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It is the question we get asked more than any other. How do I do Morning Time with kids that span a wide range of ages and if I have toddlers in the mix. Well today we have the answer. In this video workshop replay, mom of ten Heather Tully shares with us why and how she perseveres and does Morning Time with her kids from ages 2 to 19.

Full of practical advice, realism, and grace this workshop will bless you as you prepare your own Morning Time.

Pam: This is your morning basket, where we help you bring truth, goodness, and beauty to your homeschool day. Hi everyone. And welcome to episode 88 of the, your morning basket podcast. I’m Pam Barnhill, your host, and I am so happy that you are joining me here today. Well, we have something just a little bit different for you on today’s episode of the podcast. We actually have a replay of a workshop that I did with a mom, Heather Tully. She is a mom of 10, and she’s actually been on the podcast here before, but she came and did a workshop with me on how to do morning, time with a wide age range of kids when you have a lot of babies and toddlers under foot and we did that workshop for the your morning basket plus membership. Since this is a question that we get all the time, I thought it would be a really great workshop to share just with everyone and the best way to do that is on the podcast. So you can go ahead and listen to the podcast. [spp-transcript]

Now I will tell you, Heather is a wonderful photographer, and I asked her to share her pictures in her presentation. It was a video presentation. So we’ve also included that video presentation on the show notes page for this episode of the podcast. So go ahead and listen, if you would like, but if you would like to see the pictures, you can go over to
And you’ll be able to actually watch the presentation and see Heather’s wonderful pictures there. So we answered so many questions in this one about what do I do about toddlers? How do I make it fit all the kids in my family? And why should I bother making time for this morning basket thing? When some days it’s really, really hard and Heather just did a great job answering those questions.
Now Heather’s training that we’re sharing with you here today is not the only one that’s in the, your morning basket plus membership. In fact, we have over a dozen trainings just for mom in your morning basket plus, and we’re going to be adding even more this year. So we would love for you to come and check that out. You have those trainings.
We also have the done for you morning time plans, which makes being consistent with the morning basket. So easy, and also our morning time explorations club, which the kids absolutely love. So if you want more information about that, come check it out So here you go, guys, all your questions answered about how do I do this with a bunch of kids,different ages and babies and toddlers. Enjoy this episode.
Good morning, everyone. How are you doing this morning? It’s a lovely day here. I know some of you guys are supposed to be getting like a snowstorm or something this weekend, I’m sorry. Or maybe it’s coming early next week. I keep seeing it on my weather app. As I stalk my weather app looking for our first like lower than 80 degree day, it’s on there. It’s supposed to be coming so, but welcome to fall in love with morning time. I am so glad you’re here today. I’m Pam Barnhill. I’m constantly obsessing about the weather, but I am so happy. You’re here as we chat about morning, time this morning with the wonderful Heather Tully, Heather. Welcome. Thanks for having me.
I am so glad you are here. So I’m going to do a couple of things. I am going to give you a quick technical rundown. If you haven’t been at one of the sessions before, and then I’m going to introduce Heather. So I am Pam Barnhill. I am the host of fall in love with morning time. We’re so happy you registered.
If you haven’t had a chance to watch some of the other sessions do go back and do so, you have until the end of the month until the end of October to do that. And we have had some fabulous, fabulous sessions so far, and just a quick note about the zoom platform. Now, because this is a parent session we’re going to let you chat the entire time you can chat with just use the chat box freely with me, Heather and each other. And tell me where you’re from this morning. If you’re listening, I know sometimes moms listen and they’re like doing dishes or folding laundry, and they can’t really use their hands. But if your hands are free, just give us a quick note in the chat box to let us know you’re breathing and where you’re calling in from.
Oh good. Jessica is from Florida. Hey Jessica. Oh, first frost in Nebraska. I love, love, love that. I’m so jealous. Okay. So Heather Tully is fabulous, fabulous resource for morning time. She has been doing morning time. How many years? 16, 16 years. 16 years of mourning time. And a lot of you guys know Dawn Garrett, who is the community manager here at and Dawn Garrett learned to do morning time from Heather Tully. So she is just a great teacher and a great resource. So when Dawn is throwing out all of this wonderful morning time advice, that’s where it all got started, was back at Heather many years ago, like 15 years ago. Right?
