YMB 13 Plutarch 101: A Conversation with Anne White

Anne White is a mother of three, a long-time member of the Ambleside Online Advisory Board, and the author of numerous resources on the Greek-born Roman historian Plutarch. She joins us on this episode of the podcast to help us figure out how we might approach reading Plutarch with our kids during Morning Time.

Who was Plutarch? What did he write about? Why did Charlotte Mason consider him worthy of inclusion in her course of study? What can modern-day students hope to glean from learning about people and events from so long ago?

Anne answers these questions and so many more. She explains that the purpose of reading Plutarch is not to get bogged down in names and dates from ancient history, but rather to share stories with our children and, in doing so, to help them grow in virtue and character.

Anne shares how she herself did not understand Plutarch on her first reading, but began to enjoy him after additional reading and study. In sharing her story, Anne reminded me that I can be a fellow learner alongside my children as we approach subjects like these during Morning Time.

Listen along as Anne brings Plutarch to life!


This is Your Morning Basket where we help you bring Truth, Goodness, and Beauty to your homeschool day. Hi everyone, and welcome to episode 13 of the podcast. I’m Pam Barnhill, your host, and I’m so happy you’re joining me here today. Well, I don’t know about you guys, but I have often heard the name Plutarch thrown about in Charlotte Mason circles, especially as I’ve researched things on the AmblesideOnline website, and also on Cindy Rollins’ blog as I read more and more about Morning Time over there. But I’m going to be perfectly honest, I had no idea who this Plutarch guy was, except he was somebody that Charlotte Mason people were supposed to read. Well, I have found us an expert today who can talk to us a little bit about, not only who Plutarch was, what he wrote about, how Charlotte Mason used him in her schools, but also how we might use him in our homeschools. Anne White is here to give us some great tips and talk to us a little bit about how Plutarch might help our students. So with no further ado, let’s hear what Anne has to say.

Anne White is a mom of three, a writer, and a longtime member of the AmblesideOnline Advisory Board. She blogs both at Dewey’s Treehouse and at AnneWrites.ca, and she also writes for the Ambleside Advisory blog, Archipelago. She has a deep understanding of the ideas behind Charlotte Mason’s approach to education and she recently published a book about those ideas called Minds More Awake. Anne has written numerous resources on Plutarch including The Plutarch Primer, The Plutarch Project, and many Plutarch study guides for AmblesideOnline. We’re thrilled to have her join us today to talk about how we can incorporate Plutarch into our Morning Time. Anne, welcome to the show.

