Has your Morning Time started feeling a little stale and uninspiring? Hey, I have totally been there. In this podcast episode we have a number of ideas that you can use to breathe new life into your Morning Time.
Have a listen and try one to spice up your Morning Time today.
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Pam: Are you ready for homeschooling to feel joyful again? Do you wanna build closer relationships, remove some of the stress around planning and enjoy learning with your children? Welcome to Your Morning Basket. I’m Pam Barnhill, a homeschool mom just like you, and I’m going to show you the magic and fulfillment that Morning Basket or Morning Time can bring to your homeschool. Grab your coffee or tea and let’s get started.
Hi everyone and welcome to episode 130 of the Your Morning Basket podcast. Today we are talking all about what to do when your Morning Time is feeling a little stale. Now, if you have been doing Morning Time for a long time, it could be that you’ve fallen into a little bit of a rut. I have felt this way myself a number of different times.
Sometimes that rut is really, really comfortable. It's like this is what we do, we're doing it consistently, we're just going to keep doing it. And then other times you're like, wow, my Morning Time has gotten just a little bit boring and I would like to add some things to it to spice it up. So what are some different things that you can do in order to make that happen?
And so I have a number of different ideas for you today, and the first one is to try something new even if you don't think you would like doing it. So try something completely and totally outside of the box that you are absolutely not sure that you would enjoy. And sometimes this can come from having your kids make suggestions. They often have things that they want to do in Morning Time that maybe you haven't even thought of before.
And so ask your kids, is there something that you would like to do? And it may be something that you think is a little off the wall, something like engineering or architecture. But it very well could be that you could find some beautiful books on those subjects or even some fun YouTube videos. We often like to add fun YouTube videos to our Morning Time and enjoy those during that time.
So that is one way to kind of relieve some of the staleness. And your kids are always happy to give you ideas of what their favorite things are. And so just because you try something doesn't mean that you have to keep doing it. And so I think trying something, even though you're not sure that you're gonna like it, it could either surprise you and you could absolutely love it and want to make it a regular part of your Morning Time or you could say, you know what? We tried this for a few weeks and it was great for us to have this experience and now let's go on and try something else. And the wonderful thing about doing this if you have multiple kids, is you can give everybody a chance to really think about what they would like to do in Morning Time and kind of cycle through some of those different things for a five or six week term.
The wonderful thing about this is you don't get stuck doing something long term that you really can't stand. And every child gets to feel validated and like their, their wishes were heard by adding something new to Morning Time. And so trying something new, asking your kids, those are a couple of things that you can do when your Morning Time is feeling really stale.
The next thing you could do is add a little bit of silliness. Sometimes that really helps. So in many of our Morning Time plans and all of the explorations that we have in Your Morning Basket Plus we add jokes, we put links to different jokes for you based around a theme a lot of times. And the kids just love, love, love reading some of the jokes, even if they're really corny and really kind of silly and they love to practice the delivery of the jokes themselves. And in my house this often brings up other jokes that they've heard that they just absolutely have to share with you. And this is a time where you're building those relationships with your kids because everyone is laughing together. And so we like to add jokes to our Morning Time.
And then also Mad Libs. That's another way that we like to add some silliness to our Morning Time and kind of spice things up a bit. You don't even have to do this every day of the week. You could say, we're gonna do madlibs every Friday, or we're gonna do Madlibs on Tuesdays and Thursdays and really stretch them with that vocabulary. You could even pull out the thesaurus when you do your madlibs and have them look for fun and interesting words.
But the hilarity always comes from reading the completed Mad Lib out loud to your kids. And that is just a fabulous way to spice things up. And then also bring in a book with a bit of humor. So one of our favorite reads from the past few years was The Tarantula in My Purse by Jean Craighead George. And there actually was quite a bit of humor in that book.