They were little. Yeah
They were all little, but Heather Tully is a mom of 10 and she, so obviously we have a wide age range there all the way. I’m going to try to get this right from 19 down to two. Right? Okay. So from 19 years old, down to two years old and yes, she does morning time with every single one of them together.
The 19 year old. I think is kind of phasing out just a little bit cause she’s off at college. Yeah. But Heather also is a photographer. She has a wonderful photographer. And if you’ve seen some of the recent morning time pictures that we’ve posted on my website, or even on Instagram, those have come from Heather. So Heather actually lives not horribly far from me, about three hours. And she came to my house and took pictures for us. And we’re going to have her back again to do it again before too long. But she, she takes wonderful photos and she works very hard at getting herself in the family photos as well. That’s part of her storytelling process with her photography. So she posts pictures of her, her circle time. She calls it circle time, her circle, time plans on her Instagram. And you can follow her there. And we’re going to, I’m going to put her Instagram handle in while Heather’s chatting so you can follow her and we’ll put it on the replay page as well. For those of you who are watching the replay.
So Heather, did I get all that right? I think so. I think you did. Cool. Okay. Well guys, I am going to turn this over to Heather this morning and let her, let her tell us all about morning, time tips for lots of ages, big families, and getting everyone engaged.
Great. I’m really happy to be here. Thank you Pam, for inviting me and thank you everybody for joining. I’m going to try to do something technical. I’m going to try to screen share my desktop with you all. I thought it started here with a pretty picture of all of us together. So you can see our whole family, the rest of the pictures you’ll see me in PJ’s. So this is our family.
We do have 10 children ages 19, who is my college student this year. So she has phased out of morning time. We tend to call it circle time. So I’ll probably use both of those terms today, all the way down to two. My oldest son Benjamin this year is doing dual enrollment, but he joins us in the morning for morning time before he takes off for the day and does his work.
And then I have six students this year that I’m technically homeschooling. And then the two toddlers are two and four, but we all joined together in the morning. Before we get started, we started when Patricia was about three with Bible time, little bit of catechism singing a Bible song. And then we were done for the day and that took about 10 minutes.
And now our morning time has moved into about an hour and 15 to an hour and a half, but we didn’t start there. We started with 10 minutes. We add it on a little bit throughout the years. This is my Instagram down at the bottom, Heather Tully photography. And I do love to share and interact so you can find me there.
Okay. So I get asked a lot. Why do I bother, why would I want to do morning time with all of my children at one time, it just seems like a lot of ages from high schoolers to babies. And so I wanted to discuss a little bit about the why behind joining all of those ages. And the first reason is our family culture. Morning time has become a way that I can share those cherished, read alouds with my, all of my children. We can share our favorite hymns. We can strengthen our relationships together. There’s lots of opportunities to forgive and exercise patience with the little ones, but there’s also lots of opportunities to laugh and to enjoy those stories. And it builds this culture. There’s little sayings from favorite books and folk songs that my children share with one another throughout the day.
And I hear it in their play outside Morning Time is a way for me to be efficient. I’ve got lots of students, so I’m able to cover multiple subjects at one time really quickly. So we do grammar in morning time, and we go over a sentence study and we recite some chants of grammar songs. And when I go to teach grammar later in the day,
I can go straight to the lesson. I don’t have to do review with three different students because we we’ve already covered that during morning time. And then the biggest reason why I morning time with all of my students is this an opportunity to wonder with my children. I get to learn with them and alongside of them. And that is a way to demonstrate to them that learning’s important to mama too, that she is taking the time to read the Shakespeare with them and memorize a poem. And I don’t have to speak a lot about how important it is to keep learning, because I’m demonstrating that each morning with them. So I’ll get back to wonder towards the end of the talk. It’s the big, big reason why we’re here, but let’s get real because, doing morning time with this many kids.
It’s busy. It’s very loud at times. It is very messy and everyone’s not always happy to be at morning time. So it’s loud. It, there are little people moving. They bring things to the table and it gets crowded. If you look in my lap, you see a toddler who’s fussing while I’m trying to read aloud a book. This picture was taken last year and Patricia was there and she was walking that baby who was very fussy.
