’s world geography. It’s a game. It’s recognizing, I think it’s different countries and their continents. Actually, it’s been a little while since we played it, but a five-year-old can play this game as can that 15 year old and the 15 year old is going to get just as much review, kind of practice in a fun format that the five-year-old will get in learning to recognize these different countries and the 15 year old will have to then learn, all right, how do I play this with a five-year-old so that I don’t just always win. And so you have, you know, not only are we practicing geography skills, we’re also practicing people skills. You could do that with anything like times tables. Your fourth grader, third grader is trying to memorize the multiplication tables. Well, why can’t your 14 year old who should have had those memorized many years ago practice with you once every week or two? You know, if everybody else is practicing the multiplication tables, you turn that into a fun flash card game when everybody’s involved. And that, I don’t remember what I just said, fourteen year old, is also refreshing multiplication skills. And who of us couldn’t stand to do that once in awhile?

Pam: [26:01] Yeah, I could, especially those sixes and sevens. Well, and you know, Sarah Mackenzie talks about, there is no better thing that teaches a teenager dying to self then helping to care for a younger child. And this is one of the things that we’re teaching in our homeschool. So I think, you know, we want to build like you said, that character in our homes. And so by bringing them along, by letting them know that one of their roles in morning time is, you know, to be the partner who’s playing the games with the younger kids and being a model for the younger kids, showing the younger kids, hey look, older brother, older sister really has their multiplication facts down. You know, so being that example and everything, I think it helps with those kinds of things.

Cindy: [26:56] You were talking a little bit earlier about artists study for instance. And if you were studying a particular artist, you might pull a picture book out and you would think, you know, ah, this older child doesn’t really want to do this picture book. That’s a great time to go, “Hey listen, I know you’re not going to want to read this picture book, so I’m going to put you in charge. You’re going to teach us about this artist that we’re going to see tomorrow. You can choose to read this picture book to us or you can go find a video for us or you can…” You know, put them in charge a little bit of some of that learning that they are going to be really down on. And then all the sudden they get to be the dole-er of information and they’re getting the information too, it’s just, they might not realize it.

Pam: [27:37] Very much so. And I think we just don’t allow the kids to check out. I mean, make them your partner in some of this to keep them from checking out and becoming less a part of the entire family. I know at this point in their development, they are seeking to identify who they are separate from the family unit and that’s so huge in what they’re doing at this time. So what about building, if you’re going to have them in morning time, you’re going to have them participate in morning time, this is very important, this is our family culture. We want you here. Is there some give and take in other parts of the day, do you think for them to separate a little bit?

Cindy: [28:24] Oh, for sure. And I was actually going to say, it became really, really important to me when they didn’t have to join into all of the morning time anymore, you know they joined into bits and pieces of it and then, and I did more age appropriate for the younger, that I had a very special time that I just spent with them too. And it actually became more important that they had their special time than even when they were little because that was, that was the time we could just dig deep. Sometimes it was reading a chapter book, sometimes it was going through a devotional together. Sometimes it was just playing a game with them. So part of that give and take is mom or teacher, whoever happens to be the teacher saying it’s going to be a little bit harder for me, but I am going to make sure that, you know, if morning time is the culture, but they’re ready to move on, that I’m also doing something special with them. And then on the flip side of that, I always sat down with them as they were eighth and above and said, “Hey, what would you like your school day to look like?” And so we have this conversation of what part do you think that you want to take in our family morning time, what do you, what do you foresee school looking like with these particular subjects that you need to take? And so I got them on board helping to plan their own schedule, which made them not only better independent learners, but all-in on the family because they had agreed to certain things, you know?

Pam: [30:07] Right, right. And by agreeing then they’re kind of, you know. If you pick it, you have to do it.

Cindy: [30:18] But you know, we always would reevaluate too because you know, just like you could pick a curriculum that’s not necessarily the bee’s knees once you get into it, you can also pick a schedule that’s not necessarily perfect. And so we would always reevaluate. And when I started to see stinky attitudes or just complete boredom, it was not a big deal to tweak what we were doing.

Pam: [30:42] Okay, well, let’s talk about that for just a second because you know, you’ve mentioned stinky attitudes a number of times. So if you’re doing everything you can as a mom, you know, so a few of the tips that we’ve given so far is, put something in there that they’re going to enjoy. Make sure you have something in there that everybody’s going to enjoy. Arrange the morning time in such a way that the teens do part of it for that family culture and then move on. Or enlist the teens in having them help you with the teaching or being the one who reads the book and make sure that they understand that their involvement in morning time is, it’s part of what you expect as a family, as part of the character. So we’ve given all these great tips, I’ve just kinda summarized them for you, but you wake up one morning and there’s that stinky attitude. You’ve done all of this stuff, but you’re face to face with this teenager today who is just, for whatever reason, because I think it’s so important to point out our kids are going to have bad days just like we’re going to have bad days. It doesn’t mean that, you know, it doesn’t mean we’re going to have bad days forever and ever, amen. But it’s going to happen from time to time. What do you do when you’re sitting across from that really bad attitude on any given morning?

Cindy: [31:57] Well, you know, at a certain point you evaluate whether morning time has run its course with that person and not because of their stinky attitude. But the stinky attitude is a symptom. And so, you know, I would say, for instance, by the time both of my older kids, by the time they were juniors, they had jobs that sometimes they were working really late at night. And for us, morning time was this morning culture and we got up and that’s how we started our day. And so it just sort of at that point became time that I thought, okay, they have officially moved on to different things and it’s okay, it’s okay. But you know, roll back a few years, there are definitely going to be days that are stinky attitudes. At those moments, that’s when later in the day I would have a conversation with that particular child and say, “Hey, what’s up? Are you not enjoying this anymore? Like, what’s the problem?” And just have a real conversation and you might find out that they hate it. They think it’s stupid. And you can say, “Okay, well what, what would you like to do to fix it? You know, what, what could we do?” And that could be a million different things that they give you and you’re just going to have to decide what is my give and take. So in my particular family, I would probably say, “You know what, it’s not a big deal. If you’re kind of done with this, and you don’t see a way that we can tweak morning time to really fit you in anymore that is not a big deal. I’m going to go ahead and do morning time with the younger kids or who, you know, whatever the grouping is, and you and I, I still want to have that moment of connection with you.” Well, first off, they’re not going to miss out on Bible time. Unless they’ve completely aged out. But otherwise, I really want to have a connection point with you. And it might not even be every day. Would you be okay with us doing this certain thing a few times a week or once a week? You know, as they aged, it’s easier to see what you’ve done in morning time you should have probably done by the time that they’re teenagers anyway. So it’s not like you’re going to totally lose them on all the things you were trying to accomplish at that point.