Read Full Transcript

Anne: Thank you, it’s great to be here.
Pam: We are so glad to have you. Could you start by telling me a little bit about Plutarch? Who was he? And when did he live? And what did he do?
Anne: I had to look up the date because I always forget, but he lived from AD46 to 127. He was a Greek who became a Roman citizen partway through his life. He was a priest at Delphi and also, sort of, the mayor of that town as well, which meant that he had a lot of connections, he knew a lot of interesting people, he had times at his house when people just came and talked, and he actually ended up having (I don’t know whether he wrote them himself or had somebody transcribe them) but some of the dialogues went into a book of essays called The Moralia, but he’s also a historian, and he was interested in exploring some of the early Greek and Roman leaders and heroes, both the ones that were not so far removed from his own time, and some that were so far back that he really had to dig sometimes to come up with resources, and he often ends up comparing two or three sources, and it is a bit frustrating sometimes he’ll say, “You know, so-and-so says this and so-and-so says that, but well we’re not sure it may not have been.” But that is so common. Things haven’t changed that much when you’re trying to figure out what did happen 500 years ago or sometimes you’d like to know who the best resources are.
Pam: That’s interesting.
Anne: So, anyway, he wrote the book that we’re talking about here is actually his Lives of the Nobles Greeks and Romans, also called Parallel Lives. It’s called Parallel Lives because in most of them he took one Greek and one Roman person and tried to pair them up. Sometimes that may have been a little bit forced– it is interesting how he tries to pair people up. Usually he does a pretty good job, but what we usually do is, we don’t tend to worry so much about the Parallel Lives, we just take them as they come, one at a time. There are a about 23 pairs of lives that are still around that we can read, and he also refer to, sometimes he’ll say, “See my life of so-and-so but we don’t have that anymore” so I know that there were some maybe who disappeared in the meantime.
Pam: That’s fascinating. I never knew that they were paired up. I’ve always heard Plutarch’s Lives, I’ve never heard of Parallel Lives, so speak for just a moment about how he was trying to pair these lives up. Was he looking for comparing or contrasting or “this is a statesman and this is a statesman, let’s look at how they can compare?”
Anne: It’s a bit of both. Since he was the first moral biographer, he was really interested in how character influenced people and how people influenced the world around them. So often he would choose one general and another general, or something like that, or he might seem to choose maybe by a character quality to super brave people or something like that.
Pam: Alright.
Anne: It’s not something to worry about so much, again, the parallel thing, at least in our terms. We just tend to take them one at a time, although the comparisons are interesting, but we don’t put a whole lot of emphasis on.
Pam: So, he was a historian, basically, and he was sharing these histories of lives long before him, but also of some of his contemporaries as well?
Anne: Yes, some were more recent for him would have been Julius Caesar, relative terms had only died a hundred years or so before he was born, would have seemed like someone relatively new at that time. And then there might have been some people around who knew some people who knew some people who had had to have been there.
Pam: That is true. So, how did you become so interested in Plutarch?
Anne: I wasn’t quite at first. When we first started the AmblesideOnline curriculum, when it was getting started, my daughter wasn’t quite old enough to really be into Plutarch at that point. So we just concentrated on the things that we were doing. There was a rotation of Plutarch’s Lives up on the AmblesideOnline website, but I didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to it at that time. But after a couple of years my daughter was about 10 and I thought ‘well, it’s time to figure out what this is about’ and I guess we just took the next one on the rotation and started reading it and really, I can’t even remember whether we got through the full first term of that or not, but it was really frustrating. It was just a, kind of, seat of the pants thing. And we kept reading but it wasn’t really making a whole lot of sense to us. So the second time around, I think it was after the summertime, so during that summertime, I had thought, ‘you know what, I really want to do a little bit better this time around so I’m going to read it through myself and see what I need to know ahead of time.’ And I kept on reading it and circling things and looking things up, and eventually I had enough of it that I thought this is good, this will work for us this term, and actually it did, and ended up putting it on the website to share with anybody else who wanted to use it, and then as we kept on moving through Plutarch I just kept adding to them, and there was some time in there just because of my own children’s ages and our family that I didn’t get anything new done or I started something and didn’t finish it, but we did keep going with them, but especially when it got easier, past few years to access North Translation Online, which we can talk about that afterwards, but that sort of got things going again and I started working through the old studies again and re-doing some of these notes. And more recently than that, that’s turned into a book form as well.