And the dog is always around, usually under my feet and tripping me up. There’s lots of interruptions with little ones. You’re going to have to have patience mama to stop and encourage them. And you’re going to have to be okay with the dog barking and people wanting to get up and go to the bathroom or they can’t find their pencil. So there’s lots of opportunities to just keep going.
But in the midst of all those interruptions and all that mess, the table looks like a bomb went off every morning it’s beautiful and wonder, starts to emerge when we start focusing on those stories and on the things that we’re memorizing. And I see it come out later in their lives and their speech with one another. So it is really a beautiful time, but I do want it to be real because I want you to know that it doesn’t always look beautiful in the moment, but keep going.
So I wanted to get over some practical tips of what it is like to do morning, time with babies through high schoolers, always sitting down together. And I think it starts with us as mamas. We need, I pray a lot for God’s strength. I can’t do this homeschooling thing without him. So that’s how I start each morning. I’m asking the Lord to give me patience, asking him to help me smile and enjoy my children. Another practical tip is for you mama, to put things into morning times that you enjoy. So pick a read aloud that you’re going to enjoy reading because it’s going to take a long time to read it.
Pick a hymn that will speak and encourage your heart and help you to smile and to delight in your children. Another tip is to be consistent, and this is the hard one, but I have found the more consistent I am, the less battles I fight. Morning Time has become a rhythm of life for my family. They know after breakfast, they have a few minutes to finish up their morning chores and we sit down at the table.
The only day we don’t do it is co-op morning. So that leaves four days a week that you’re to be at the table. And so that rhythm of life, that it’s not something that might happen at two o’clock, but we’re not quite sure they know that this starts our day. Another tip is to alternate the levels of learning. So I try to put things in morning time that are going to hit the different ages of my children.
So for example, we do poetry. We read a poem every day. I pick a poem that is for the younger children. This year, we are reading A Child’s Book of Poems, and that is for my little ones, but I alternate the next day, I pick a poem this year from the Classic Hundred Poems and that’s for my high schoolers.
So I’m trying to alternate the things that they’re being exposed to and that they’re joining in on. So I can try to keep everybody engaged. Another tip is to let your high schoolers pick things. I often ask my high schoolers, what book would you like to read aloud during morning time? And I let them read it aloud. When it comes time to do it in our, in our morning time, I like to get them involved. You want to change it up. I know that I tend to get in a rut and do the same things. So sometimes it’s fun to do something fun. And that’s tricky for me. I like to say I’m not really a fun mom, but things like nature study in Morning Time. And I know that Pam has had a few talks on that during the festival.
That’s fun. And I love, you know, you pull out the paints and your children are going to be so happy during Christmas season, we do a special advent study and that brings a lot of enjoyment and it changes the pace of our morning time. Sometimes we go outside. That is just good, especially right now. We finally, Pam are getting some cooler weather and cooler being high seventies here, but we’ll take it.
And so getting out in the morning and listening to the birds and that just helps refresh everybody. So try to change it up, do something different. We tend to do our morning times by term, I have three terms for a year and I tried to pick a focus in each term that is different. So we might focus on geography, study one term, doing drawing maps. Then at Christmas season, then we’ll do the advent study and then we’ll pick something different for the third term.
A big tip mama is that you need to keep going. I mentioned in the beginning that everybody’s not always happy to be there and you need to be okay with that. I pretty much ignore those stinky attitudes unless they get distracting.
And then I’ll just ask that child to leave. And I’ll talk to that child later. But for the most part that if someone, maybe it’s mama, who’s coming in the morning time, a little grumpy, a little tired, we just keep it going. And I let the beauty of morning time, hopefully speak to that child without me having to give them a speech.
This, I took this picture a few weeks ago and I shared it on Instagram and I’m going to share this what I wrote. I often write words to my children with my photography. So I wanted to share this. It says we were squished around a table too small for our needs. One of you verbally expressed his, this case that having to be here, but I quietly pressed on. Then the morning light wrapped its golden fingers around our room. Just like the poem. We had read that same boy remarked, how much he enjoyed the personification of the sun in the poem. He noticed the light shining into the room also. And just like that, our morning time became a bit more blessed.
So sometimes the best advice is just to keep going and let the things you’re focusing on the poetry, the read alouds, the hymns, speak to your children.