Pam: [34:20] Right. And I love your thing, you know, it might not be every day. Just because you’ve done morning time every day or most days in your homeschool that doesn’t, you know, being able to connect with that teen a few different times a week is better than not connecting with them at all. So, yeah.

Cindy: [34:38] Yeah. And I would say for us, a lot of times that looked like a special devotional or something, a deep book that we were reading together that was just for me and that child because, you know, we can’t read this with the others. It’s just, it’s just too much for them. And then all of a sudden you’re like, “Haha, I’m getting to do something that’s too much for everybody else, with mom, by myself”. And it took more time on my part. It definitely did, but it was worth it kind of time because again, what are we talking about? Ten or 20 extra minutes? Worth it in your day?

Pam: [35:14] Yeah. In the lifetime of, you know, kids who are eventually going to be leaving your home as, you know, I sit here with my fourteen year old thinking, I’ve got four years left, how did this happen? Which, you know, she’s not going to fall off the earth at 18 but still, it feels that way sometimes.

Cindy: [35:31] It does feel that way.

Pam: [35:34] Yeah. Yeah. Well Cindy, this was a fabulous conversation and thanks so much for coming on to talk to me about what those transitional years look like, why we still want to keep those big kids in. And I think that family culture is so important. And then what are some different things we can do as they feel like they’re getting just a little too big for this. So thank you so much. I appreciate it.

Cindy: [35:58] Sure, I thought this was a great conversation too, thanks for having me.

Key Ideas about Morning Time with Older Kids

  •  Sometimes, the older child begins to feel like some of the activities in Morning Time are baby-ish. In order to keep them engaged in the practice of Morning Time things might need to shift.
  • Engaging the older child in Morning Time may be as simple as allowing them some say in what you learn together as a family. You can also allow them to help present some of the material, or allow them to participate in the most important parts of your Morning Time and then let them move on to other work when that’s done. It’s important to respect their feelings while also holding the expectation that they participate in Morning Time in the way that you want them to.
  • It’s also okay to set aside a special time to work with your older children separately if you believe that’s best.

Find what you want to hear:

  • [3:09] meet Cindy West
  • [4:15] changing expectations as children get older
  • [8:30] the value of keeping older kids in Morning Time
  • [11:58] using picture books in Morning Time
  • [16:50] respecting older kids feelings about Morning Time while keeping them engaged
  • [19:43] building family culture through Morning Time
  • [29:30] connecting with the older kids when they aren’t doing the whole Morning Time with the family
  • [32:15] dealing with bad attitudes in Morning Time

Leave a rating or review

Doing so helps me get the word out about the podcast. iTunes bases their search results on positive ratings, so it really is a blessing — and it’s easy!

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Thanks for your reviews

  • Morning time will change your life
    by RachBoz from United States

    I’ve listened to YMB and Pam off and on for years, and she literally changed my life 7 years ago when I was just starting to homeschool. I’m so thankful for her ministry and encouragement to homeschool moms of all ages! I highly recommend doing morning time!

  • Life Affirming
    by Logandinco66 from United States

    This podcast is amazing and has helped me so much as recovering perfectionist homeschooling mama! Pam gives so much great insight into so many aspects of life and focusing on homeschooling.

  • Life giving!
    by lapatita5 from United States

    This podcast has been so great. It’s so practical and encouraging without being overly preachy or narrow. It gives ideas in a take-what-fits kind of way. I have used many of the recommended resources and ideas mentioned and been inspired by many others. Even the episodes that I found less relevant to me specifically, often had tidbits that I could use. Pam’s podcasts, books, and resources have been a godsend to me in my beginning years of homeschooling, helping me discover my own way to teach my kids in a way that prioritizes what is most important to us.

  • You've made my school year!
    by Lizzie O' from United States

    Pam, My children are almost 11 and 13 and I never sent this review in! I found it sitting here. This is testimony that I am still so blessed by this podcast years later. So here it is: I wrote you an email when I first felt it placed on my heart to homeschool my now 6

  • Love the show!
    by Startup Travis from United States

    Love your content and the guests you have visiting the show! I am a huge believer in using the morning hours well. Thank you for your direction and products!

  • Enjoy the podcast & some thoughts…
    by rufocused from United States

    I enjoy listening to tips on starting and using morning time as I am just starting it this year. We have kind of done it in the past, but when you only have one child you tend to just call it bible, story time, etc… but now that my second one is old enough to join we’re going to have more of a true morning time. I did notice Pam mentioned CNN ten in one episode. CNN can be pretty liberal biased in the main news, I’m not sure if they curb that in the “CNN ten”, but thought I would mention the Daily Wire, which is from a conservative viewpoint (and often covers indoctrination in public schools) and could be fun to compare and contrast with CNN. Our family also recently discovered Daily Citizen from Focus on the Family which has a very Christian perspective, which has been refreshing as news can be so depressing sometimes! Just thought I’d throw that out there… but really do appreciate the perspectives and insights of these women who have been doing this for awhile!

  • Very helpful and pleasant to listen to.
    by Heather homeschooler from United States

    I have listened to many episodes of this podcast and have highly recommended it to others. It has been a wonderful source of inspiration and encouragement. Pam has a great voice and presence and I love that she does not interrupt or talk over her guests. Thank you for your hard work!