Pam: Right. So this was basically out of necessity because there wasn’t anything else out there really that you could
Anne: That was it. I saw Shakespeare guides out there but I couldn’t find anything to use with Plutarch.
Pam: Well, it’s really interesting. I was an English Literature major and I’m very familiar with Shakespeare, and I had never heard of this guy named Plutarch at all, until I became a little more familiar with Charlotte Mason. And even, a lot of other Charlotte Mason curriculum out there, for lack of a better word, don’t even mention Plutarch, it was only AmblesideOnline where I first saw it.
Anne: Well, it is kind of funny because some of the things you read it seems that up until about the last century everybody knew Plutarch. If you said Plutarch’s Lives or Plutarch it seems to have been much more familiar. There’s an essay by Emerson where he says something like, “Something so familiar we don’t really need to go into detail about” and even, I found fascinating, there’s this passage in Frankenstein, where the monsters talk more about the books he’s reading and one of them was Plutarch’s Lives and all the things he was getting out of that. So it just seems to have, it has become obscure, but it seems to have been only the last century or so and before that I think at least knowing basically what Plutarch was was a lot more common.
Pam: That is interesting.
Well, tell me, why read Plutarch? When we’re reading it with our children what’s our goal?
Anne: In Charlotte Mason’s curriculum Plutarch’s Lives was part of what they called Citizenship. So each term under Citizenship from about age 9 or 10 and up, they had two or three books that dealt with morals and civics and social awareness and so on. And one of Plutarch’s lives was almost always included under that heading, so, one biography of one person. Occasionally if it was a long one they might spread it over two terms, but usually it was one person one term.
Pam: And we should say that a Charlotte Mason term is 12 weeks long, and there were three in a year. Correct?
Anne: Right. Some people actually called Charlotte Mason’s whole curriculum a character curriculum. You know, character, citizenship, they’re so closely tied together, and I think the citizenship books (besides the Bible studies they got their own subject) were really the heart of her whole emphasis on character and educating for virtue, and just ideas like being able to think about what’s good for your community, and thinking globally as well. I think those are some of the original goals, and I think that hasn’t changed. I think that’s still the same. There’s another passage where Charlotte Mason talks about opening the door. I always thought of it as the door of a giant library, but I think she was actually talking about the large room. She liked to quote from Psalm 31:8 where it says “set my feet in a large room” so we’re looking for ideas and education, that something that takes us out of our own time, out of our own lives, but shows us how cultures change, ideas change, but when we read even something from so long ago, like Plutarch’s Lives, we find that people are still the same. And practically speaking, it teaches us how to be leaders, it teaches how to be followers. It gives us some equipment for high ideals and just, in terms of really practical things, it can teach us about history and vocabulary and all kinds of things like that.
Pam: So there are kind of two layers? There is the history and vocabulary but also, you know, so many homeschool families you get online and they’re looking for character training or I’m looking for something to help teach my kids virtues, and this was it. This was Charlotte Mason’s character and virtue, and citizenship training as well.
And that never goes out of style, that’s always relevant.
Anne: I think so.
Pam: Well, talk to me a little bit about age range. Now, you said you did not start with Plutarch until your daughter was about 10, and I’m assuming you read it in the original, though could you speak a little bit to Plutarch for children, and talk to me about how this might be done with a wide age range of children.
Anne: That one’s a little trickier. This is one of the books that Charlotte Mason actually had most teachers and parents read out loud. One of the problems was that Plutarch, he often includes unsuitable material, so she didn’t really want, unless they could find a version that was already sort of cleaned up, she didn’t really want the students reading it just for themselves, she expected that the teachers or the parents would be able to edit on the fly as they went. In a way that’s good because it’s such a good read aloud book, it makes it a great choice for Morning Time or whenever you have the children together and different ages and groups. I probably wouldn’t use it, though, in the original listed as much under 10 just because Plutarch’s style especially in the older translations is still quite difficult. And a lot of the things, some of the really big ideas that you’re talking about, those things that we’re aiming at this with all your students, my guideline is always if they’re ready to read Shakespeare in the original they can probably handle Plutarch.