And you can often find read alouds in different children's books that are basically laugh out loud funny. We actually have a book list on our blog of books that are laugh out loud, funny that I'll link for you in the show notes. And that's the perfect kind of book to bring in when you feel like your Morning Time has gotten stale or you've gotten in a rut.
So adding a little bit of silliness is a wonderful thing to do. The next thing you could do is you can change up your location. So if you find that everybody is coming to Morning Time and maybe they're all all have reached the stage where they're flopping on the couch, you know it used to be when they were little that they would like curl up next to you and cuddle up and like watch as you read the picture book.
And you know, maybe they even fought about who got to sit right next to mom, you know, who got to sit closest and cuddle up. And you haven't realized that over the past few years. Instead of doing that now they have reached what I call the flop stage of childhood. And instead of being all interested in being snuggled up next to mom, they can just kind of come in and flop around on the furniture during Morning Time. And so changing up the location and moving to a table where they have to be in a sitting position is going to automatically add a little bit of pep to your stale Morning Time.
Now, we always suggest that kids have the opportunity, whether they're kids or teens or whatever, have the opportunity to do something with their hands during Morning Time. And so maybe they're working a puzzle, maybe they're drawing. My kids were really big into drawing for a long period of time, especially once they reach those tween to early teen years. And my daughter still likes to draw just now she does it on an iPad. And so you know, my 17 year old is sitting there with her iPad during Morning Time drawing on procreate, but she is very much listening and participating in the Morning Time. And so it's okay for them to make things with clay or put puzzles together or play with pattern blocks or do some kind of handy work like crochet or whittling or soap carving, which is very messy, but it can still be done.
So all of those things can be done during Morning Time. And so by switching from that position where they're just kind of rolling about on the floor, flopping around on the couch and moving to the position where they can actually do something that might freshen up your Morning Time a bit. And by giving them all these options of things that they could do with their hands so you're no longer just kind of laying about as Morning Time happens.
So a change of location could actually be good. And you could, even if spring is coming where you are, move outside and do your Morning Time outside for a little while. We've done that in different seasons of the year and it always brings a little bit of freshness to our routine.
The next thing I would like to suggest is to revisit something that you haven't done in a long time. So if you have been doing Morning Time for a number of years, maybe there's something that you can go back to and yes, you can kind of review something that you've done before. And this would be a nostalgia. You could bring back picture books that your kids really enjoyed when they were little, or you could spice it up a little bit by doing something like bringing back nursery rhymes that you used to recite and now talking about some of the more bizarre, peculiar and deeper meanings behind those nursery rhymes that you never would've considered talking about when your oldest was six or seven years old. And so having those kind of funky and weird conversations with your teens can really add a little bit of spice to your Morning Time. So with teens revisit with the idea that we're gonna go deeper than we've ever gone before into something that's really familiar to us, but with kids who are not quite teens, not quite ready for that yet, you can still pull in some of the nostalgia by revisiting particular old favorites. And once again, this is a place where you can have a conversation with your kids and say, Hey, what is something that we used to do in Morning Time that we're not doing anymore that you would like to see us bring back again? And you either bring it back by reviewing the old material or you bring it back by doing that same kind of activity again and just finding more of the same thing.
Another thing that you could do is seek out a community of other homeschoolers who are doing Morning Time and ask them, Hey, what are you doing? What are your ideas? I am always surprised at the number of different ideas that our community of Morning Time moms come up with when we ask, Hey, what are you doing in your Morning Time?
And so we actually have a free community community.pambarnhill.com. There's even an app that you can download and you can come join us. You just have to sign up and log in and create a username and a profile. But the community part is absolutely free and there are always moms talking about what they're doing in their Morning Time there.
So this is a wonderful place to come and get different ideas in. Honestly, somebody will make a post that said, Hey, I'm looking for ideas for math and Morning Time, or I'm looking for ideas for music for Morning Time, or I'm looking for ideas that my kids can do with their hands in Morning Time and just a ton of different ideas will come pouring in.