  • Always insightful!!
    by method_money from Canada

    Pam always has great great guests who bring great insights and encouragement! I so appreciate her down to earth style and ability to ask great questions! Keep up the great work!!

  • A wildly encouraging and equipping podcast for homeschool families.
    by Eryn Lynum from United States

    As a homeshool mama of four (Ages 2-9), Pam's podcast has been an increidble encouragement to me. Not only that, but I have discovered so many helpful resources for focusing on what is lovely and true during our homeschool days. I love that it is not overwhelming in nature, but instead a gentle help for moving forward one day at a time in our homeschooling adventure.

  • Best podcast for homeschooling/variety of topics
    by Bethetal from United States

    I love this podcast for so many reasons. (1) Pam is friendly, funny, humble and kind (2) She covers a multitude of topics (one at a time)- I have learned about nature notebooks, classical music study, narration, living books, Shakespeare and so much more. Whenever I have a question about a new (to me)HS term or practice, I come here to listen to Pam interview someone about it. Her interviewees have all been all-in on their respective areas of interest/expertise and I love the way she interviews/asks questions to really let the guests shine as they speak. I have changed the structure of my homeschool, found books for my kids and me, purchased materials, and found inspiration due to this podcast and I can’t recommend it enough! This podcast has shaped my homeschool in so many positive ways, most of which I probably can’t even articulate yet, as the changes have been done inside of me. Thanks, Pam!

  • Great!!!
    by Eloblah from United States

    I love the variety of things that are talked about on this show for homeschooling - things that I would never even think about including or doing - with easy ways to do them. Very much recommend this podcast

  • New home schooling mom
    by A prit from United States

    I am listening to the past episodes and loving it. This podcast has helped me develop my own homeschool. So many ideas!! I love morning time so much, we do a nightly family time so my husband and public school attending son. We do all the things instead of watching tv, playing ps4, and YouTube. My kids hang around me every evening asking if we are doing family time. I can tell they love it but don’t want to admit it.

  • Morning Time Magic!
    by DrewSteadman from United States

    I am so excited Pam is back to her morning time focus for 2020. Our homeschool has been shaped by the rich ideas and practical wisdom shared here.

  • Yay! Morning time is back!
    by Homeschooler in Germany from United States

    I was so happy and excited to learn that Pam is shifting her focus back to Morning Time for 2020! I’ve missed the morning time exclusive podcast and can’t wait to hear her back in my earbuds.

  • So excited for 2020!
    by JCrutchf from United States

    I absolutely LOVE this podcast and was so disappointed when I realized you were not actively producing it! I’m NOW relieved to know there is a whole year of episodes ahead! I’m beginning my homeschool journey with 4 little ones very close in age and my style falls somewhere in the Classical and Charlotte Mason. I found your podcast by chance via Instagram recommendation as I was doing research on “morning menus.” Your content is beautifully philosophical but at a level most parents will be able to grasp and appreciate. Filled with truth, beauty, and goodness! Your episodes fill me up and leave me feeling inspired personally and in regards to my children’s education. Everything is so good! Please don’t stop producing ever again! I’ll be grateful forever!

  • So glad Your Morning is back!!!
    by alissajohn2020 from United States

    So glad to have the morning basket podcast back! Thank you for bringing it back!!

  • So good I ran out of gas.
    by JoanieHummel from United States

    This podcast is awesome! It was recommended to me a few years ago by a very wise and experienced homeschool mom but I didn’t start listening until I saw it come up a few more times on Facebook, recommended in various groups (in particular, episode number 41). I wish I had picked it up years ago! So much great information, I’m learning so much! Be careful though, I was so interested listening to this podcast that I didn’t notice how low my gas tank was getting! I ran out of gas and as I write this review I’m stranded on the side of the road waiting for a friend to come rescue me! Happy listening!

  • Knowledge Goldmine
    by A.J. Edwards from United States

    I’ve just been eating up every episode of this brilliant podcast over the past few months. The guests are stellar and Pam’s interview style is wonderful. She gets each guest to the meat and potatoes of their topic but it’s anything but a plain meal. This is a feast for the homeschool mom’s mind. I know I’ll be revisiting many of my favorite episodes again and again. Feeling so inspired by each guest!

  • Myths and fairytale truths for homeschoolers
    by Allierhn from United States

    Mind blown! I’m listening to the myth podcast and it’s absolutely perfect. It is answering so many questions I’ve struggled with my whole life. It helps me to view our curriculum and informs my teaching so much more.

  • Super Helpful!
    by Jennlee C from United States

    I can’t speak highly enough about this podcast. It has been a huge inspiration and a practical help to my homeschool! Thank you so much Pam Barnhill and everyone else who contributes to this. It has been an amazing blessing to me and my children… And possibly generations to come!

  • Practical Inspiration
    by Mamato3activeboys from Australia

    Not only am I inspired by each episode of this podcast but I have actually put so many of the ideas into practice in our own morning time. Such a huge help as I seek to inspire my non-stop boys to truth, goodness and beauty. We are now memorising poetry as they jump on the trampoline and they love Shakespeare. That's a parenting win in my book!

  • So many great ideas!
    by Parent 98765 from Malaysia

    Thank you, Pam! I’m now bursting with inspiration and can’t wait to start our 2019 school year with a strong morning time routine.

  • Joy
    by Ancon76 from United States

    My heart is enriched and I can’t wait to learn more.

  • Just what I was looking for!
    by Joey5176 from United States

    I was looking for morning basket ideas—simple ones. These podcasts are giving me a picture of a good morning basket.

  • Wow!! What amazing nuggets of knowledge
    by HeRo84 from United States

    This is truly life changing information for me as a homeschool mother. Thank you Pam for this amazing series.

  • Love it!
    by s chenvmv from United States

    I love all of Pam’s podcast but this one is prob my favorite. I love to listen to all her guest and see the different ways a morning time can be done

  • Excellent
    by W.A., R.A. Hall from United States

    Love this!