Another tip is loop schedule. Pam has a lot of information about loop scheduling on her blog. And this is how I cover multiple subjects with multiple students, but I’m not going to try to do that every single day I’d wear out my children and I’d wear out myself. So I make a list of topics and we go down that list for a set amount of time, I keep my phone in front of me so that when our hour is coming up, I know to stop. I put a little marker at that spot. And that’s where we pick up the next day. At the end of our morning time, we read aloud and I do the same thing. We have a stack of books and I just go through a few books each day.
You stop when the time was up and we pick up there the next day. So it keeps us going and it keeps it fresh. Keep your little one’s hands and their mouths busy. I always say, if you feed them, they will stay. So my children. I think all homeschooling kids are hobbits. We love to eat. So I bring snacks to morning time.
I don’t bring liquids to morning time because when that spills it’s mess. So they get up and get a drink if they need to. But I definitely feed them. My kids also love to draw and to illustrate. I took Mystie Winkler’s recommendation and I get big index cards and the children draw and illustrate on those when they are not speaking. And then the little ones bring toys to morning time.
If I’m being really fun, I’ll let them bring Play-Doh. That’s not always happening, but it that’s when I’m being a fun mom. So that’s another idea for little ones. Then my last tip is let your kids move. They don’t sit for the whole hour and 15 minutes, especially the little ones. When I start reading aloud, even my big kids lay down on the floor.
I tend to walk around when I’m reading aloud because I’m tired of sitting, but it’s okay. It’s a good thing. It keeps us all together. I just, my rule is you have to stay in the room because when children leave especially toddlers, it’s dangerous. So keep them close.
So the last thing I kind of wanted to talk about this morning, and then if you have questions I can address those is beholding wonder. This is how I keep going with morning time. It’s how I’ve done. 16 years of it. And it’s how Lord willing I’ll do 16 more unless fuller brings more children or grandbabies. So knowing I have that far to go, I needed something to hold onto, to motivate me and wonder is how I do that.
Focus on stories and ideas with your children that is going to bring wonder into your morning time. And we use memory work to kind of lay a foundation to all of those stories and those ideas, but you don’t want just your children to wonder mama, you need to wonder with your child. We get to do this. I think sometimes in the busy-ness and the tiredness, we tend to forget what a gift it is that we get to sit down with our children and we get to wonder alongside them. So let go of the to-do lists. Let go of the fact that it’s not perfect, that there’s a grumpy toddler. There’s a tired teenager and be at peace. Charlotte Mason says that the teacher or you mama are a philosopher guide and a friend with your child.
And I love that picture that we are learning right with them, encouraging them along the way we get to, I think a big thing I like to tell mamas, and I tell myself is just to quietly demonstrate the love of learning. I don’t need to give them a speech. I just need to demonstrate it in my own life. And that speaks volumes to my children.
I promise that you can do this. I promise that you have the ability that even though it’s not perfect and that there might be sometimes be tears to rejoice with your children. You might have to hold down the toddler when you do so, but it’s a beautiful thing. So I just encourage you mamas to, if you’re not doing morning, time consistently, or if it’s, you don’t have all of your children there to try it, to try opening, and inviting them into your life together as a family for a few minutes a day, and to look at your children and to smile and to rejoice with them. My last slide, I’m going to show you this one. This is just, I love this picture.
We had a good friend come in and take pictures of my morning time so that I could get in there too. And just brings me so much delight to see us all around the table together. It’s, it’s just a beautiful thing. And so I did want to share, I often get asked what is some favorite resources that we’ve used and you know, of course, I’ve got my morning time basket from Pam that I love that’s filled to the brim, but these are a few of my favorites that we’ve used consistently. Andrew Pudewa was Linguistic Development Through Poetry Memorization, I’ve used that for 16 years. I love that one. We memorize through that. So, yep. And so Pam has it. It’s perfect. I have the old one too.
How to teach your children Shakespeare. That’s down in the corner. Picture, love that book. We have, we choose from that. The memory work. We, when we study a Shakespeare play, every Christmas we listen to Handel’s Messiah often, while we’re listening to Handel’s Messiah, my children are doing like a Christmas craft at morning time.
