YMB #61 Morning Time with Teens: A Conversation with Heather Woodie

Today we are joined on the podcast by Heather Woodie of Blog She Wrote, mom of four young adults. Heather has been practicing Morning Time in her family for a number of years, and has seen a shift in the practice as she has graduated two kids and is now left home with two more teens to go.

In this episode of the podcast we chat about:

  • how Heather’s Morning Time changed has changed over the years.
  • why is Morning Time still a valuable practice in the teen years.
  • what kind of adjustments and challenges a teen-only Morning Time brings.
  • how Heather’s role at Morning Time changed as the kids have gotten older.
  • and how Heather has been able to use topics from Morning Time as coursework and credits for the purposes of high school transcripts
  • plus so much more.

Sit back and enjoy as we dive into Morning Time with the teen set.

HSP 33 Lesli Richards: Things I Wish I Had Known


This is Your Morning Basket where we help you bring truth, goodness, and beauty to your homeschool day. Hi everyone, and welcome to Episode 61 of the Your Morning Basket podcast. I’m Pam Barnhill, your host, and I’m so happy that you’re joining me here today.

Well, we are back. If you are a long time, Your Morning Basket listener, you noticed that this podcast took about a year long hiatus and I’m going to tell you why we did that, what we were doing instead and why we’re back now. But I’m so happy to be back, talking all about morning time. So this is what happened. Most of you know me and you know that I’m a homeschooling mom of three kids and up until December of 2018, I had three different homeschooling podcasts. And in an effort to kind of condense my work down into fewer responsibilities, so I could spend more time focusing on homeschooling my kids, especially as they got older, I decided to consolidate all of my podcasts into one podcast.

Read Full Transcript

Pam: And you know sometimes how you have these great ideas, and in your brain they just work fabulously. And they don't work quite so fabulously for everyone else. So in my brain, I was combining all of my podcasts into one general homeschooling podcast, and everybody would be happy about that. But what I discovered later was that a couple of things were going on. First of all, the people who loved the Your Morning Basket podcast, the Your Morning Basket podcast listeners, didn't exactly make the jump with me to the other podcast. They loved Your Morning Basket because it focused on some very specific things. Things like truth, goodness and beauty and the morning time aspect and it was a little more philosophical and things of that nature. So that was the first thing. The second thing I came to discover was, I really missed spending a lot of my time talking about morning time, and if I was going to simplify my life and simplify my website, I wanted to make that shift to where morning time was what I spent the majority of my time focusing on.

Pam: And so it took me about a year to figure it out. Sometimes I'm a little slow, but that's the direction that we're going to go and so over the next few weeks, a few different things are going to happen. Your Morning Basket is going to have its own dedicated home online. It's going to stay pambarnhill.com but the look of it is going to begin to change and you're going to notice that the focus there is Your Morning Basket and all about morning time. The second thing that's happening is this podcast is coming back. We're going to be releasing this podcast every two weeks throughout 2020 and beyond. We're going to take a couple of short hiatuses. We'll be on hiatus during the month of June and during the month of December. That's going to give you an opportunity to catch up on episodes, but I know you get behind on episodes, listening to them, just like I get behind on making episodes.

Pam: And so it's nice for me to get a little break a couple of times a year. So we'll do a really brief hiatus. But other than that we're going to have over 20 new morning time, specific episodes for you guys in 2020, and then going forward as well. So it's going to be all Your Morning Basket all the time. We're super excited about that and where that is going to take the podcast. So if you woke up, hopefully pleasantly surprised, to find the rooster back in your podcast feed and you're excited about the fact that we're back. We're so excited to be back and we're happy to be here with you. So there you go. So let me tell you a little bit about what's going to happen over the next few weeks. We actually have a number of really fabulous morning time centric interviews that I did in 2019 and were published on my other podcast, The Homeschool Solution Show.

Pam: So instead of letting those podcasts kind of languish out there outside of the quote unquote "morning time cannon", what we wanted to do is we wanted to roll those in to the Your Morning Basket podcast. And so this episode is the first of those episodes. We have about six episodes that were very specific to morning time. And so if you were a Homeschool Solutions listener, these are going to be archived episodes for you. These are going to be things that you might have heard before in 2019, that's not to say that they're not good for another listen. If you're a Your Morning Basket listener and you've never listened to the Homeschool Solutions Show, you're going to love this because we're starting off by pulling in some of that great morning time content that you might have missed. And so this is going to take us through the end of January, and I just told you we're going to take December of 2020 off.