  • Love, love, love this show
    by SarahPMiller from United States

    And I'm not even a homeschooling mother! But I've created a Morning Time for my children nonetheless, and I wouldn't have been inspired to do it -- nor could I have done it -- without this podcast. It's my favorite, and I get something out of every single episode.

  • Wonderful resource!
    by honebubble from United States

    This podcast has changed what I thought I could offer my children, my family and myself... I never would have believed that it would be possible to live a life as so many people actually do. Thank you for these tools and for what you do to help women, teachers, moms and all those on this path. You are amazing and I just can’t get enough, each episode teaches me so much!! Thank you again!

  • A wonderful podcast!
    by NoName2018 from Canada

    Great ideas and interesting guests - thanks Pam!!

  • Insightful, Inspiring, Life-Giving Podcast
    by Mackenziechester from United States

    I love this podcast. It has turned cleaning my kitchen into a really valuable part of my day. There are great tips here for gathering your family together and finding ways to share the things you are passionate about but can never quite find the time to fit in to a typical school day. So many ideas, so many varied topics. Great, inspiring guests. Life-changing podcast. Thanks so much for sharing these ideas!

  • Such great choices of guests
    by andinic from United Kingdom

    This podcast is inspirational for your homeschool plans. Pam Barnhill has a delightful interviewing style and her guests share their insights and enthusiasm for their topics. Among my favourites are the episodes with Cindy Rollins, and Angelina Stanford. Don’t miss this encouraging podcast!

  • Great
    by WifeyKayla from United States

    Some great interviews and very helpful for figuring out the flow of our mornings.

  • Interesting ideas
    by Lisa1932 from Canada

    Just started this podcast. There are some very interesting ideas here on how to create quality time with your children, learning together and focusing on the things that are most important in life. Great hearing other moms' stories too.

  • WARNING: This podcast will revolutionize your homeschool!
    by JoysTeacher from United States

    Honestly, I started listening to this podcast because I had run out of other homeschool podcasts to listen. I really didn't think we needed a morning time! I homeschool one teen daughter and I thought the concept was too "baby" for us. WOW! I was completely wrong!! We needed a morning time, and it has changed the climate and the productivity of our homeschool. The habit was so important to us, we still do morning time when we are one break. (And neither of us is a "morning" person). Pam is an talented interviewer and will not waste your time (her time is precious, too)!

  • Excellent!
    by Jodylleigh from United States

    I'm really enjoying the ideas and tips Pam bring up in this podcast!

  • Truly an inspiration!
    by Soaring2him from United States

    I have started a morning basket just because of listening to this podcast. Pam sold me on the beauty of having a morning basket. I love all of the ideas I've gleaned from listening and I've implemented many of the ideas I have heard about through this podcast. It's really helped simplify some things in our homeschool day!

  • Easy to listen too, incredibly practical
    by HarrisFamily0323 from United States

    I really enjoy Your Morning Basket. Pam is a great host and I have taken away many practical ideas and had many unrealistic expectations corrected. I don't listen to all the episodes, but the ones I've thought were pertinent to my needs and have been able to apply something helpful to our homeschool. Thanks Pam!

  • So helpful for this new homeschooling mom
    by klund08 from United States

    I'm planning our first homeschool year and have really enjoyed this podcast! The interviews are great and I enjoy hearing from different homeschooling moms and how things work in their family. I'm excited to start Morning Time with my kids!

  • You've made my school year!
    by Lizzie O' from United States

    Pam, I wrote you an email when I first felt it placed on my heart to homeschool my now 6 & 8 year old children and you responded with a warm response. I then began to listen to every podcast you have (all 3!) and I have been so very inspired and encouraged in so many ways that it would take up too much time here to explain it all. This Morning Basket podcast is really a light for me and my children as not only are they the recipients of our mornings of gathering but so am I. I have learned so much from your guests (and you!) and have been able to take tips/ideas to add to what my own mornings look like. We truly have experienced Truth, Goodness and Beauty. God certainly has chosen you for this type of work and serving to others. Thank you for what you do!

  • Thanks Pam!
    by BraveMomma from United States

    So many great ideas every single week! Thanks!

  • Truth, goodness, and beauty
    by I'm Sonny from United States

    Need I say more? I am deeply grateful for this profound and practical resource as we seek to surround our children in the truth, in goodness, and in things beautiful. I leave feeling encouraged, refreshed, determined and equipped.

  • Very encouraging
    by .....hk..... from United States

    So helpful with recommendations for new things to do in morning time.

  • A wonderful podcast full of useful tips!
    by Klarnold79 from United States

    I have listened to almost every episode over the last few months on my morning runs and they have made me look forward to running! I have learned so much and have been inspired to add truth, goodness and beauty to our homeschool days. Thank you so much!!

  • Wow! Talk about a solid series!
    by KastenbauerFamily from United States

    Each episode is fabulous alone, and when you've been listening for a while, they all continue to be full of new information!

  • Hope for the weary
    by MomToTheMasses from United States

    I enjoy the variety of topics covered as well as Pam's cheerful personality. Thank you for being a cup of cold water for so many homeschool mamas.

  • Great guests and host
    by My Life as a Rinnagade from United States

    I love the people Pam has on and all the great morning time tips! Thanks for a wonderful show :).

  • Mamma of Five
    by Mamma of Five from United States

    The ideas, information and encouragment that Pam shares through the different guests and talking about the purpose and practice of Your Morning Basket has been a huge blessing to our family. Helped me to practically see how to bring truth, beauty, and goodness to our day.

  • Great Homeschool Resource
    by KS Becky R from United States

    I have just started listening and am gaining so much knowledge and practical advice. I can't wait to keep listening to more.

  • Really great!
    by BeeGerW from United States

    I love hearing all these ideas!

  • californiafamily
    by californiafamily from United States

    I absolutely love Your Morning Basket podcasts. Pam interviews excellent people & so far, I've incorporated information from each podcast & have purchased many items that the interviewee's suggest. I think all families could benefit from this even if they don't homeschool! Thank you so much!

