One of the things I love is hearing about how other families work Morning Time into their homeschool days. How did they get started? What is their journey like? Today on the podcast veteran homeschool mom Laney Homan is here to share her Morning Time story. She started about seven years ago and she keeps adapting Morning Time to meet her needs. Enjoy!
Pam: This is Your Morning Basket where we help you bring truth, goodness, and beauty to your homeschool day. Hi everyone. And welcome to episode 108 of the Your Morning Basket podcast. I’m Pam Barnhill, your host, and I’m so happy that you are joining me here today. We are doing something just a little bit new starting this podcast season. We are going to begin sharing the Morning Time stories of other homeschool moms. And the reason we’re doing this is to give you just a glimpse of what Morning Time looks like for different homeschool families, maybe families who have been doing Morning Time for a long time, a little bit of time who started it at the beginning of their homeschool journey, or maybe who came to it a little bit later in their homeschool journey and certainly discussing what a difference it has made in their homeschool day and in their lives even. So we’re starting that off this episode with our very first guests, Laney, Homan. And now, Laney has been homeschooling for quite a long time, about 16 years now, she has eight kids. Her youngest is six. Her oldest is 22, but she has not been doing Morning Time for the entire time. And so Laney and I are going to be discussing today what a difference Morning Time has made in her homeschool, how she’s used it as a tool over the years for various purposes and what it looks like now. I think you’re really going to enjoy this episode of the podcast.
Now, before we get on with this, I do want to say that Your Morning Basket plus is now open. You can come and join the membership between now and February 4th, where you can find all sorts of goodies and support to help you do a Morning Time habit in your homeschool. So if you have been listening to the podcast, if you have been doing Morning Time, maybe you feel like you spend a lot of time planning Morning Time, and not nearly enough time doing Morning Time, you would like some premade ready for you plans, or you would like some community help and support, or even some live Morning Time classes.
We have all of that in Your Morning Basket plus, and you can find that by going to Pambarnhill.com and clicking on the green, Get the Tools button, and that’s going to be open until February 4th of this year. So do go check that out. And now on with the interview with Laney.
Laney Homan is a homeschooling mom of eight ages, six to 22. She’s been married to her husband, Sean for 25 years and began homeschooling their kids 16 years ago. She’s the community manager in the Sibling Relationship Lab, community hosted at Lynna Sutherland’s website, siblingrelationshiplab.com. And she is also a member of our Your Morning Basket Plus membership as well. Laney, welcome to the program. How are you doing?
We are you doing great today.
That is awesome. It’s so fun that you work with Lynna at Sibling Relationship Lab. I actually just recorded a podcast with her yesterday, which I think this particular podcast comes out first, the one you and I are doing together, and then hers will come out like a month later all about kids who can’t get along in Morning Time.
Dear, I could have recorded on that.
I was gonna say, you probably could have come in and spoken on that one as well. I think we all can, right?
Exactly. Oh, so much fun. I’m so glad that you do that work over there with her helping to support homeschool families, especially who are dealing with the in and out every day of the sibling relationship kind of stuff. But tell me a little bit about you and a little bit about your home.
We started homeschooling 16 years ago. I have eight kids and I have graduated two of them. And one of them will be graduating sometime very soon, but he, I don’t really do homeschool too much with him anymore. He just finishing up his last couple of classes and then he’ll graduate as soon as he’s done.
And then I’m already down to five and it just seems so strange to have that few kids at my table these days, but it’s really, it’s been really quite the journey over the years of how our homeschool has morphed. And it seems like I’ve relaxed some now that they’re I have graduated some, I feel like, oh, I can do this.
Yeah. I could see how that I’m almost there. I’m almost to the point I’ve got another year where I’m going to have one who’s graduated and hopefully I’m waiting for that feeling like, okay, this is all going to work out. I have people who tell me it’s coming. So I’m like, okay, counting down the days till I get that. But then also a little sad too, that you’ve graduated from your homeschool.