Pam: We're not doing that in 2019 we're starting right now, the end of November, and we're just going to keep going straight on through. We're going to start with those archival episodes and kind of replays, if you will, and play those first and by the beginning of February we will have brand new content for you. But like I said, if you never listened to the Homeschool Solution Show, it's all brand new content to you and we think you're really, really going to enjoy what we have to offer. So on today's episode of the podcast, we have Heather Woody from blogshewrote.com and this episode is all about a question that we get asked quite a bit, at Your Morning Basket and that is what does morning time look like with teenagers. Now Heather has been doing morning time through many, many years with her family and she's got two kids left at home and they are both teenagers.

Pam: So right now she is doing morning time with only teenagers. So this was a fabulous episode. And in here we talked about how Heather's morning time has changed over the years, over the many years that she's been doing it, why she thinks it's still a valuable practice as her kids get to be teens. I mean, why do you even take time for this? As your day gets busier and busier? How Heather's role in morning time has changed, as her kids have gotten older, and something that I think you're going to find really fascinating, how Heather has been able to use the topics for morning time as coursework and credits for the purposes of high school transcripts.

Pam: So often we get this false dichotomy in our head that the things we're doing in morning time are not necessarily things that we can put on a transcript, that there's real schoolwork and there's morning time work and that's really not the case. So often we can take the work that we're doing in the morning time and move it into what we're going to put on a transcript for a high school student. So I think you're going to find this conversation really fascinating and we'll get on with it right after this word from our sponsor.

Pam: This episode of the Your Morning Basket podcast is brought to you by the Christmas Celebration, a Morning Time Plan. These are a lovely three week set of plans that you can use with your family during the holiday season, to celebrate the birth of Christ, to enjoy the holidays, to take a little extra time to slow down and really enjoy each other and the season. And the best thing of all about these plans is, they are absolutely free.

Pam: All you have to do to get your very own set of plans is come on over to the website at pambarnhill.com/Christmas, and you'll be taken to the shop where you can add them to your cart and download them for absolutely nothing. This set is full of holiday goodness, including selections from the Nutcracker for art and music. Wonderful scripture to memorize, picture study of the nativity, some meaningful prayers, everything you need to make the most of your holiday season. So don't try to put this together yourself. Let us do the hard work in choosing all the books and do the planning for you, and you just come download the plans and look like a hero to your kids. That's at pambarnhill.com/Christmas for your free set of morning time plans. And now on with the podcast.

Pam: Heather Woody is a mom of four, who homeschools in upstate New York. A seasoned homeschool mom with two graduates and two more teens still at home, Heather uses unit studies and project based learning to tap into her kids' interests and passions. Her website blogshewrote, is packed with great ideas and also offers families much needed information and support through her two courses, Homeschooling High School by Design and Homeschooling for College by Design. Heather joins us on this episode to talk about doing morning time with teens. Heather, welcome to the podcast.

Heather: Thank you.

Pam: Well let's talk a little bit about morning time because you've been doing this for quite a while. So what does morning time look for you right now with two teenagers at home, and how has it changed over the years?

Heather: Okay, so right now for our morning time, I have an eighth grader and an 11th grader this year, and we have two teenagers who have graduated. So right now our morning time is really customized for these two particular kids I have left. So it's kind of changed a lot over the years, depending on who I'm teaching and who's coming to join me for morning time. And we are focusing right now, if you ask me right this second what we're doing, we're reading aloud, we watch videos and we play games. We insert some seasonal things depending on what time of year we're talking about. And then the other thing I would say is we may not do morning time every single day right now, for a variety of reasons.

Pam: Okay. So hold on one second. I really want to ask you about something. You just told me you do not do morning time every day. And I think a lot of times people have it in their heads that morning time is an all or nothing proposition. Either you're going to do it or you're not. So what are some of the circumstances that you were talking about? Why wouldn't you do it every day?

Heather: Well, teenagers kind of have their own schedules sometimes, both in what they're doing during the day and what time they arrive on scene and all those kinds of things. Doing morning time with teenagers requires some flexibility. And as a parent and a homeschool mom, if you are really committed to the idea of having morning time every day and then it doesn't work for a variety of reasons, that can be really frustrating. So I try to go with the idea that it's important to be flexible and to really enjoy it when it happens, versus trying to force it every single day, when it may not just be the season for that, could be for a variety of reasons.

Heather: For us in our homeschool, I have teenagers with a couple of chronic conditions, and we don't actually do morning time in the morning.