Pam: OK.
Anne: But probably not so much [**inaudible** 13:27]. Well there are children’s retellings of Plutarch, sort of like Lamb’s Tales for Shakespeare, you can access a lot of them online and I know some people use them so that they can include younger children or sometimes they used to use them as an introduction to the original versions, but for Charlotte Mason’s students, Plutarch was really something, they saved them til they were old enough to get the most out of it. It’s kind of like not giving you your little kid’s lego or until they’re really old enough to make something with it.
Pam: Or know better than just to stick it in their nose.
Anne: Like that.
Pam: So, talk to me a little bit about translations, and then you mention that some families do use some of the children’s translations. So I’m going to go ahead and have you, is there a children’s translation you would recommend, first of all? And then I’m going to ask you to tell me about your favorite translation of the originals.
Anne: The children’s versions, they kind of range from ones that are so made easy for children that there’s hardly anything left.
Pam: Right, don’t recommend those. Tell us a good one.
Anne: There are a couple on the Baldwin Project, you can access there (there’s a couple of good ones there). But there’s also one you can get on Project Gutenberg by a guy named White, and she pretty much takes Dryden’s Translation which we can talk about that in a minute, and he takes out the bad parts and he doesn’t adapt the language too much.
Pam: OK.
Anne: So you’re looking for something pretty close to the original but not necessarily easier just shorter and cleaned up, that you know, is right. The ones in-between, I’m sorry I can’t think of ones right now, but there’s a couple on the Baldwin Project that are not too bad if you’re looking for something like that.
Pam: OK. So, now talk to us about original Plutarch, where you may have to do a little editing of your own on the fly, which translations of that can you buy?
Anne: In the study guides they’ve been included in the text and often so people know, we often take care of anything that’s going to be really objectionable, but still, leave enough so somebody can make your own decisions on it, but when I started doing the study guides, the easiest translation online to access was Dryden’s, which he did that in the 1600’s. Charlotte Mason always talked about North’s, but North’s is even older, and you figure it’s got to be even harder because, you know, well, it was 100 years before Dryden’s and it was harder to find at that time, it was harder to access. So when I started writing them, I just based everything I did on Dryden’s. Lately I’ve been working, re-working on to use North’s, and I find I really enjoy North’s. Sometimes he has very earthy language, not meaning dirty or anything, just he uses very clear metaphors, language that I can see why Charlotte Mason liked it. Do you want to hear a quote?
Pam: Sure.
Anne: Well, there’s this one where Dryden, he’s talking about some people who [**inaudible** 16:25] by Timoleon, and it said that “the Carthaginians (this is Dryden’s translation) were not a little vexed to see themselves outwitted” but North says “they were ready to eat their fingers for spite.”
Pam: Wow.
Anne: I read that and thought, whether it’s older or whether you think the language is sometimes more difficult, I’m enjoying the way he’s putting his sentences, sometimes it’s easier to understand.
Pam: It’s more colorful.
What might it look like? So we have these translations and I should say that we’re going to link to both of those in the Show Notes, and families have a couple of options. We’re going to talk a little bit about your materials later where you do include the translations but they can also go and find these online and Gutenberg or the Baldwin Project. So when I have my Plutarch in front of me, what might it look like in Morning Time for me to be doing Plutarch with my children? How much should I read, and then what do we do with it once we’ve read it?
Anne: Charlotte Mason tried to make it easy. She said it should be read without too much explanation or comment. She kind of thought of it as a gift that we were passing from one person to another, and I think that takes a lot of pressure off the parents because we don’t have to feel like we need to be experts on everything about Greek and Roman history. But at the same time, I remember that first term where we were, kind of, blundering our way through Demosthenes, so that’s why I’ve continued to write the study notes, they’re really more for the parents than the students, because sometimes we’re the ones who need more hand holding. But when you’ve got what you want to read, you could start with the first lesson. It’s always good to ask some questions and find out what they already know about the person or about the time that’s