That it’s definitely strange having fewer people at the table this past Thanksgiving actually, we’ve had several of our kids move out and one just got married and it’s shrinking here a little bit. And as we all gathered around our Thanksgiving table, the little kids looked around and they said, “Is this everybody, it just feels so small.”
So it’s, it’s interesting to see the changes and how the kids are responding to that. It’s been a huge year of changes for us with our two oldest twins moving out permanently. And it’s been, it’s nice always to have them come back, but it’s definitely changing our homeschool a little bit. We’ve definitely shifted our focus more. Now that I have mostly little kids that I’m homeschooling. It’s been a long time since that was the case. I had lots of high schoolers for a long time.
Oh, that is interesting. How it does go in a cycle like that. You guys started homeschooling. Did you always homeschool? Did you pull your kids out of school?
We talk about homeschooling pretty early on in our marriage. And when it came down time to start to put the kids in school.
My oldest two boys are very close in age and we decided I had just had another baby and I just really lost confidence and we decided no we’re going to put the kids in school. And so they went to school. One of them went to kindergarten or one of them went to the local preschool there and they lasted for all of one semester before we pulled them out.
They were just very asynchronous and their developments one was light years ahead of his class, but wasn’t socially mature enough to be bumped up the grade. The other one was really struggling in his classroom. And I spent so much time at the school sorting out all the different pieces and trying to figure everything out that I’m finally, it was just like, I might as well just bring them home because I feel like I could meet their needs individually a little bit better than what we’re trying to do, jumping through the hoops with the school to meet their individual needs.
So that’s how we started. And at the time when I pulled them out of school, I was like, okay, let’s just for this year. I have to make sure that we’re doing everything that they would be covering in public school because I might want to put them back in school. And so I was really focused on that and making sure that they were prepared to reenter school at some point in the future. I think mainly because I didn’t have the confidence that I could do this, but they never went back. Just became a way of life for us. And none of the other kids ever even that wasn’t even an option. They just joined our homeschool one at a time. And that’s just what we’ve been doing.
Wow. Okay. So when did you first discover Morning Time?
That was about, I was talking to my daughter about this last night and we couldn’t decide, I think it might’ve been about seven years ago. One day, my three-year-old at the time was throwing a full-out toddler tantrum on the floor and just complete with like prostrate kicking, screaming and got him calmed down enough to talk to him. And I said, can you tell me why you’re crying? Cause I really didn’t know why I was crying. And he looked at me and he said, I don’t want to do my math and torture that three-year-old with math. And at the time I just really, I started laughing all the big kids started laughing and I was like, buddy, you’re lucky you don’t actually have to do that. And of course he didn’t even, we didn’t, we weren’t even doing preschool at the time. And it was, it was comical and yet very eye opening at the same time, he was very clearly amping, his older siblings who he had heard complain endlessly about their schoolwork, especially math. And I just felt like at that time I was like, something has to change. We’ve been doing this for a while at this point. And I just knew that we were not going down a good path to continue the way that we had been working.
We were just going through a lot of emotions, I think possibly because we had been homeschooling for quite a while and the kids were a little bit restless. So this little toddler tantrum, and really just had me just stopping to evaluate and say, okay, what might we need to look out a little differently? So I did what every good homeschool mom does.
And I went to the internet and it just so happens that I found a webinar with you and Sarah Mackenzie. It was a loop scheduling webinar. And I don’t even know what I was looking for at that point, but I listened to the webinar and I was pretty interested in the, like the planning aspects of things. And then that took me, I believe to your website where I started reading more about Morning Time. And I bought the Big Basket, which was, I don’t know how many years ago that was available, but about six years ago now, for sure.
Yeah. So I bought that and I just started digging into that concept and just built really slowly from there. And now our Morning Time really is the bulk of our school. It’s it takes up more than any other portion of our school for sure. And I’ve gotten very comfortable there. The kids have just developed a rhythm of, they know what to expect, and of course, it’s changed over the years, but that’s where it all began for sure.