And then these past two years, we use Hallelujah from Cindy Rollins. And it was a one it’s a wonderful resource. We’ll be doing it again this year. And then our family uses Ambleside Online for our curriculum, but it’s also a great place to go. If you’re looking for picture study or composer study or a list of folk songs. So I highly recommend their website.
So thank you. Thank you for joining me. And if you have any questions Pam’s going to help me see how to do that.
Yeah. Yeah. So if you have any questions for Heather about any of the resources or anything that she talked about today, or just questions in general, she’s a great morning time mentor. So if you want to put those in the chat box,
okay. So we’ve, we’ve got one already. And I just want to say before we dive into the questions, I love the picture on the wonder slide, where you had spread out all of those, that beautiful artwork and the paints and the lettering and everything that you had done. And then right above the top were all the dishes that were left undone.
And I know you did that on purpose, but it was like, Oh, it just struck me. It was like, Oh yeah, to do all of these beautiful things, it’s okay to leave that other stuff on done.
That day I had to leave all of that mess in the kitchen so that we could then do that morning time stuff.
And it was kind of funny. Cause I went to do the dishes and the morning time stuff was there drying, you know, all the paints and it just struck me. I was like, I have to get a picture of this because this is, I had to say no to that, to be able to say yes to something better.
And I bet you don’t regret that choice at all. Do you?
No. It got done. And it was fine.
So Yeah, those dishes are not still sitting in Heather sink, well, they’re probably new dishes, but those particular dishes.
No they got done.
Okay. So Megan wanted to know, how do you plan your morning time? Do you plan just one term at a time or do you have a set time that you sit down to plan?
I think he’s talking about like long-term planning. So I talked to Pam a little bit about our planning process for our homeschool, but when I plan out our homeschool year, I plan out the whole year that usually I plan in the summer, I do it on spreadsheets. And I also plan out my morning time. So I pick which poems we’re going to memorize each term, which folk songs, which hymns I have my morning time list here. I also picked the few read alouds, at least for the first term. And so I list that in a spreadsheet and I write it out on my loop, scheduling planning sheet from Pam. And I print that for the term one and read alouds. They don’t happen. Like we don’t often finish at exact times.
I don’t know when that’s going to be done. So I start with a stack of books for the year that I’m hoping we’re going to read, and if we finish quicker, I’ll go look for another one. Certain things we’re always doing. We’re always memorizing catechism. Our family does the children’s catechism and the West Minster Confession of Faith Catechism, shorter catechism.
So always going, I don’t have to plan that. I just need a place in my loop schedule. I print out at the beginning of the year Latin review and this year we’re doing talk box and I just make sure that it’s all ready to go inside my basket. So most of the planning is in the summer. I don’t have time during the school year, to think about planning. So I try to get it all on paper, but I just hold those plans really loosely so that if I have a child who is, you know, they don’t always memorize a poem by the end of the term and you need to be okay with that. So I have a huge list and we just go, I see how far we can get through it in a year.
Now I like to think of my morning time list is a list of possibilities as opposed to a hard and fast plan because we never move things. You know, like I could feel like this huge list, you know, it’s like, Oh, it all sounds so good. And we never get through it as quickly as you know, like I could make a big list and slap term one on it.
We’re never going to get through it all in term one. So if I just look at it as like the list of possibilities and I can always add more possibilities to the bottom of the list, you know, I will get you guys, let me, let me find the morning time loop schedule. I have a place where you can download that. But yeah, it’s just a list of possibilities and we just keep working our way down the list and then you can always add new things, shuffle things.
But at the same time, I don’t have time to think of those possibilities when I’m in the middle of teaching. So I like to have that big list. Like I picked three Shakespeare place to do each year, this past year, we had to finish that third one up in the summer and that’s okay. But at least I had already picked them. I had already ordered the books. I had already downloaded. We listened to an audio version from Archangel. So I have it all ready to go. But you just want to be able to have peace when we can’t get there, which often happens.
Yeah. And you know what? It just saved that for the following year because like that’s planning you’ve already got done. So yeah. It doesn’t have to be a, a source of disappointment.
No, no, yeah. Don’t, don’t let it be your master. And I think then it’s not a disappointment. Yeah. Yeah.