  • Love Pam's podcasts
    by Flourishing Mama from United States

    There are many homeschool related podcasts that I enjoy, both for their content and the host. But I must say that Pam Barnhill's podcasts are top-notch for the following reasons: 1) the content is both relevant AND in-depth, 2) she NEVER interrupts the guest speakers with incessant (annoying) "uh huhs," "ummms," and such, 3) she provides multiple lists and links to supplemental materials that are really useful and interesting, and 4) she shares forms she's created even though she could make you pay for them. She has a gift for tapping in to the issues homeschool moms are REALLY dealing with. Thanks Pam. Keep up the good work!

  • First Things First
    by Lukenoah from United States

    Every episode inspires me to start my day bringing my children the true the good and the beautiful through our family time.

  • So helpful!
    by jofcrich from Australia

    Every time I see that I have a new podcast from Pam Barnhill I know it's going to be good. Every one I have listened to (which is all of them!) have helped, inspired and encouraged me in some way or another. Pam is so good at summarising what her interviewee has just spoken about; a great knack which helps me distill the main ideas from all that good conversation. I really like that she always has links to whatever is discussed so that I can go back to it in the future and find what I need.

  • Great resource
    by Ejs0928 from United States

    Such a help for a new homeschooler. Highly recommend that you check it out if you'd like to learn more about starting your day with morning time.

  • Amazing!
    by CDefnall from United States

    This podcast is filled with great information to help you take full advantage of morning time or all together time in your homeschool. It also has great tips for extending your child education whether they are in public or private school as well. We all want to aid our kids in thier success and no matter if you are a homeschool parent or a public/private school teacher this podcast will enlighten you and provide valuable information you to to better help your students.

  • Inspiring and enlightening
    by spycej from United States

    One of my favorite podcasts and I love and subscribe to all of Pam's podcasts. Thank you for the fabulous interviews.

  • Must-Listen for Homeschooling Moms
    by DaffodilSocks from United States

    This podcast has revolutionized how I homeschool my young children. A must-listen.

  • One of my favorites
    by FaithAZ from United States

    Love Pam and all of her podcasts - can't wait for new episodes!

  • Great Ideas
    by Hiphooray from United States

    Just found this podcast and have been listening to them over the summer break. Pam is a great host and has fun guests and together they bring a lot of inspiration to the concept of morning time in homeschool. Thanks for the great resource!!

  • TaraVos
    by TaraVos from United States

    I would not be exaggerating if I said that I have learned so much from this practical, encouraging podcast that has changed our homeschool. Thank you Pam!

  • Lots of useful information
    by Kristizy from United States

    This podcast does a great job finding guests who give a ton of practical help to make morning time enjoyable and educational for everyone. I always feel reenergized after listening to any of Pam Barnhill's podcasts.

  • <3!!!
    by Momo35556 from United States

    I love this podcast! So helpful and encouraging.

  • Lovely & Inspiring
    by kashley75 from United States

    Thank you so much for this podcast!

  • Such a wealth of information!
    by Jeaine6 from United States

    There is so much wonderful information to be found in these podcasts. I can go about my daily chores and fill my homeschool mom cup simultaneously! They allow me to look at areas of our hs that need improvement or just need new life and feel encouraged while I'm listening. Thank you!!

  • Encouraging & inspiring
    by God's Ranch Hand from United States

    So thankful for this podcast! I look forward to listening to each episode when it comes out.

  • Homeschool Professional Development!
    by Jo.W.17 from Canada

    As a new-ish homeschooling mama, I've found this podcast super encouraging and helpful. I would highly recommend it!

  • So Helpful!
    by KGMom2Four from United States

    I love the practical application that comes from this podcast! Thanks!

  • A Lovely Show!
    by Webseitler from United States

    This podcast has become my most favorite podcast on the subject of homeschooling. The topics discussed often go right to the heart of why I'm doing what I'm doing in our home--and God has really used the great advice shared in this show to help me be a more confident (and calmer!) teacher. Thank you, Pam, for creating such a great program! Already looking forward to next season.

  • Awesome homeschooling resource!
    by Liddleladie81 from United States

    This podcast has absolutely changed my perspective on homeschooling, in a great way! All of the guests have been wonderful and I leave each episode feeling both sad that it is already over, and encouraged and excited to figure out how I can use what I’ve learned! It has a great flow to it, very light but meaningful, informative, encouraging….I could go on and on! Absolutely LOVE this podcast! Thanks to all involved!

  • Great hosts!
    by Homeschool_chat from United States

    I always look forward to this podcast!

  • Practical, helpful & concise tips
    by sproutnchic from United States

    This podcast continues to help. I appreciate the Pam Barnhill's professional, organized, yet warm interviewing style of some well-picked guests.

  • So refreshing and helpful
    by a. borealis from United States

    I've really appreciated the depth and breadth of Pam's look into Morning Time and also the practical ideas and tools to make it work. It is so inspiring! It helps me think through my own Circle Time, realizing what an opporunity I have. There are so many great ideas for additions and tweaking my approach. I am loving it.

  • Awesome!
    by Apples20091 from United States

    This podcast has been so helpful and packed full of practical ideas to use with my children!! Some of the episodes I have listened to more than once!!

  • Encouraging and Motivating!
    by Cat11223 from United States

    Pam makes this morning time concept so attainable! She gives great ideas but simple ways to begin. These tips and recommendations reach far beyond just morning time and are benefiting our entire homeschool and family life!

  • So many ideas!
    by Speterson781 from United States

    This podcast is full of amazing ideas to grab my kids attention first thing in the morning. I love listening to Pam and her guests. Pam asks such great questions of her guests!

  • A Favorite for Homeschool Encouragement!
    by JamesDWitmer from United States

    I have been so encouraged by Pam's podcasts on Morning Time. She walks you through many of the wonderful activities that you can choose to include in your homeschooling, and also the details about how to do it! It has truly been a blessing. Thanks Pam!