Okay. I want to touch on something before we, and we’re going to talk about how it’s morphed and changed over the seven years that you’ve been doing it. So at that point, when you started this, you had been homeschooling for about eight or nine years and with your oldest. So this means you had a boy who was in at least seventh grade, probably even a eighth grade at this point. And then apparently had another one coming quick on his heels. How was this received by those two junior high-aged boys when you started it?
So, interestingly enough, as I mentioned, when we, what I was telling about starting our homeschooling, my two older boys are very close in age, but due to learning disabilities. And neuro-diversities, they’re really light-years apart in academic work, for sure. One of them is very far ahead and the other, and that was something that was difficult to juggle all the way along.
I was trying to figure out how to bring them together. Something that in many ways we had to avoided over the years. And they were receptive to the changes that we were making. I did an overhaul. It wasn’t just, okay, all of a sudden we’re coming to the table. I overhauled a lot of the things that we were doing, the curriculum we’re using. And it was, it took some time to get everybody on board. At the time we still had lots of babies. I was still having babies there. So there’s always this dynamic or lots of interruptions, and they just kind of just process and deal with it. At the time the oldest one was starting to do much of his work independently.
And the next one was like you said about that junior high age and his learning disabilities really prevented him from being able to be as independent as many junior high and high schoolers are. So I took that opportunity to focus what we were teaching and Morning Time and what we were coming together in the Morning Time to do, to be a time where I focused on his needs primarily, and the courses that he would need to prepare him for high school. And then of course, through high school and then the younger kids that were below him just came along and did the academic work with him. And that is what a bulk of our boarding time at that time encompassed. And then my older son was very independent on what he was working on his own but he would still come in and join us for read-alouds. And if I could sneak in some Bible time with him, those types of things as with a group and it wasn’t too hard to convince him to come in for read-alouds. That was something that we had established many years before. And it was just, that’s probably been the common thread through all of our years of homeschooling is I read a lot to the kids and my oldest really embraced that time all the way until he left my house.
And that aspect of it was something that he enjoyed and I could pull him into, and then we would just let him go and work on his independent school work while I did more in time, we call it table prime at our house with the rest of the kids. And because I was gearing that towards the child who needed more assistance, he didn’t, he liked that because he liked having the confidence that I was there with him to help him.
We could discuss things that he didn’t feel like he was being thrown out by himself where he really struggled to do the independent work. So that was a way that it became easier to get some buy-in from a boy that age. So the one was doing only the parts that he really enjoyed and wanted to do. And the other really liked the confidence that it gave him to have a group there that he was comfortable with rather than feeling like he had to work through some of the things he struggles with on his own.
Yeah. And you were on a couple of points here, first of all, you were honoring his time because you were not adding things on top of all of the things he needed to do in his day, and then trying to do all of those things as well. So you were using that time, very wisely, used that time to meet some of the needs that he had.
And then I think the second point I want to make is even though you were meeting his academic needs, I have a feeling you are not pulling out his seventh-grade work workbook and saying, okay, now we’re going to do this together as a family, you were actually being a little more creative than that, right?
Yeah, definitely. We were able to, I think that was one of the things as I began homeschooling with these two boys that were so different academically, we rotated through a lot of curriculum over the years, trying to find things that would mesh with both of their personalities. As I tried desperately to try to combine them at first. And then I gave up hope that would ever happen. And I didn’t really curriculum hop, but their needs were so different that different curriculum was meeting their needs over the years. And so I had accumulated a vast library of resources in which to draw from. So when I sat down with those planning materials initially to figure out what our first morning basket was going to look like, I was able to draw from the resources that we had on our shelves without spending more money and to pick and choose those things, which maybe I had already used with the previous kid or had bought because it looked really fun and we just didn’t get to. So I was able to just go through and really pick the cream of the crop and the things that I thought the kids would enjoy and bring them in. And so that is what we did for much of his high school and his junior high years, as he did need those academic credits, but he was a pretty non-traditional student. And I was able to use the resources that allowed him to learn and grow in confidence. But at the same time, not be like the boring textbook-type things. We have used very few textbooks over the years. So lots of living books, lots of reading aloud, lots of discussion.