So were there any other questions for Heather today? I, I tell you what Heather, when I asked you to do this, I kind of had this vision in my mind of what it could look like. And you have far exceeded that vision. Like I was over here, tearing up. I loved it. I loved the pictures. I loved everything
I get teary-eyed when I go back and I look at all those pictures through the years, cause that’s, I went back and looked through all the photography and you know how Patricia is now done. And that gets me teary-eyed and this year, possibly not sure if it’s the senior year yet for my son, he might do a little bit more dual enrolling, but I’m getting, teary-eyed thinking, Oh, two are going to be done. Then I’m going to be down to eight. It’s. It’s such a blessing to see that through the years that that family culture that we built through gathering together each morning.
Well, let me ask you how many of the pictures did you take and how many of the pictures in the slideshow were taken by somebody else? So my good friend always say her name wrong Coleen. She’s probably gonna watch this and be like, hi, I’m so sorry. But she took a lot of those that you’ll see where we’re all at the table together, but the other ones are mine. Yeah. I like to set up my camera and you can set it up as a timer and it’ll take pictures. I also will hand it. I’ll get all the settings ready and hand it to a big kid so they can snap a few.
So, Oh, that’s a good idea too. And I have some who are interested in photography, so I should do that.
So the Hayes family would like to know any tips, any more tips for keeping the toddlers busy. She has three, under three.
Yeah. I’m keeping them close. So if you notice in the pictures, the toddler sitting either on my lap or next to me and the baby’s right on the other side of me.
So keeping little ones close helps. I do let them bring little toys to morning time if they can do it quietly. So usually my boys bring cars. My little girls would bring the little Calico critters. So I’ll let them bring a handful of them and play my children love to draw. So drawing on a piece of paper or on an index card has always been a way to keep my kids still.
I pull out special markers that are just for morning time, even for the toddlers, even for the toddlers. See, I can be fun. Sometimes. Do they get covered in marker?
Yes. I have a few pictures of like I looked down one day and the toddler she had painted her fingernails, all different colors of marker. And she sitting right next to me, but I missed it. So something special, you know, like they had Calico critters that they only brought to morning time. They have special cars that they only bring the morning time. So it makes it something unique and special for them. They always bring their blankies. They tend, they tend to crawl under the table or on top of the table with their blankey.
So keeping them close. You’ll see. In some of those pictures, you saw those toddlers sitting in their siblings, lap or toddler, or being walked around the room with an older child. So food special toy, special coloring, color wonder if you don’t want real markers, you can do color wonder that only comes out during morning time. It helps make it something they look forward to.
Well, let me ask you this. Heather, have you ever had to go through a period of training where you just had like one or two kids who just got so absolutely loud that you either had to stop altogether severely shortened your morning time or say this season of morning, time is more about training this child to how to behave appropriately.
Yes. So my little Katie bug is six and when she was one, one to two years, that that year we went from a morning time that was an hour and a half to a morning time that was 20, 30 minutes on a good day because that little girl could not sit still. She just, she was mine who was walking at nine months and she climbed.
So that morning time would’ve crushed her to do it that long. So that year was about, we’re going to teach Catherine to sit. So we’re going to do morning time until she cannot sit still anymore. And then we’re gonna be done for the day. So I had to really change our plans. I had to change my expectation because it was just too hard for her.
And I had eight children and I was pregnant with the ninth that year. So I was used to a really long morning time, but I had to realize that for her, this would crush her. If we kept going at this speed and this intensity, the other tip I have is sometimes I lay babies down halfway through. So that baby will start with us.
And about a half hour in, I’ll go put that baby and therefore porta-crib for a half hour to take a nap or I’ll nurse that newborn and then go lay that newborn down. And that kind of gives us a little bit of breathing room when that littlest one is resting quietly upstairs. But yeah, you definitely, you don’t want to start with an hour and a half of the morning time, or you’ve been doing morning time for 15 minutes. I know some moms who do half hour, morning time in the morning, and then they do a half hour at lunchtime. So they take their morning time and they split it so that their little ones don’t have to sit for so long. That’s another really good tip. You don’t have to do morning.
You can do it whenever we had a season, we did morning time at night so that my husband can be around to help hold the toddlers. And so, and he’s pretty awesome because he did that for a season just because those toddlers can sit that long.
Right. Right. Kristen says she has two year olds and an eight month old who liked to have screaming matches with each other. So if that were the case, would you focus on keeping it short and maybe trying to, especially the two year olds that this is not what we do?