going to be discussed, or try to make some connection with something else they’ve already studied, or maybe the last Plutarch’s life that you read. If it’s not the first week you’re doing it, you might want to connect with the last lesson and ask, for examples, of some of the big ideas that you were talking about, like how someone showed courage or honesty. You can give them a little preview of what’s ahead. This is before you start: they can look things up on a map. You give them a couple of things to look for, if that’s going to help them understand the story. You can also talk about vocabulary a little bit. In the study guides, sometimes long lists of vocabulary and it’s not intended that those be used word for word for word, it’s just three or four is probably enough if it’s something that’s really, something that they’re going to need to know to make sense of the story. It’s helpful to go through that ahead of time. Charlotte Mason used to write character’s names on the blackboard as well, especially with a book that was being read out loud so they can make those connections. And then you just read a little at a time, go slow, focus on the narrative and the people involved; what they did, what mistakes they made, how their choices affected other people. Have students narrate afterward either oral or written, they can make entries in Books of Centuries. You can stop and ask for narration and more than one point in the reading. We’ve often done that, especially, as long as, what’s natural with Plutarch sometimes his sentences go on and on and on, like five semicolons later you stop and you’re still on the same sentence and you go, “what just happened there?” and sometimes that is not just a constructed question, actually asking and sometimes the kids can tell you better than you’d figured out yourself at that point.
Pam: Right, and so we shouldn’t be afraid to take Plutarch in very small chunks right? We shouldn’t feel like a failure if all we’re getting through is a few paragraphs or a couple of pages a day?
Anne: That’s fine. I think Cindy Rollins has said that she used to, because she was doing Morning Time every day, she would break it down into quite small chunks and she’d say sometimes they’d only get through a very little bit at one time, but that was OK. It’s whatever works best, whether you’re doing it once a week or more often, that would also depend how much … rather than trying to get through a whole life in a term, that is a good goal, but if it takes longer and they just want to do a little bit at a time, well, that’s OK too.
Pam: Hearing you say that because this is about citizenship and character and virtue, that we’re not going to get lost in the minutia of Plutarch of worrying about facts and dates and things like that, but we really want to focus on the ideas. So, how might you help? What suggestions could you give to moms for helping to have discussions and focusing on those big ideas that Plutarch’s going to bring to the table?
Anne: Hopefully some of it is if the students are narrating and hopefully some of those ideas might just come out, from the narration. They might just pop out with their own ideas and things that they want to say about what they heard. But if they don’t, you can raise points, like asking for examples of where you’ve seen particular character traits and then let the discussion continue from there because maybe there will be disagreement over whether somebody did something was it actually a generous thing to do?, was it just a good for popularity?, sometimes Plutarch will even, he’ll say “they say that he did this because … but I think it was …” So actually Plutarch is really good for that. Not everything is always cut and dry. He’ll say “so-and-so was always generous” but sometimes people are not always consistent and that really comes through. One thing about Plutarch’s writing really shows the human side of people. Often he’s very funny, too. Even on this serious side he makes it easy to see that it doesn’t matter if the Kings or Generals or whatever they still come from somewhere, they still have struggles, they still make mistakes sometimes.
Pam: Right. Would you say Anne that these are, kind of, you know how we take young kids and we read them fairy tales and we do that because good is good and bad is bad and you can clearly see those differences, as opposed to stories that are written for adults where you have kind of these archetypal characters and there are all of these different nuances and things like that, is Plutarch a good inbetween for those kinds of things?
Anne: There’s a quote from Charlotte Mason says that Plutarch is, she says he’s like the Bible in just telling you what happened and letting you decide; “this is what the person did.” Now, I think sometimes actually Plutarch does come down and say that was a really evil thing of them to do, so I don’t think he’s always quite “non-judgmental.” He’s coming from somewhere and he’s got opinions too of silly things and evil things and stuff like that, but no, I don’t think his people turn out to be, that they’re all black and white, just archetypes. There are a couple of them that are sort of legendary but most of them were historical characters, they have the time, they have the place, they have a background, they have a family, they have a disagreement with each other. It’s not always easy for them to decide what to do and it’s not always 100% “yeah, he should have done that, definitely he should have done that.”