Pam: Second big shocker here.

Heather: We do it in the afternoon usually, and yeah, I actually call it meeting time most of the time, just because I had to sort of drop away the morning, so I didn't feel like I was automatically failing right out of the gate. If we don't name what time of day it's going to happen, then we can just get together and have a good time.

Pam: Okay, I like that. So you still feel like you're consistent enough with it that it's a thing.

Heather: Yes.

Pam: But you not tied to the fact that it has to be done every single day.

Heather: Yeah. Now that carries some downsides with it, because once you're off and running with the day, it can be difficult to corral everyone back and kind of change gears, shift the momentum. So that's one downside of that. But I think if your teenagers are on board, they understand that, okay, it's time to switch gears and do something different and join mom for this thing that we're going to do.

Pam: So do you try to tie it to a particular time of day? So you're not doing it in the morning, but do you try to peg it to some other part of the day or is it pretty much random as to when it happens?

Heather: I like to do it around lunchtime or shortly thereafter, might be like a one or two o'clock type of thing. And it really just happens, it really depends on when you have the most consistency in your homeschool, is when I would tie it to.

Pam: Okay. And does that switch from year to year now, or even from semester to semester, depending on what else you guys have going on?

Heather: It can change. Yep. Or I might just come when I see both of our boys, I may just say, hey, this is what time I'm looking at for meeting time today. So they know and understand, like having in their mental routine that they're going to have to be available at that time.

Pam: Okay. Love it. All right, so let's talk a little bit about what you're doing during that time. So let's just hash some of that out a little bit. So what do your teens love about morning time? What keeps bringing them back to the table or the meeting area?

Heather: Well, the content, and I try to tailor that, we do reading aloud. That's one of the main times, it's not the only time I read aloud with my teens, but it is the only time probably that I'm going to read aloud with all of my teams together. So I actually read aloud one-on-one with my teens and even my 20 year old still reads to me, from CS Lewis. So we have kind of different things that happen, but if it's going to happen together, then it's going to be at morning time. And we usually have some kind of video content that relates to either a current event, or it could be something that they're learning about or want to learn about. My 13 year old loves to help us to learn, by showing us something that he has seen. So we often do that during morning time, and then we play a game and I usually pick that time to do some kind of short game, every now and then a little bit longer.

Pam: Okay. So I know people are going to want to know. So give me some examples. What are a couple of things that you're either reading in your morning time right now with all of your teens together or maybe you've one of your favorites from the past few months.

Heather: Well we've been working through the Swallows and Amazon series, and we're on Coot club, which I think is the fifth book. If you're not familiar with the series, it can take a little doing to get into the story. So sometimes we're too not successful with continuing with that one. My 13 year old wanted a break from it, and I asked the boys to decide on something they wanted to read together, they had to agree on it, because there are a lot of big tastes differences. And I have a kid who's really intense about his likes and dislikes, and so I try to help him to be agreeable to what we're going to do, so that I can have success. And the thing that they decided on, believe it or not, at 13 and 16 was The Magician's Nephew.

Pam: Oh wow.

Heather: We are doing a reread of Narnia, in any order we wanted, because we've already been introduced to the world. We're starting with the Magician's Nephew.

Pam: So was there debate over what order you should read it in?

Heather: Of course. But since we're strong believers in meeting the magical world in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, and doing the Magician's Nephew, after you've been introduced to the magic of that world. But we've already been through it a number of times, and so we just wanted to jump in with something that was fun, and that's what we chose.

Pam: Awesome. Okay. So before I ask you about the video content, I do want to point out, Heather has a great guide on her website for reading books with teens and talking about books with teens. And so we'll put a link to blog she wrote in the show notes so you guys can hop over and find that on the sidebar of her website. So just to touch on that a little bit, Heather, after you read, you have kind of a period of time for discussion?

Heather: Yeah. And actually when you get to the teen years, it's going to be a really fun discussion. Because after you've been pouring in all this time, and your kids are introduced to books, and then you arrive at the teen years, and then they start forming their own opinions, and you can have a really nice spirited discussion with your teens over almost anything in a book, or a movie or a video. It's those discussions that really begin to cement some of the things that they've learned from you, and some of the values they bring, and kind of really make it their own, as they begin to look outward on the rest of the world.

Pam: Yeah, I love that. Okay, so let's talk about those videos for just a second. So it sounds like you have a 13 year old who's bringing some things to the table that he wants you to see.