This particular child really learns well with video. And so we would watch videos and we would just do things that were sometimes hands-on to help reinforce the learning. But even at those ages, everybody always asks me, they’re like, how do you, how can you continue doing Morning Time with your older kids? And I, because I started with older kids, it was just part of what we did, but we were able to take those resources that really would engage them more and be able to use that to accomplish what they needed to accomplish for high school. Because it was very important to me to respect that time. If I my high schoolers to the table to do school with the younger kids or with a group of people, I always try to make sure that what they are, what the time that they are giving, there is something that does count towards their credits in high school. Not because I believe that we have to be checking off all those boxes all the time, but because they do have very full schedules, they work they’re social they’ve got lots of demands on their time at that age.
And I don’t want them to resent the time that we have together, because it seems like an intrusion upon what they have to do. I want them to know that this can be an enjoyable time, but it also counts for what you have to accomplish in order to get your credits for high school. And that is how we’ve combated some of the busyness and things like that for the kids, with making sure that the resources we choose may not be traditional. They certainly meet the needs that they need to get the credits that they have to have for school. And that those things that they do during the Morning Time do count for those.
Okay. So that leads me to a couple of other questions. So was there a special way that you tracked this in order to just keep track of it, to give the credits, to put on the transcript?
When I would usually sit down and I would like to break apart the resources that we were going to use, and I would look at them and I would decide like how many hours would this take to go through. And then I use the HSLDA website to look at their recommendations for hours for credits. And I don’t even want to say it out loud because I can’t remember exactly what it is. It’s like 120 to 160, I think.
Yeah. Something like that.
Yeah. I’m not sure, but I did use some resources like that to help give me some guidelines and some framework. And then I would just break down like the resources we were going to use.
And then sometimes it would be, I would feel like a particular resource or a particular set of things that I pulled together would be enough to count as a credit for the material that was covered. And I would just group that into a class and write a little course description and, and note the resources that we would use for that class. And then as we’ve made our way through the material over the year, when they completed those topics and that kind of checklist of things that you would find maybe in a textbook through the table of contents or something, they have a certain list of topics that they’re going to go through. And I would just use that as a guide. And when we had covered that material, then they would get the credit.
Other things would be based more on the time. I did not necessarily track like by the minute, oh, we worked on this subject for 15 minutes today, or we did this one for half hour today, but I do have a general sense of how much time is being devoted to the different subjects that we do in Morning Time based upon our routines and our schedules. And I could map that out to see how many hours they’ve devoted to a particular topic of study to give them credit for that.
So an example of that would be like our art or fine arts credits. If we’re doing composer studies and artists studies, and things like that. Those may be only covered 10, 15 minutes at a time over the course of a year, but I know which composers we’re going to be studying. I know which musical works. We’re going to be listening to. I know which artists we’re going to be studying and which, which pieces of art that they’re going to be looking at and learning about. And I can base the amount of time, like for how long that’s going to accumulate over the year without really mapping out. Okay. We spent 15 minutes on this artist today and the next week we’re going to spend 10 minutes on this composer.
And I really had been doing it long enough that I felt like I had a pretty good grasp on how much time they were spending on those things. So their fine arts credit might include things like a composer study and an artist study of multiple composers and multiple artists across the year. But then it also might include doing actual projects that they’re working on.
And I have a 10th grader right now and she’s very artsy. And one of the things she did, she recently painted a banner for our community arts and humanities council to auction off for their fundraiser. And we just, she had to log her hours for how many hours she worked on this banner for the volunteer project she was doing anyway. So we went ahead and we counted those hours. And then she took an art class. She took an art class at her co-op. And so we count, we could very easily count the hours that she spent in art during her co-op. And then also, like I said, with the combined artist’s studies and picture studies that we do for Morning Time, that she’s a part of it’s.