Pam: Sounds like there are a lot of opportunity for great discussion and maybe even debate around the Morning Time table when you’re reading Plutarch.
Anne: I have heard about it. I actually heard last summer I heard a story from a co-op in Tennessee where they had actually had a debate. They had done two terms of Plutarch and at the end of the second term they had a debate over whether or not the two characters, they had different issues, they said which one would be a better president of the United States, and which one would be better at this and better at that, and the students in that group actually had a formal debate over it. And as I heard it, it continued on even after the school year was done, they were still talking about it later on.
Pam: Oh, that’s awesome. That’s really great.
Anne: It was.
Pam: Yeah. What are some of the big ideas that Plutarch brings to the tables? We talked a little bit about citizenship and virtue, but of that, what kind of ideas will we find when we start to study Plutarch?
Anne: That is a really good question.
Pam: So lots of different ideas is what you’re telling me?
Anne: Yeah, all the character virtues and positive/negative, lots of opportunities. Since a lot of them have to do with leaders who were also military leaders. For a lot of them it kind of went hand in hand, if they were elected to a public office they were also expected to be leading the military as well. A lot of the stories he is telling often have to do with battles and power shifts and sieges and things like that. So there’s a lot of things about courage, using wise military strategies, even things like how to get elected, stuff like that. If you’re looking for the sorts of stories that come up a lot of the time, it will be how he won the battle or how they managed the people under them, whether that was in a military sense or just as a civic leader. I think there’s a Charlotte Mason narration question that’s come up, I think it’s in one of her books as, “How did, under Hercules, how did they beautify the city? What great improvements did they make? And that was during the building of the Parthenon; all that stuff during the golden age of Athens. So it’s not always about war, there’s other things that go on as well. Also in the time of Hercules where they’re at war and he has to make a decision whether or not, what to do with all these people that live in the surrounding area of the walls of the city, and he makes a decision, bring the people into the city for their own safety but it causes all kinds of other problems and there’s a plague and then eventually, Hercules ends up getting blamed so there’s all kinds of risks that you take when you’re in power because eventually it would stop with you and you have to make those decisions. It’s not always easy.
Pam: Right, and it lets you see some of the nuances. No decision is every easy because there are so many different things to consider.
OK, so are any of the lives about women, or is it all men?
Anne: There are women in some of the stories (I don’t think anybody’s ever asked me that before) but no, all the ones that I’m aware of, they’re all named after men. But he does have some good women characters as well. And Publicola’s daughter, Valeria, and her friend, they get settled which to the other side is hostages during a war, but kind of get bored. They lived over, literally on the other side of a river, with nothing to do so they decide to make a break for it and swim home. You can just imagine these teenage girls doing this, and then showing up all wet at her father’s house, and he’s not impressed and he sends them right back again. There are other female characters as well.
Pam: Fun. OK, well, talk to me about where would you start? Because like you said there are a number of different stories, so if I were going to start, do you have one or two that would be best for me to start with?
Anne: Well, I’ve always like Publicola. We started it as our second attempt of Plutarch because something Charlotte Mason has said, she said that the children can never get enough of Publicola. I didn’t know who Publicola was but OK, if they can never get enough of Publicola, well, we’ll try that one out. And what had turned out was, it was a good choice because it clearly shorter than some of the others and one of the lessons is a little bit gory but most of it there isn’t too much that would need to be omitted, and Publicola, I like him because he’s seems to be one of the good guys so I always side with him. Some of the characters are really more complex and maybe better saved for a couple of years until the kids are little bit older and a little bit more familiar with the style. But Publicola is pretty easy to understand what’s going on, so that’s one person. Another idea would be to just start with somebody that you’ve heard of. Plutarch wrote lives of Julius Caesar and Alexander the Great and other people that a lot of people have heard of, so his life of Brutus is a good one, that like goes with Julius Caesar. That was actually one that Shakespeare drew on for his own plays. Plutarch was one of Shakespeare’s favorite writers as well. It’s really interesting sometimes to see the parallels that come of it and how Shakespeare drew on the Plutarch story to construct his play.