The ladies there are so helpful. And so just seeing what other people are doing is a great thing. Now, you could also go back and listen to older episodes of this podcast. So right now we are on episode 130. That means there are 129 other episodes that all include a little bit of inspiration for you. So just kind of scroll back through some of the other episodes that maybe you have never listened to before and see if there's something there that sparks your interest.
You can listen to it and maybe that's something that you can implement. We have a number of different episodes on different ways to incorporate nature study, a number of different episodes on how to incorporate memory work, mathematics, so many different things that you could actually go back and find in the archives of these podcasts. And they're all absolutely free.
The next thing you might wanna consider is going on a Morning Time retreat. Now, yeah, this is kind of a shameless plug. We opened up the wait list for our 2024 retreat not that long ago. We did our 2023 Morning Time retreat back in January of this year, and we had such a fabulous time. And one of the things that so many of the moms said was that they came away inspired to do something new or try something new with their kids.
So it's gonna be a while before you can go on a Morning Time retreat because we're not doing the next one until next January. But I do encourage you to come get on the waiting list. We'll put a link to the beach retreat waiting list in the show notes, come get on the waiting list and consider saving up your money and coming and joining us for the retreat next year because it really was an inspiring time.
And I'll tell you, I had kind of fallen in a rut with my own Morning Time. We really liked the things that we were doing, but as I looked at the activities we were doing in our Morning Time, we had really fallen into reading and reciting memory work. We were reading from two or three different books every day. And of course we were doing our prayers in the morning, but that was all we were doing.
Whereas in the past, our Morning Time has been kind of very varied and refreshing. We used to sing songs in our Morning Time. We would sing Sea Shanties, we would sing folk songs, we would sing hymns. We've also done math poetry in our Morning Time, which was poems with two voices where we would read the different parts back and forth.
And so it wasn't just me reading, it was almost like a little skit that we were doing. We used to do grammar in our Morning Time and foreign language in our Morning Time. So just thinking back and realizing that we had kind of fallen into this rut, I was so inspired by some of the things that the moms talked about at the retreat and I was like, you know what? We need to start singing again. And so I brought home the song that we had done at the retreat, which was Roll the Old Chariot Along. It was an old sea shanty and I played it for my kids and I'm like, we are going to bring singing back into our Morning Time because that is a surefire way to kind of avoid falling into a rut.
And so not only am I going to introduce that new song, I'm also going to go back and bring back some of our former songs that we enjoyed so much because I think this is kind of important when you're making shifts and changes into your Morning Time, if you can tie it back to something that you've done before and something that they've enjoyed, you're always going to have an easier transition of it.
And I think my final tip is to think about subjects that you've maybe never thought to put in your Morning Time before. So I mentioned the math poems in two voices and mathematics in a lot of people don't think about putting that in Morning Time because that is a skill subject and it's kind of a, a linear set of skills that your kids need to master before they move on to the next one.
But just because that's how you generally approach mathematics in your homeschool doesn't mean that you can't add the beauty of mathematics to your Morning Time. And so looking for kind of the obscure, the fun, the interesting kinds of math, and there are so many great books out there. There's there is the math poems and Two Voices, Penrose, the Mathematical cat is another one.
Mathematicians are people too. So there are lots of different ways that you can kind of add those subjects that you never would expect would fit in a Morning Time into your Morning Time. Grammar is another way to do this with the Mad Libs, you could also look at adding like a history of the day reading or a fun science fact. This is not going to be all of the history or all of the science that your kids get, but it's just a slightly different take on the subjects that you're doing anyway and it adds to their school day. And if you have an older student, somebody who's in high school, be sure to count those things. All of the memory work that we do in our Morning Time, I estimate the number of minutes that we spend, I add that up over the course of a semester and that is added to the number of hours that they need for their language arts credit.