Heather: Yep.

Pam: And what other kinds of videos do you use with your teens? Anything specific?

Heather: Well, it's usually a YouTube channel that has either maybe a Ted talk, or it might be just a topical video on a subject matter. We like Crash Course for our teens. Hank Green does a lot with Crash Course, at least biology and chemistry. And then he also does SciShow. Hank is a really funny guy. He's a little mouthy, he's a little sassy, but teenagers appreciate him a lot.

Pam: Okay, so content for teens and not necessarily your seven or eight year old.

Heather: Definitely, where Hank Green is concerned, that is true.

Pam: Okay. Preview that one to make sure it's right for your family.

Heather: Yes.

Pam: Love it. Okay. So we've kind of touched on some of the adjustments that you've made to your morning time routines and expectations to kind of make it work with your teenagers. We've talked about the time of day for sure, but can you touch on maybe how you've changed the setting and we really have talked about content, so focus a little bit more on the setting or what content even, has worked in the past that's not working quite so well anymore, in your morning time.

Heather: Okay. So the setting depends on whether we're going to watch the video or read a book. Our house is set up that, what would really be somebody's living room, is our school area, which just means it's got a lot of bookshelves, a table for school and games. And then because my daughter, is a designer and does sewing and stuff, we have a cutting counter in that room too. And then we have a media room and a family room and it can be in any one of those spaces. It's not really tied down to any place. It kind of depends on what I want the kids to do. And if I snag them while they're eating, I will read aloud there. It'll be at the kitchen table. So we're kind of opportunistic with our setting. And that pretty much goes along with my kids being pretty individualistic and me trying to make sure that everybody is not going to be put off by where they are that day and that time, sounds very particular, but that's how it is.

Heather: And then content. So one thing I would say about content is, that you should really tailor it to who your kids are, and where they are, and what they're doing. And morning time is a great time to insert things as a homeschool mom that they might not ordinarily see any other time. But I like to encourage people to not worry so much about what others are doing in their morning time, and really concentrate on what's right for you and your family. So I know Pam, that you have lots of plans for people who want that and want to incorporate that. But I don't like moms to feel badly, because well we didn't do Shakespeare or we didn't read something that maybe should be read during morning time, and really just think of it as an opportunity to introduce things that they wouldn't ordinarily get. And by the time they get to be teenagers, their schedules will be pretty heavy with other things. So I kind of like to use morning time as a time of connection and relationship and not worry as much about content.

Pam: Okay. So having said that, I'm writing by the way, that great quote you said because I love it. But having said that, is there ever been something that you really felt like was important for your teens to be exposed to? Are these conversations for you to have or something like that, that really kind of flopped? And you had either this image build up in your head, or this burning need you felt, and it flopped and then, what did you do? Did you let it go? Did you press the issue? Because maybe Shakespeare's not the hill you're going to die on, but maybe-

Heather: Maybe something else is.

Pam: Yeah.

Heather: Well we've done Shakespeare and we use Ken Ludwig's book on how to teach your children Shakespeare. And I had my kids memorizing it and it was a really good time. And my kids really loved it, until we went to see it. And that is, I know so much the opposite of most people.

Pam: That is crazy.

Heather: But my 13 year old, he's an intense character and we went to see 12th Night at a summer program, and he just really get past the teasing, and having it played out in front of him like that, was more than he really wanted to handle. And so he's done with Shakespeare. So we have not revisited that and so it's kind of interesting. I know people like to see it come alive, but that was really a deal breaker for him, and it kind of colored everything about it for him, including Midsummer Night's Dream, which really is about a fairy playing tricks on people.

Heather: So that flopped for us. I had to set that aside and have been unable to bring it back. He was enchanted with it before that, by the way, I should say. So it really just changed his view to actually see it play out. I have started books that just did not get anywhere and just set them aside, and we just change gears. I can't think of anything recently that was a mountain that I was going to die on. I think the mountain that I die on is that we're going to have this time. I think that's the one thing that I'm like, nope, that's a foundation of our homeschool, like since forever and we're going to continue with it. If it has to change, that's okay. But I'm going to double down on keeping this time.

Pam: So the connection and the relationship really trumps any content?