Pam: That is interesting. Well, tell me a little bit about your resource guides that you’ve put together. How might those help a family to get started with studying Plutarch?
Anne: Most of what’s in the books, we just really did the books as a convenient form for people because most of what’s in them is actually on the AmblesideOnline website and can be accessed for free, other than a bit of introductory material. A lot of people had just said, “is it possible to get it in print so I don’t have to print out 50 pages every term?” The one that I worked on the last one, Publicola, I really did put a little bit of extra into that, which is also, again, that’s been updated and added to the AmblesideOnline website as well. So if you want to see what’s in the books, most of it really is on the website as well, it’s just some people would just prefer to have it in a kindle version or print version. But with the Publicola one I tried to do a little bit of extra, I guess you’d say, hand holding for the parents especially because I remember you’re just getting this big wad of stuff about a time and a place that you may not be that familiar with, especially at the beginning I put in a few places where “this is a good place to stop and narrate” and then as it goes I think people get more comfortable with it and they should, kind of, figure that out for themselves.
Pam: So, I’ve looked at a sample, I haven’t looked at the book itself. We are going to use it in our co-op next year, but basically, you have the text there that you have, for the most part, taken the worst pieces out of and families/mothers might still decide to edit a little more on the fly, and then interspersed within the text you have suggestions for them to stop and narrate. Is there any other information that’s in there?
Anne: I usually put a list of vocabulary in, which again, you don’t need to go through that word for word but it’s to save having to look things up in another place since it’s right there. Also, discussion questions; sometimes I draw from Scripture parallels, anything else that seems like it might be a good point to bring out during discussions. Any other bits of information that might be helpful, such as sometimes Plutarch does assume that you know who so-and-so was or what such-and-such about was, so if it was something that I had to look up I would add that in as well. Anything that I think might be helpful and put it all in one place for people.
Pam: So, if we wanted to study Publicola, where would we start with that? Which book of yours would we get?
Anne: Well, the Publicola study is on the website but the book is called The Plutarch Primer, so that is just the Publicola study.
Pam: And then what will I find in the Plutarch Project?
Anne: The Plutarch Project we have the first volume of it came out this year, and that’s just the three lives that were already scheduled on AmblesideOnline website. We have a rotation of several years so you know what’s coming and what the next one is to do each term, so the three that were scheduled for this school year are in Volume 1.
Pam: And who are they?
Anne: The three that are for this current school year are Marcus Cato the Censor, Philopoemen, and Titus Flamininus.
Pam: And so those guys are included in the Plutarch Project, Volume 1.
Anne: Volume 2 should be coming out early next year.
Pam: Great, great. Well, Anne, thank you so much. I was totally clueless before we started doing this, and I really appreciate all the great new information that I’ve learned about an interesting way, a compelling way, to teach character, virtue and citizenship to my children, so I appreciate you coming on.
Anne: Oh, well, you’re most welcome. Thank you.
Pam: And there you have it. Now, our Basket Bonus for this episode is a procedure list for the steps that Anne gave us for doing a Plutarch lesson. If you’ve been around my blog for a very long time, you know that procedure lists are some of my favorite ways to tackle homeschooling subjects in kind of a no-brainer way for mom, taking all the decision fatigue out of homeschooling by making a list of steps that you can follow to teach a specific lesson. Printing that out and sticking it, say, in your Morning Time Binder. So what I’ve done is I took the steps that Anne gave us in the podcast today for doing a Plutarch lesson and I typed them up on a procedure sheet for you to put in your Morning Time Binder and to keep handy if you attempt to do Plutarch in your homeschool. So you can head on over to the Show Notes for this episode, that’s EDsnapshots.com/YMB13 to download your very own procedure list. And thank you so much guys for joining me here today. I hope you found lots of useful information like I did. All of the resources and links to the different Plutarch translations are available in the Show Notes, so you can get those there. And we’ll be back in a couple of weeks with another great episode for you. Until then, keep seeking Truth, Goodness, and Beauty in your homeschool.