So they don't need to feel like they're doing something that is totally not counting towards their grade, their transcript or anything else. It, it actually is a valid part of their homeschool day.
And then finally, the last suggestion that I am going to give you is to check out some of the resources that we have pambarnhill.com. Right now we're doing a Thrifty Thursday where we put one of our resources on sale every Thursday.
And so each week it changes and a lot of times it is one of our Morning Time plan sets, so that is a fabulous way to get over there and check out a set at a low price and see if that's going to work for you. You've also heard me mention before my month of Morning Time sample plans so you can come and download those and that gives you three weeks of Morning Time activities that you could do with your kids.
So many families have found these to be absolutely delightful. And so that's a way to change up some of what you're doing in your Morning Time. And then we also have our Your Morning Basket Plus membership, which has a number of different resources for you from things like our lesson plan lists, which are just a study of a single subject like Famous naturalist or tessellations or making pottery for a few different weeks.
We also have our Explorations, which are our theme-based learning, and so easy to fit in around the other parts of your Morning Time that you're doing. We send out a text each morning with one exploration activity, and I find it super easy to add that to my Morning Time each day if I want to. Some of the days I look at the activity and I go, oh, that's art, or something that's a little more involved than what I'm wanting to do. But the one where we go and look at the pictures online of the magnified bugs, we're totally down with that. And so we enjoy the truth, goodness, and beauty of all of the different topics just by opening my phone each morning and clicking on the link that comes in the text.
And that's also in our Your Morning Basket Plus subscription. And so just by adding one or two new things that maybe you've never thought of adding before, you can definitely beat some of the staleness that might be creeping in to your Morning Time.
Okay, I have mentioned a ton of different resources today, so I am going to link all of them for you in the show notes for this episode of the podcast. That's at pambarnhill.com/ymb130. And I feel confident that you too can beat a stale Morning Time and bring just a little bit of spice back into what should be the best part of your day.
Thanks so much for listening to your Morning Basket. If you are ready to spend less time planning and more time engaged in learning with your children, join Your Morning Basket Plus a monthly membership with everything you need to start a Morning Time practice in your homeschool to join, head on over to ymbplus.com and I'll see you there.
Key Ideas about Refreshing Your Morning Time
- Morning Time can be made more engaging with a bit of creativity.
- Switching up the location of Morning Time or introducing an older podcast can help keep things fresh.
- Introducing humor to Morning Time can make the experience more enjoyable.
- Giving kids hands-on activities during Morning Time can provide a break in the routine.
- Consider forming a community with other homeschoolers for ideas or going on a Morning Time retreat.
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I take my walks outside two times a day. I enjoy listening to all the knowledge you have on your podcast! I am a mom of 7 and have been homeschooling for 18 years! I’m not a novice but have loved all your advice and input! Thank you for everything you do! I love it!
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Pam continues to do an amazing job with this podcast. She is a wonderful host, never hurried, asks great questions and really lets her guest share his/her experience fully. The variety of experience & wisdom here is fruit for the homeschooling community at large. I’ve been listening from day one and this podcast continues to be a top favorite. Thank you Pam!
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I’ve listened to YMB and Pam off and on for years, and she literally changed my life 7 years ago when I was just starting to homeschool. I’m so thankful for her ministry and encouragement to homeschool moms of all ages! I highly recommend doing morning time!
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This podcast is amazing and has helped me so much as recovering perfectionist homeschooling mama! Pam gives so much great insight into so many aspects of life and focusing on homeschooling.
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This podcast has been so great. It’s so practical and encouraging without being overly preachy or narrow. It gives ideas in a take-what-fits kind of way. I have used many of the recommended resources and ideas mentioned and been inspired by many others. Even the episodes that I found less relevant to me specifically, often had tidbits that I could use. Pam’s podcasts, books, and resources have been a godsend to me in my beginning years of homeschooling, helping me discover my own way to teach my kids in a way that prioritizes what is most important to us.
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