Yes. Yeah. I would keep, I would start short 10 minutes if, I mean, if you have two year olds, that’s there in a mean short little time, start with 10 minutes.
Talk about how this is our time, where we’re going to be quiet. Think of something you can do where they can make noise, sing a song. We’ve done Bible songs where my children marched around the room as we’re singing the Bible song and not let some of that wiggles get out and they get to be really loud when they’re pretending to be Goliath.
So give them that moment, but then start to teach them. Okay, now we’re going to sit. Here’s your coloring? Here’s your car to play with? This is your quiet at time when other people are speaking. So it’s, it becomes a training time. And the thing is, is when you’re doing it every day and it’s just a little bit, but it’s done every day. They start to, they learn, Oh, Hey, for this short little time, I’m going to be quiet. And then when we’re done, mom’s going to let me go outside. We almost, we almost always end our morning time with go outside for 10, 15 minutes. We often do something called a Swedish drill. We get up and we move and we stretch. They often get another snack because they’re starving. And so they know that’s coming when they’ve had that quiet time with me, but definitely work in some wiggle with the move.
Yeah. I liked that idea of alternating between like, we’re going to sit and listen, and then now we’re going to get up and sing a song, the reward at the end. And I think it was Cindy Rollins who talked about, you know, morning, time is the perfect training ground for teaching your child how does to sit still in church, right?
Yeah. I was gonna say that. That’s how people wonder. That’s how we get our kids to sit the church. We have other times where we’ve gathered as a family and do family worship, but that’s really that’s much shorter. Morning Time as much longer. And it’s helped my children to learn how to sit through worship because they’re used to sitting with me for about an hour and a half. Yeah.
So it’s, it’s, we’re not going to say it’s easy. It’s not easy, you know, and it definitely should be taken in small doses. But you know, that habit training is just as an important part of the morning time as memorizing the poetry, singing the hymns, looking at the art and reading the Shakespeare. So, and don’t read Shakespeare if your oldest is five, Right?
Yeah. Like, and my little one, the kids kind of know there’s things we do as a group. So we recite a poem together, but then I go around the room and everyone recites a different poem that they’re learning. Well, they know they can tune it out. At that point, they don’t need to listen. So they start playing with their toys or coloring or getting up to go to the bathroom again, they know they’re allowed to tune out, but then they know when we go over to Bible memory, everybody needs time for everybody to recite their Bible memory together. So they have times where they’re tuning in and then they have times where they’re allowed to zone out. And sometimes I have to, I have to have to say, Oh, you got to play a little quieter, you know, I can’t hear myself speaking because you’re playing with your cars, but giving them that time where they have to engage, but then they, they can kind of zone out for a little bit, helps them all stay put. So my little ones, we can zone out doing Shakespeare. They don’t need to be listening to that portion. Just my big kids.
But you find that they probably do sometimes
They do. It’s kind of amazing how, when you get there, like they already heard it so often. They’ve already it’s it’s there even though you don’t think they’re listening, they’re paying attention. Yeah.
So what, at what age do you add to your morning time? Do you just base it off your kid’s abilities? Okay. So I’m thinking that this is you have a younger kids and then you’re adding more and more as they get older.
I’m thinking that’s what the question is. So clarify for me if that’s not the question.
Okay. But so I’ll go our morning time. It really does. Through the years, it’s begun to look very similar. My children get a binder, Mystie Winkler again, I use her better binder idea and I put our morning time sheets and page protectors. You get a binder when you turn six or when you learn to read, I think last year I made one of my children wait, because she wasn’t quite reading. So you get a binder when you start to read and that’s kind of your, you’re officially a part of morning time. You need to follow along, turn over the different sections that we’re in. But before I give them the binder, even my four-year-old is memorizing some poetry.
That’s the beauty of that poetry that Andrew Pudewa has is they can memorize Ooey, Gooey very easily. And they feel, think it’s just beam when they get to recite poetry. So some of the things I start them from the day, they’re little memorize, a Bible memory, learn a Bible song. They sing their folk songs with us, but officially they don’t get a binder to join in until six or seven years old.
And that’s Quite the Rite of passage at your house.