Key Ideas about Plutarch in Morning Time

Charlotte Mason included Plutarch as part of a robust citizenship component of her curriculum. His writings contain valuable examples (and counter-examples) of virtue and character.

When we read Plutarch in Morning Time, our goal is to look for big ideas, such as leadership, courage, wisdom, and decision-making.

Mom does not have to be an expert: read little chunks, narrate, discuss, and focus on the big ideas without getting lost in the minute details.

Find what you want to hear:

  • [2:18] Who was Plutarch?
  • [5:05] Plutarch as a moral biographer
  • [6:16] Anne’s first attempt at Plutarch
  • [8:40] how Plutarch was commonly read and referenced until quite recently
  • [9:35] Plutarch as part of Charlotte Mason’s citizenship study
  • [10:12] benefits of Plutarch: vocab, character, virtue, history, ideas
  • [12:19] age range for Plutarch
  • [14:00] different translations (original text and children’s versions)
  • [17:01] how to do a Plutarch lesson, step by step
  • [19:59] doing Plutarch in small chunks
  • [20:43] focusing on the big ideas
  • [27:41] best stories to start with
  • [29:30] Anne’s Plutarch guides

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

  • 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!



  • Sarah M says:

    this was lovely! I learned so much. 🙂

  • Amy P says:

    Thanks for this. I’ve been resisting the idea of Plutarch. After this talk, I just picked up an 83 hour long audible version of it. It comes with a pdf of what times each of the stories begin on. I would much rather have an expert read it to me before I go trying to read it to my kids. 🙂

    • mark says:

      Where did you find an 83 hour long audible version of Plutarch? Is it in the public domain?

  • Cindi says:

    That was my question, too! Where did you find the audio version? 😉

  • Carlene says:

    This podcast was so helpful, even in spite of not being completely new to Plutarch too. We started Anne’s Volume 1 book this year in our co-op and the small lessons are all laid out, make it so easy to digest with the kids. Leaves room for great discussions!

  • Melanie Simpson says:

    Thank you so much for this episode! As an English major (undergrad and masters) I found myself putting off introducing Plutarch simple because I found it to be so challenging and was struggling to determine how to go about sharing it with my children:) This was a fantastic instructional episode and I now feel so encouraged and empowered to go forth and read Plutarch!

  • Leslie says:

    Echoing what others said, most encouraging podcast yet! I feel ready to pick Plutarch up right now! Previously, I didn’t see the value of it, but this makes it tangeble and valuable. Thank you both, Anne and Pam!

  • Carolyn says:

    I have had the name Plutarch in my planning books for years, and took it off this year, since nothing was happening! With the podcast, resources and Pam’s lovely procedure, I seems a more realistic task. I will be adding it back in next tern and doing this time.

    It was also pleasure to hear from one of the Ambleside Online writers! Thank you Pam!

  • Melissa says:


    We actually started Plutarch last year unsuccessfully with Timoleon. I was determined to try again this year with 5th and 6th grader. We completed Timoleon and Aemelius Paulus using Anne White’s AO Study Guide. It was difficult!!…but worthy. My kiddos did not like it, nor did they see the value. I will not be picking up another life this year, but will continue to keep trying in future years. Sooner or later, maybe we’ll grow to love it, lol.

    I was also thinking about picking up a copy of the Yesterday’s Classics reprint of Our Young Folks’ Plutarch by Rosalie Kaufman, but am now a little leery. I wonder if it would be considered one of the watered down versions Anne mentioned? Yesterday’s Classics also has two books reprinted by F. J. Gould regarding Plutarch’s Lives. Typically, I find their reprints worthy and many are used in the AO lists. Can anyone speak to the Kaufman or Gould books?


    • Elizabeth says:

      Curious,Melissa, if you got any answers on this. This podcast was so interesting for me. As we are studying Greek history this year, I had purchased the Gould one a while back, but we haven’t read it yet, wondering if I should put it aside,,, Thanks for any input!!!

      • Melissa says:

        Hey Elizabeth,

        I did not get a response back. I did search on the AO Forum as well and it sounds like the Gould edition is very entry level, with Kaufman being next and then Dryden or North. I’m wondering whether or not I should even bother ordering the Kaufman version. My kiddos will be 6th and 7th in the fall so I’m sure we should be reading the real deal. Part of me really wants to give it up altogether, but after studying Charlotte’s 20 principles, Plutarch seems more important for character/citizenship training. Sorry, I’m not much help.


  • Amy Marie says:

    Thank you! I really enjoyed this! We are almost done using one of Anne’s free guides from AO and I must say, I would have been TOTALLY lost without it. Plutarch hasn’t been the easiest thing to use in our home school, but my daughter’s narrations have been enlightening and I believe that she is pulling out some valuable things. One small warning, don’t go TOO slowly with these, because you will forget what is happening! LOL. Not that I know anything about that or anything! 😛 😉

  • Brandy says:

    Enjoyed this and it made me feel so much better. I did Ambleside online with my kids when my oldest was about 4th grade to 7th and she is 22 now. I still remember the utter cluelessness of reading Plutarch’s Lives to them. I might pick it up for myself.

  • >