  • Perfect for the Homeschool Mom
    by JoshJamie from United States

    I just stumbled upon the "Your Morning Basket" podcast this weekend. I have already listened to 2 episodes, and they are wonderful - perfect for the homeschool mom. I am going to share this on my Periscope channel tomorrow. So great!! Jamie @OurLittleSchoolhouse.

  • SongsofJubilee
    by SongsofJubilee from United States

    I love the idea of a morning basket, and this podcast has helped me learn a lot about the different ways it can look! I love all the different subjects she discusses within it!

  • Love it!
    by Ekrasovec7 from United States

    This podcast has been such a blessing to me! Informational and insightful, it opens a window into how other families incorporate morning time into their day, as well as what they fill it with. This has completely changed the rhythm and content of our days for the better. Our whole family has fallen in love with morning time! Thank you!!

  • So encouraging!
    by A Merry Heart from United States

    I absolutely love this podcast! It has been so encouraging as I begin to implement Morning Time with my 5 girls. I have listened to them all & can't wait for more!

  • This podcast has changed our homeschool
    by Momof4athome from United States

    Pam has relieved some of the pressure to "get it all in". We now begin our day with the good true and beautiful in an almost effortless way and are all enjoying our time together before the "serious" subjects! Yay for the morning basket! Her guests are all lovely people you would want to have over for tea. I love this podcast.

  • Refreshing
    by Bless-Us-3 from Canada

    I am loving this podcast. I just stumbled across it after hearing the recommendation over at Read Aloud Revival. I have been wanting to start 'Morning Time' for a year now so this is giving me direction and so many wonderful and helpful tips and suggestions. I love Pam's enthusiasm and personality.

  • So helpful and inspiring!
    by KSR1 from United States

    I was lucky enough to find YMB and Pam’s other podcast, Homeschool Snapshots, when I started my first year of homeschool this year. These 2 podcasts have been SO helpful to me with getting ideas for morning time and the rest of our homeschool day. I am very grateful for the excellent work Pam has done on both of these podcasts, and I hope they continue for many more years!

  • Inspiring
    by Jaranda98 from United States

    This podcast was inspiring and encouraging. It was a good blend of practical and theoretical and exactly what this tired homeschool mom needed to hear today to rejuvenate.

  • An inspiring and encouraging podcast
    by Kellibird1111 from United States

    Very well done! I really enjoyed listening! Very practical and informative.

  • Honey for the Homeschooling Heart
    by SuperNOVAmom from United States

    Pam lays out a feast of homeschooling topics that are relevant, helpful, and validating. The show is well organized and her interviews are clearly well thought out. In addition, Ms. Barnhill's relaxed and warm personality puts one at ease. It's like going to your favorite homeschool conference without leaving home!

  • I love this podcast, great content!
    by Sara V from United States

    These podcasts helped transform our homeschooling!

  • Great parenting resource
    by sullivanjessicak from United States

    I absolutely love this podcast. The show is well organized with great guests and helpful information.

  • Thank you!
    by Nasiatel from United States

    I'm so happy that I found your podcast, it has truly blessed our homeschool life!

  • Wonderful help in my homeschool
    by BT and Jessica from United States

    This is a great resource for all homeschoolers (and I would say any educator). I am challenged to make sure I am giving my children truth, beauty and virtue through the morning ritual of our morning time. I’ve learned of new books to share with my children, how to incorporate fine arts, good habits for our day… I could go on and on. Pam asks great questions and has wonderful guests.

  • Top Notch
    by Wvshaddox from United States

    Excellent inspiration and tips for homeschoolers! I have learned so much from this podcast.

  • Great Morning Time tips!
    by redhedcatie from United States

    I have gotten SO many practical tips from this podcast! A must listen for homeschoolers!

  • So Inspiring!
    by Frau Linds from United States

    Another home-run podcast! Pam has a knack for inspiring great things in your homeschool! And the wonderful thing is she doesn't leave you with the "lofty ideal," but offers practical tips, aids, etc. all while encouraging you the whole way. Each interview is professionally done and such a joy to listen to! Thanks, Pam, for putting your heart into this! 🙂

  • Wonderful!
    by Kellybireta from United States

    Like having a cup of coffee with a friend. So helpful and informative.

  • Excellent practical advise!
    by Foxycook from United States

    Really enjoying this so far!

  • Very encouraging!
    by WMGardener from United States

    This was been a great podcast about Morning Time! How encouraging and informative to hear from other homeschool moms who are in the midst of it all!

  • A great resource!
    by gejake from United States

    Very inspiring and informative as I begin my homeschooling journey

  • Love This Podcast
    by Earthmuffins from United States

    I have finally had opportunity to listen to this podcast and regret not doing it sooner!!! Very informative and encouraging.

  • Full of Goodness, Truth and Beauty
    by CJMance from United States

    This is such an inspiration to get the beautiful ritual of morning time established. Thank you Pam!

  • Great Podcast!
    by Greggtrisha from United States

    I'm so excited about this podcast! My kids range from ages 4 - 11, and I've been needing to reduce my workload a bit. I'm using the fantastic things I'm learning here to combine all my kids together for read-alouds, Bible time, memorization, and some other fun things. Thanks so much, Pam! I love your other podcast as well!

  • Treasure
    by TasmanianBec from Australia

    I am so glad I found this podcast. Morning Basket / Circle Time / Morning Time - lots of interviews with families who make this part of their day a treasure for years to come. Just getting started homeschooling, and this is going to help shape our days. Thanks Pam.

  • Jeannie in Ohio
    by Jeannie in Ohio from United States

    Loving learning about how so many families are using Morning Time in their homes!

  • Wonderful ideas for creating your best morning time.
    by Flowerpetal2 from Australia

    The ideas presented here are wonderful, it's great to hear how different families put together their morning time and how we can all make this a rich but simple time of beauty in our schooling days.