Heather: Definitely, yeah. Because we have a lot of connection points in our home over books and shows and story worlds. So my husband is a big science fiction fan and he's been introducing the kids, systematically to various fandoms. So he's done the original Star Trek and Star Trek, Next Generation. And then Stargate and I don't know how many of your listeners know about Stargate, but Richard Dean Anderson in the '90s and early 2000s, had this great show and really a lot of content there. And that is our connection point. My kids are waiting for college kids to come back, so they can finish the series they've been watching for two years together. So we have a lot of connection points that don't necessarily happen in a traditional meeting time. But that is, if we're going to connect strictly academically, it would be, that's the easiest time.

Heather: And then dinner time is often a meeting time for us, when my husband can join in and discuss the things that my kids are hearing and learning and bringing his perspective as well.

Pam: Right. And it sounds like the morning time is where a lot of those whole family kind of literature discussions happen.

Heather: They can. They happen like one-on-one. We're around each other all day, so if somebody asks something, a discussion will come up. So even if we don't get that official meeting time in for a day, discussion and connection will happen. But I think in the teenage years, when your focus begins to shift, especially towards the second half of high school, that's maybe the one, if you're not purposeful about bringing all of your teams together, you're going to lose something in your homeschool day, particularly. Because they're off doing their own thing, meeting their own goals in a variety of ways.

Pam: Well, let's talk about some of, and you've kind of alluded to some of this, but I really specifically want to ask you about, how much time you spend. So we know that the high school years are really demanding. There's some heavier coursework and there's a lot of commitments for the kids. Sometimes kids even get jobs and things like that. So how does that influence your plan and practice for morning time? And I know we've talked about it, but could you give me an amount of time that you spend? I mean, is there ever a point where you say, we're spending too much time on this. It's taking up too much of our day?

Heather: Well not in the high school years. I don't feel like I tread in that place, just because when my kids were younger, we did a lot of school together. You mentioned that we do unit studies and that sort of how we progress through our day, and much of our time was spent together with the kids at different levels. In high school and late middle school, my eighth graders really doing high school content. It changes, because we don't have a lot of time to work on that. If my kids are going to do the other things they want to do and not be at it for many hours longer than they would like to be. So I would say 30 minutes is our maximum, could be 45 if we have a good game going.

Pam: Okay. And let's talk about some of those games. You've mentioned games a couple of times and I wanted to ask you about specific kinds of games, that you guys might be playing.

Heather: So because I use this as a momentum builder into the day, and sort of an invitation to come to meeting time, I don't necessarily use strictly educational games. If it's a longer game, I might go Ticket to Ride, because you don't have to spend all day playing that game. Unlike other strategy games that take a lot longer. It might be a very short game, like a game of Love Letter, which is a card game or we might play a game of Codenames, which is really fantastic for a word game. I have a list of morning time games on my website, the ones that are our favorites. Set is another good one.

Pam: Oh yeah, we have that one. And we can link to the morning time games in the show notes. So I was not familiar with Love Letter but I was browsing around on Amazon looking for Christmas presents and came across Loot Letter, which is the munchkin version of Love Letter. So I do believe Santa Claus is going to drop that in a stocking this year. I'm not sure whose.

Heather: Yes. I'm so glad you mentioned that. Munchkin is one that we will pull out just sometimes, and we've had a phase of playing card games. And so we have a card game called Saboteur, which is, you're trying to get gold as a dwarf, and you lay down pathways and people are trying to stop you. So sometimes these games are short, they're easy. My 13 year old likes the shorter version, or I might let my 13 year old go and I'll play a game of Memoir 44 with my 16 year old. Sometimes, if I feel like one of them's not really in it, we'll do the bare minimum and then I'll keep going with one kid. So it just depends. Memoir is a history game, very detailed World War II game, that I'm becoming an expert at.

Pam: It's whether you want to or not.

Heather: It is quality time with my 16 year old. So I'm like, yes, sign me up. Now I'm getting better and it's messing with them.

Pam: But I love it though. I love the focus on that quality time and relationship. Well, let's talk about your role as kind of the facilitator of morning time. How has it changed, as your kids have gotten older?

Heather: Well, I am more a facilitator and less the teacher during morning times. So I would say I bring my teenagers to the table and we kind of talk about what it is that we're going to do for morning time. So mine, I tell them what my non-negotiables are, and then they come around and kind of tell me about what they prefer.

Pam: Okay. So it's very much a give and take, even on a day to day basis as you come to the table. Do you ever plan anything out in advance? You kind of have an idea for a quarter or a term or something, like this is kind of where I want to go and what I want to do. Do you ever do a family meeting about it or is it more of a organic day to day kind of thing?