It’s probably Pretty huge, like to be able to have your own binder at the morning time. I think that’s pretty awesome. But even the little ones, like when we do picture study, I print out a picture and everybody has their own and they look at it. So even though, you know, even the four year old is sitting there looking at the picture study and I’ll ask them, well, what did you notice about the painting today? And he’ll point out something. So you can involve those little people, but they just don’t have an official, you know, I keep their memory work shorter and they don’t have an official binder, like the big kids.
All right. I haven’t seen any other questions come through. So we are going to wrap it up. Heather, I cannot thank you enough for coming on. This was a wonderful session and just so inspiring and practical, and I love the photos and the glimpses into your morning time. So thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for having me.
Yeah, you can do this mama. I promise.
That’s what I tell people. There are like, Heather could do it. You can do it. And I’m sitting over here feeling guilty. Boy, I never want to print out pictures for my kids because it uses up so much ink and I only have three kids and Heather’s over there printed printing ten.
Okay. So you send them out to like Walgreens or something like that. It’s actually an online website. I send it to you because Walgreens is okay. But this year I splurge and I mean, I’m sorry. Impacts. Did you send them to Epix? No, I’ll get on. I’ll put it on my, I’ll put it on my Instagram stories today.
It’s an actual, it’s a different place. I heard about it through the Ambleside camp and just the quality of the prints is just, I just realized if we were going to do picture study, it needed to look beautiful. It needed to be big and it needed to have good print quality. I’m a photographer. It has to have good print qualities.
So look good. It has to look good. Okay. And one more time before we go, I’m going to share, I had it pulled up and I shared it earlier that I want to share it one more time. Heather’s Instagram. I’m multi-screen it here. So, okay. So let me put that and you guys all go follow her because it’s a fun Instagram to follow lots of great information.
All right. Thank you, Heather. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much. And we’ll talk to you soon. Bye every body.
And there you have it. Now, if you would like links to any of the resources that Heather and I chatted about today, and also an opportunity to see the video version of this podcast, with all of the wonderful photography, then you can see that on the show notes for this episode of those or add And also over there, you can get information on how you can join your morning basket, plus for dozens more trainings like these, including new ones this year, and our done for you. Morning basket plans. Now we’ll be back again in a couple of weeks with another great a morning time interview until then keep seeking truth, goodness and beauty in your homeschool day.

Links and Resources from Today’s Show

A Child's Book of PoemsA Child’s Book of PoemsHow to Teach Your Children ShakespeareHow to Teach Your Children ShakespeareLinguistic Development through Poetry MemorizationLinguistic Development through Poetry MemorizationHallelujah: Cultivating Advent Traditions With Handel's MessiahHallelujah: Cultivating Advent Traditions With Handel’s MessiahThe Westminster Confession of FaithThe Westminster Confession of Faith


Key Ideas about Morning Time with Many Ages

Some of Heather’s best tips for success in your morning time include spending time in prayer asking God to guide your family’s learning, picking things you enjoy, and finding ways to hit all the age groups in Morning Time. It can also help to let the older kids pick things for Morning Time and even let them do some of the reading. Let the beauty of what you are learning speak to your children and just keep going. Consistency in Morning Time is key and will help establish a routine.

The daily struggles of Morning Time can make it hard to stay consistent, but one of the best motivators to keeping up with it is to behold wonder. Allow the stories and ideas take front and center and learn alongside your children. It’s important for our kids to see us learning.

Be willing to adjust the length of your Morning Time as necessary. Sometimes, it may be necessary to shorten Morning Time in order to focus on training one of the younger ones to sit still and participate quietly. Keep the little ones close during Morning Time and have some special activities for them to do that allow them to learn with everyone. And, when things are challenging, use it as an opportunity to practice patience and extend grace.

Find What you Want to Hear

  • [3:46] meet Heather
  • [8:33] Heather shares how Morning Time got started
  • [10:12] the reason Heather does Morning Time even with all its challenges
  • [14:13] some practical tips to have success
  • [19:46] loop scheduling in Morning Time
  • [22:07] beholding wonder
  • [25:07] sharing some favorite resources
  • [28:18] long term planning for Morning Time
  • [33:32] keeping toddlers busy and adjusting for younger ones
  • [42:00] knowing when to add to Morning Time and keeping it organize

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