  • Excellent Host
    by meghanlou from United States

    Pam Barnhill is a truly excellent host and producer of podcasts. They are a pleasure to listen to, full of applicable and inspirational content. Unlike other podcasts in this genre, which are produced at home, Pam's podcasts never make me cringe because of awkward pauses or bad sound quality. Another of Pam's strengths is her ability to reflectively listen and summarize what she's heard from her guests in a way that wraps up the different segments of her interviews. Well done, Pam!

  • Helpful and fun!
    by HornGal88 from United States

    We’re just starting out with morning time and this podcast has been an invaluable source of inspiration and ideas. Keep up the good work!

  • LOVE IT!
    by sassercj from United States

    I’m always counting down the days until the next podcast…one of the best homeschooling podcasts out there!

  • Among the Best I’ve Heard
    by More Like Mary from United States

    I’m a bit of a podcast junkie so when I say that this is among the best, that’s really a compliment! Pam is an excellent interviewer. She re-states main ideas and summarizes information in a way that is helpful and not condescending. She asked poignant questions and stays on topic. Her guests are phenomenal and I’ve learned so much from each episode. So far, this podcast is “big picture” homeschooling talk with lots of tips for implementing lofty ideals into daily life. The perfect combination. I will be looking forward to many more of these!

  • Gave me the tools I needed!
    by Momofmany:) from United States

    This podcast is amazing. (I am spoiled now; the quality alone is superb!) I have listened to the four current episodes several times and now understand "morning time" in a way I never have before-- in particular, the schole part. I've longed for restful learning for ten years, and now I have tools to actually do it. Our whole family has benefitted so much. Thank you, Pam!!

  • What’s important
    by sncstraub from United States

    Pam Barnhill’s new podcast on Morning Time is a great help to those of us who are homeschooling. I’ve only listened to the first episode so far, but it’s wonderfully encouraging to hear Cindy Rollins’ talking through her own experiences with Morning Time. I’m looking forward to listening to more episodes with others who are focusing their schools on the important things - the true, good, and beautiful.

  • New listener and hooked!
    by Bytesofmemory from United States

    I just started listening to the first podcast this morning and I am completely hooked on this podcast. I took the advice in the first podcast and just started with morning time. Instead of trying to “give birth to an adult” morning time I just started doing something and will add things in as this becomes a habit. Thanks for the wonderful tool!! I am now off to listen to episode 2!!

  • Great!
    by Wvshaddox from United States

    Encouragement for homeschool.

  • A Gift to the Homeschool Community
    by HGPII from United States

    This podcast is so well done, informative, and just what the homeschooling moms needs. It includes achievable, sound suggestions as well as an abundant dose of inspiration. I can’t wait to revamp my Morning Time and watch the results!

  • Encouraging and informative!
    by sarahdempsen from United States

    I have enjoyed Your Morning Basket from its first episode! I am a second generation homeschooler and just started our own family's homeschooling journey. Thanks to YMB, I implemented our "circle time" starting our second week of school and it has been such a blessing to me already even its very simple form of prayer, Psalm, Mother Goose, and then read-aloud time with my kindergartner. My 2 and 4 year olds also love it and it encourages me to include things in our day that might get left out, like nursery rhymes and simple children's songs! Thanks to Pam and YMB I feel like I am starting out with a great centering tool and routine that can be expanded and adapted as we grow!

  • A great resource!
    by Bookgirl630 from United States

    Your Morning Basket Podcast is a great resource for to help implement morning time into your homeschool day. I have enjoyed every episode so far.

  • Thank you for wonderful bonus at the end!
    by Caj312 from United States

    I just discovered this show and listened to the first 4 episodes. All were inspiring and I loved the useful links at the end of the show that help me improve my homeschool days! Well done and I look forward to the next episode.

  • One of my VERY favorites
    by Dianna @ The Kennedy Adventure from United States

    I’m a bit of a podcast junkie, but YMB ranks among my very, very favorites. If you’re a homeschooling mother, or a mom who wants to connect with your children and show them truth, goodness and beauty, this is a must listen. Kudos, Pam, on a another amazing podcast series.

  • Timely
    by AggieRudy3 from United States

    I’ve been trying to figure out morning time on my own, but Pam with this podcast has figuratively sat down with me and explained how to get things going. I’m so glad to have this resource at the beginning of my family's homeschool journey! The Basket Bonuses have also been so helpful.

  • Thanks!
    by heyh2 from United States

    Thanks for the new podcast. Loving it!

  • Wonderful podcast with practical advice
    by Victorzvaliant from United States

    Thank you Pam for a great podcast, I am really enjoying it. I always come away inspired and with ideas I can use!

  • Changed our Homeschool Morning routine
    by HeatherinSC from United States

    I have been listening to the Your Morning Basket podcasts recently and Pam's blog writings about creating morning time traditions with your children and I feel like it has made a huge positive difference in our homeschool. I love Pam's ideas for creating a restful learning environment and focusing on truth, goodness, and beauty as we begin our day together. I listen to these podcasts over and over and take notes!

  • Excellent for homeschooling veterans and newbies
    by ASnow512 from United States

    I'm very new to homeschooling and I'm still deciding if our family will pursue that path. This podcast has been such a wealth of information and a wonderful encouragement!

  • Inspiring and Uplifting
    by vabjohnson from United States

    I was immediately inspired to create a more cohesive structure to our homeschool mornings. This podcast is full of helpful suggestions to make morning time meaninful for every type of homeschooling family. I've already implemented many of the wonderful suggestions and I can already see the benefits! An absoulte must for the homeschooling family!

  • Bringing Joy
    by Louisiana Mommy T from United States

    What an amazing podcast! This podcast has wonderful suggestions for bringing joy to (or back to) your homeschool. Everything is doable and enjoyable for the children and parents alike. Keep up the wonderful work!

  • Great podcast!
    by corew50 from United States

    This is our first year of homeschooling and I am really enjoying the concept of morning time. It is a sweet way to start our day together and this podcast has been amazing! Enjoyable, super practical, and filled with lots of creative ideas. Thanks for creating it.