Heather: It's a little bit of both. If I feel like I can plan ahead, then I might. So during the Christmas season we've been the audio of a Christmas Carol done by Tim Curry, which is fabulous. And so we might kind of focus on a seasonal item, depending on what time of the year it is. And then other times I might say, hey, I think we should cover this particular, like a geography thing, or a current event, and sometimes it's organic. Like we recently took time to watch George HW Bush's funeral, which was a fantastic chance to talk about statesmanship and things like that that we need to do for our home school requirements. So sometimes it's what opportunity comes along and other times I plan. But I encourage folks that feel like they can't plan or that planning is difficult for a number of reasons, to do it anyway.

Heather: I'm a firm believer in, you don't have to have all the ducks in a row. A lot of times we get defeated when we think everything needs to be perfect before we launch into something, and morning time, meeting time is one of those things that I think doesn't have to be etched in your plan book. It can be and a lot of people operate that way, which is fantastic, because you can do a lot of things, but I want to encourage those that feel like it's one more thing that they're not successful at, is that just bringing people together, even for 10 or 15 minutes is a win.

Pam: Yeah. Yeah. And we like to tell people start small, build slow. So even if you have one or two tricks up your sleeve and you do those for a few weeks, it's good.

Heather: Yeah.

Pam: It's all good, yeah.

Heather: And it really depends on what your purpose for morning time is. A lot of people do quite a bit of instruction during that time. And so that can be a win for large families and small families alike. But just thinking of morning time in terms of, that's a lot of teacher-led time before independent time maybe. Whereas in high school, it's really more of a conversation time and more of a time for connection, and inserting anything they're not getting at other times. And so those goals can be really small. They don't have to be huge.

Pam: Yeah. And I love the focus on, what is your goal for this time of day. So often, when we get started with this practice, we like, oh this sounds like a good idea. My neighbor's doing this, this is something I heard about at co-op or this lady on this blog wrote about it and it sounds pretty cool, I'm going to do this. And we kind of take off and get started with the idea, but before we really think about what are we trying to accomplish here. For my family, I've got three kids who are nine, 11 and 13, so our morning time can be an hour and a half. Then we're doing history together. My kids are doing cursive together. They're doing grammar together, but they're all really close in age. And so, whereas you're doing something totally different and it's okay, because we have different purposes. So I love that reminder so very much.

Heather: Yeah and I think it's important when you read blogs and look at websites and you hear about what other people are doing. Some people are very discouraged by that. Some people are encouraged until they try to get started. And what I like to say is, you read and you're inspired and then you take from that what works for you, and what fits your family. And not feel like we're not doing it because we don't do it this way, or it's not the right time or I'm not doing Shakespeare. And I think those things are less important than finding out what your goal is and what you can do.

Pam: And how that's going to benefit your family.

Heather: You really need to define your own success. Morning time, homeschooling, everything. Very much so. Yeah.

Pam: Well, okay, so give me a few more ideas. You've kind of touched on a few things, your seasonal things. You mentioned geography a few minutes ago. We know you like to do literature and play games, so what are a couple of other things you've done in morning time with your teens that are just... We know Shakespeare flopped after awhile. What are some other things you've done with your teens that have worked?

Heather: Current events works for us. Geography, I've tried mini lessons of language arts.

Pam: Give me an example because I know people want the examples.

Heather: They want the examples. Well it's actually a pretty good time, if you are familiar with Brave Writer, I'm doing mini lessons. I picked up the Boomerang on a Christmas Carol and it has a lot of discussion just on grammar, and it's a great time to insert, hey, let's talk about how you use, colons for example. Or let's talk about that controversy about the Oxford comma. Or you can sort of have fun with teenagers, if you notice a skill they need to work on, you can insert that in a fun way. And in just a matter of discussion, because they will sort of incorporate that and take it away. So if you're looking for something concrete, it's a good time to pull out your curriculum, if it's something that all of your teenagers could benefit from. For language arts for example.

Pam: Yeah, I love that idea of using one of those, and Julie sells them on her website there, I don't know, $10-11 or something like that, the little unit. Just to buy one of the arrows or the boomerangs individually. And yeah, you don't have to use it as written where kids are doing four weeks of study dictation, or something like that. There are just some great little meaty conversations you can have about the things in the book. So, that's a great example.

Heather: You don't need to do that. But this was one of those times I was sailing into Christmas. I'm experiencing a new phenomenon right now, which is, school really doesn't happen when college kids come back home, which I knew, and so I had planned that into our school year. But I wanted my 16 year old particularly, to be able to do some something light, heading into this month. And that just happened to be the perfect thing. It was risk-free to me, because I have used the Writer's Jungle as a tool in the past and thought, hey, this would be fun to actually do something real that I don't have to make up. I can just use this tool and that's the same thing with your morning time plans too. I can use this tool and as long as you use the tool, then it's worth trying out.

Pam: Yeah. Yeah, I agree.

Heather: I'm a big fan of tools in the homeschool mom toolbox. Some of them work longterm, some of them don't. But I like them.

Pam: Right. And that's the beautiful thing is that you're viewing it as a tool. And it's not a one size fits all tool. You go get the tool that's appropriate for what you're wanting to accomplish and use it for the moment. Sarah McKinsey has a great line about going in and getting, if you want to hang a picture you go get the hammer and you're not feeling guilty that you're not getting the screwdriver, because that's not the tool you need at the moment. So kind of along those same lines, I really like it. Okay. So let's talk a little bit about, you are really great at kind of coming up with these customized plans for your kid's high school educations, those what the courses on your site are about. And so I'm curious, you take what you've learned and then you use it to craft a transcript and that's in your homeschooling for College by Design course. Have you ever been able to use anything for morning time, for credits and coursework on your teens transcripts?

Heather: Absolutely. It really depends on obviously what your content is, but the morning time content that we have in our homeschool definitely contributes to the coursework that our high schoolers are doing at any given time. So it could be related to discussions. It could be related to geography. Like for example, one thing I didn't mention is that I'm doing a world cultures credit with my 16 year old this year, and I'm doing like a survey of world cultures with my 13 year old. Just felt like both of them could use a little look outside the world right around them. And so that's one thing that I wanted to focus on this year. And that content that we insert into morning time is definitely part of the larger credit hours that my teens are working on.

Pam: And so you would count the time that you spend, focusing on those particular cultural, that whatever it is you're doing in morning time that would relate to that, and you would count it towards the total credit hours.

Heather: Exactly. Yep. And that could be true for any kind of content that you're working with for your high school courses. And honestly, if you were looking for a plan for morning time in a more cohesive way to use it, that would be my suggestion, is build it into your coursework as a piece of what's happening.

Pam: So how would you track something like that, Heather, how do you? Do you just make little notes, kind of in a notebook or something? This is what we did today during morning time. And then as you go back and you're adding up those hours, you look back and you're like, oh yeah, last November we were reading about Rwanda or something like that. And you're looking for the time that you spent doing that?

Heather: Yeah, I mean I look at how much time is required for this particular course to be a full course, to earn one credit versus half or quarter credit. And then in my plan book, which is just a spiral notebook, all of my kids are in the same one since about forever. I make a note of what we're working on. So the way our teens work in their school time varies, depending on what they're working on. And I have a post about scheduling that time if that's of interest, but that's how we would keep track of it. How much time and really realize that I may not be scrutinizing over hours. What I'm really looking at is a body of work, even by the week. Did you spend three hours a week on world cultures? Morning time might have been 45 minutes of that three hours that particular week. And so it all just begins to build in to that, the credit they're going to earn at the end of the year.

Pam: All right. And I like that. And you can find out more information about how to put together a transcript like that and kind of the philosophy behind it, in Heather's two courses, which she has on her site. And yeah, send me a link to that blog post as well, in the show notes for this episode. Well, Heather as you have a mom, actually me, just go ahead and talk to me, because I got a 13 year old and an 11 year old and a nine year old. Going forward over the next few years, what important things do I need to know about transitioning from morning time with younger kids, to morning time with teens?

Heather: Well I think the most important thing is, that right now if you are orchestrating a lot and having, not just facilitating, but being the one that pulls it together, being the one that does the instruction in sort of a top down approach, that as you get kids into the teen years, you may want to flip that paradigm a little bit and have them be more of a contributor to what's happening. Because what you really want is to keep them in the game, right? What you don't want is a teenager that feels like they don't want to be told to come to this thing or to do this other thing or to be part of it. You want to keep them engaged and a part of what that time is offering. And the other thing I would say is, to be flexible, because you might have a teenager that is more difficult to work with during that time, and being able to kind of gauge how much do I die on this mountain and how much do I let this teenager fly for a little while.