  • Inspiring, yet practical
    by mamato3cs from United States

    Pam's Your Morning Basket podcast is one not to be missed! She and her guests inspire and spur me on to do great things in our homeschool, but it's not just adding more to my to-do list. There are practical suggestions for how to make morning time a refreshing and vital part of our day.

  • Super Helpful & Encouraging
    by Sanibel4ever from United States

    I have been homeschooling for a many years. I like that I can count on Pam to make to make it worth my while (and my short amount of time!) for a listen. As always, practical info I can start using right away.

  • Great Poscast
    by Sarah B R from United States

    Love Pam's interviews. I learn much from each poscast!

  • A Joy to Listen to!
    by Cude 🙂 from United States

    I am thoroughly enjoying this new podcast! I love to listen to people who encourage me on my homeschooling journey and I have added Your Morning Basket to my list.

  • JUST what I needed!!!
    by Foodie in Training from United States

    This is our first year homeschooling (Kinder) and this podcast has been INCREDIBLY helpful and a GREAT source of information!!! I cannot wait for more to come! <3 THANK YOU!!!!

  • Practical - worth a listen!
    by Bloggerific! from United States

    As a homeschooling mom of 6, my free time is limited. But I always come away with some practical, useful tips from Pam Barnhill. I love to listen if I’m alone in the car (rare these days!).

  • Well done [FIRST NAME]
    by MattMcWilliams from United States

    WOW… Your Morning Basket Podcast is flat out awesome. Good production quality. Easy to listen. Very impressed Pam. Keep bringing it.

  • Inspiring and refreshing!
    by BugTurner from United States

    What a great podcast. At first I was dubious whether you could have an entire podcast series about homeschooling using morning time, but now that I have listened to two of them, I see where Pam is going with this. It is affirming for me in what I am trying to do in our homeschool, and at the same time inspires me in ways to improve and refine our time together as a homeschooling family. I would recommend this to anyone who is looking to simplify their homeschool efforts while simultaneously enriching their family's experience!

  • Brilliant
    by SHTirm from United Kingdom

    I absolutely love it. Ever since I read about morning time, I wanted to know more. This podcast clearly explains what to do and how to do it. Episode with Cindy Rollins was brilliant. It gives you the overall idea of morning time practice, as she is doing it for 27 years. Andrew Pudewa in second episodes shared some insights about memorisation, which really makes so much sense. Pam asks clear questions and then repeats the main points in answer, which is very helpful, especially for new homeschooling mums. Overall this programme has everything one can ask for to get inspired and motivated. Thanks very much for putting so much effort. Well done.

  • Excellent!
    by RC5476 from United States

    I have really appreciated everything Pam Barnhill puts out. I have been introduced to so many great homeschoolers and their resources through The Homeschool Snapshots podcast, and I love that she is digging deeper into a great homeschooling practice on her new show, Morning Basket. It is definitely on my Must Listen list each week!

  • Bring the best you to your homeschool
    by mystiewinckler from United States

    Our Morning Time is the best part of our homeschool, and Pam’s podcast helps us learn how to make it even better and encourages us to pursue the true, good, and beautiful still more. So helpful!

  • Inspiring!
    by Mamato8 from United States

    I've only recently found out about Morning Baskets, after 14 years of homeschooling. What a find! And now to have these podcasts to help guide me along on my new journey! I've been sharing this like crazy, and my morning routine is fabulous now! Thank You!

  • Education to Educate
    by Isaac in St Louis from United States

    I have gained so much from these first two early podcasts. I am grateful to you, Pam. Thank you for offering this as we strive to fulfill our sacred duty and privilege to give our children an education. Please continue. I see such great things coming from this. I rank this up their with Circe’s offerings.

  • Wonderful
    by BGTwinsMom from United States

    When you're on the homeschool "circuit" it's easy to become one of Andrew Pudewa's groupies. So the excitement level for Pam's newest podcast doubled when I opened it on my iPhone and saw Andrew's name. I was remiss in not reviewing her first segment. Pam is a wonderful interviewer and has the ability to make conversation with her guests based on their answers and move seamlessly to her following questions. That is not easy to do. Highly recommend this to parents who Homeschool. Encouraging, motivating, and validating.

  • So Inspiring!
    by bethenyn from United States

    So inspiring! This podcast is what I needed to get our homeschool off to a great start this year. I will not miss an episode.

  • Inspiring and thought provoking!
    by Pascualamb from United States

    I've always thought memory work was so important in my 8 years as a teacher in a high school setting. I often required memorization and was criticized for this requirement. I recently decided to homeschool my children and this podcast was so affirming to me. I am glad to be able to follow my instincts as a teacher and give my kids what they deserve! Thank you for this wonderful podcast that inspired me to make memory work an important part of my homeschool.

  • Affirming & helpful
    by BOLDturquoise from United States

    I knew I would enjoy this podcast but I didn't know that I would LOVE it! As our family has moved more and more towards a simplified homeschool method, this podcast is just the thing to reaffirm our choices and continuously inspire us with new ideas. I can't wait for each new episode!

  • Inspiring
    by Amongst Lovely Things from United States

    This is just the kind of podcast I need to breathe life into my homeschool year. I’m so grateful for this new show, and Pam is a talented host. I won’t miss an episode!

  • Delightful...a Must Listen
    by 1coltsfamily from United States

    While I have heard Cindy Rollins speak about morning time before, I was pleasantly surprised to glean many new nuggets of wisdom that I can incorporate right away into our morning time. I always enjoy listening to Pam and find her questions spot on! The podcast is a wonderful balance of inspiration and practical tips. Can't wait for the next one!

  • Your Morning Basket
    by inakamama from Australia

    So lovely and inspiring! Looking forward to more...

  • Helpful & inspiring!
    by starlingsfive from United States

    A great resource for homeschool moms and so well put-together. Full of useful information, not fluff. Pam has a wonderful conversation style that keeps the show moving at a steady pace. I wish I didn't have to wait so long for the next one!



  • Rebekah says:

    I can’t find any information about your special bundle that you mentioned at the end of the program.

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