Heather: Maybe it's just for a season that they'll tag out for part of morning time or all of it or bring it back in. And one of the biggest things I can say is, as your teenagers age, and they begin to do other things, try to resist the urge to keep that oldest one or two engaged, so much that you wait on them, and you don't end up doing what it is you want to do. So not sure if that's really clear, but an example would be, you really want your oldest to be involved but they have X, Y, Z activity. And so you wait and then by the time they get home, you can't get it all together.

Heather: There comes a time when you need to start letting your older teenagers go and you need to focus on whose still in your homeschool full time. And so that's my piece of advice and as homeschool moms, we want to keep doing all the things until it's time to not do them anymore. And I would say that the time to not do them anymore is probably earlier than you want it to be.

Pam: Okay. So now made us all really sad. I'm misting up over here. Thinking they're going to leave sooner than I want them to.

Heather: Yeah, and you have to understand my perspective on that, is that I have two college freshmen for the first time this year. And my oldest is 20, he's a freshman at Purdue. And he had a chronic illness that kept him in a fifth year of high school and then another medical gap year, before he was able to take advantage of his scholarship and the good time that he's going to have at Purdue. And so we had two kids leave at one time, so it's really changed. He was here for extra and then they both left at the same time. And I can look back on how we did homeschooling and think about how I might have done differently. I was really concentrating on trying to keep everything sort of the same, and it was really not happening any easily. And I think we could have been a little more robust with what was happening with the younger kids at that time. So just little things that I've learned along the way.

Pam: Yeah. Yeah.

Heather: And I think as homeschool moms, we tend to hold on pretty tight.

Pam: Yeah, we do. We do.

Heather: Which is great. It's just, it hits us all at once. That's the real key.

Pam: Yeah. Okay. On that happy note.

Heather: On that happy note, I just want to say that having college kids is awesome and having homeschool graduates is great. It's really been a lot of fun to watch them do the next thing. So I do want to leave everybody on an encouraging note. And I think that morning time was definitely a part of that for my students. For them, they're thriving because they had lots of opportunities and connection points.

Pam: And there you have it. Now if you would like links to any of the books and resources that Heather and I chatted about on today's episode of the podcast, you can find them on the show notes for this episode. Those are at pambarnhill.com/YMB61. Also on the show notes, are instructions to help you leave a rating or review of the Your Morning Basket podcast on iTunes. Their ratings and reviews you leave help us get word out about the podcast to other listeners, and we really appreciate it when you take the time to do that. Well, I'll be back again in a couple of weeks with another great interview from the archives. This one is with Dr. Christopher Perrin and his wife Christine Perrin and we're going to be talking all about prayer. Prayer in your morning time, prayer with your family and also your own personal prayer as well. It was a lovely interview, and I think you'll really enjoy it. So be sure to come back and check that one out. Until then, keep seeking truth, goodness, and beauty in your homeschool day. [/spp-transcript] 

Key Ideas about Morning Time with Teens

Heather discusses the importance of adjusting expectations for Morning Time when teenagers are involved. Flexibility is key. This includes the time of day, the location, and the content.

One of the best ways to keep teens invested in the idea of Morning Time is to let them contribute in some way. It may mean that they share something they are learning during your time together, or maybe they help decide what you learn during Morning Time. Transitioning from a more top-led Morning Time to a collaborative effort is a great way to keep teens interested in the time spend doing Morning Basket.

With a little planning and tracking your time spent, Morning Time content can be carefully crafted into credits for a high school transcript.

Making your goals for Morning Time clear will help you identify the best way to spend your time
together, especially with teenagers. Academics don’t have to be the main goal

Find what you want to hear:

  • [9:45] meet Heather Woodie
  • [10:30] Morning Time with teenagers
  • [14:50] things teens love about Morning Time
  • [20:05] importance of changing the setting
  • [22:45] Morning Time flops
  • [31:40] mom’s changing role
  • [37:05] more fun things that work
  • [40:48] using Morning Time content to earn credits for transcripts
  • [44:45] transitioning Morning Time from kids to teens

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!

  1. Click on this link to go to the podcast main page.
  2. Click on Listen on Apple Podcasts under the podcast name.
  3. Once your iTunes has launched and you are on the podcast page, click on Ratings and Review under the podcast name. There you can leave either or both! 

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!



  • Nancy Buterbaugh says:

    Yay! So happy to have this podcast back!

  • Betsy says:

    Finally got to listen–we LOVE Stargate in our house, too :-). This was a great episode and just what I needed to hear. I’ve got a 14 yo and twins who will be 13 soon, so we’re definitely transitioning to a different sort of morning time.

  • >