I just round that out by looking at the bigger scope of what she’s covering, and then I can determine, okay, she spent about 60 hours this year, so she can have a half credit for art. And then the course description that I would write for any kind of record would reflect that not only did she do hands-on creative projects, but that she also studied art history or how to focus on a particular artist or composer those types of things.
Yeah. That’s when we talk about making those estimates and things like that, one of the things we have to remember is a child in a public school is in a classroom. And that credit is based on they’re in this classroom for 50 minutes, five days a week. And so this equals out to X number of years, but just because they’re in that classroom for 50 minutes, five days a week doesn’t mean they’re getting instruction for 50 minutes, five days a week. And looking at that estimate of we’re studying all these things, this equals a half a credit, or this equals a credit, I think is completely valid. So this leads me to my second question. Before we start talking about how your Morning Time has changed, because I know it’s different now than what it was like, then what about those little kids? Because you were gearing it towards this, this child who was in junior high and then going into high school. And I think there would be a lot of moms who would be having palpitations over this saying if I’m doing things for my older child, my younger kids are just going to be going crazy. So how did you keep the younger ones engaged while you were gearing this material towards a little bit of the older set, even with the learning issues and things there, we’re still talking about something that like a five or six year old might struggle with a little bit.
Oh sure. I, first of all, we were adding kids to our school. There’s a little bit of an age between the first four and the second four. So I had mostly big kids and then one, one three-year-old when we started and it was those next few years is we had four kids in a span of five years there. So it was those next few years as we were adding baby upon baby, that things became a little dicey, I guess. It was a little bit harder to manage some of that.
But the kids, I remember, I sat down with my older kids one time and I explained to them that homeschooling was a family commitment and that they were going to have to help if we were going to continue homeschooling. And at this point, they all wanted to homeschool. They, and so I explained to them, they were just simply going to have to help with the babies and the littles. So they got really good dealing with the disruptions. Our home is set up such that our dining room and our living room are open into one great room. And we would all sit at the table to do our schoolwork. And then the smaller children were right there within kind of our earshot usual, our visual line of sight and the babies, just like I spent most of my time with a baby in my lap, whether I was teaching or not, or sometimes the teenagers would have somebody in their lap or we’d break for snacks, or it was never a nice and pretty sit down at the table and have this nice long uninterrupted time together. It was just very dynamic at the time we were meeting needs and dealing with fussing, and mom’s got to go change the diaper and I need you to get this one a snack. And it was just a team effort at that point.
But I explained to the kids that’s if we were going to homeschool, that was just what was going to happen at this point. And obviously, as the kids get older, that becomes a little easier. But there, I think all of my kids remember even seasons where Morning Time moved to my bed. I would get up in the morning and I would make my bed, but we would all gather there because that was easier place for me to have a blanket spread out with an infant. And the baby would sleep on the bed while we were all sitting there and reading or discussing whatever we were going over at the time. But it was definitely not this picturesque like everybody come to the table and we’re going to sit quietly and everybody’s going to be cooperative.
I don’t, I still don’t have that after 16 years, they all, somebody throws a wrench into the schedule every day, I think. But I think that’s part of actually I was, I have begun to appreciate that, but I was reading Mystie Winkler’s new book the other day. And I think she did an excellent job of highlighting how it’s in those messy moments,that the real homeschooling is happening, how we learn to respond, and how we as parents, but also I think as our kids, how they learn to adapt and handle adversity and challenge, whether that’s in their relationships with their siblings or subjects that they don’t like, but that those are the moments where we’re really building our character. And it’s not just about the academic work.
And I feel like that looking back on those years where we had four toddler and on down kids while I was trying to teach junior high and high school age and middle school kids, that there was a lot of that growth happening, even when, probably in the midst of it, I often felt like everybody was falling through the cracks and surely this wasn’t working.
Like I said earlier, I relaxed a bit after the first one graduated, honestly, I was like, oh, look at that. I’ve been feeling like that. Maybe I was floundering a little bit, but after all this, here he is, he’s got a diploma he’s headed off to engineering school and probably felt a little bit too much of a pat my own back when that happened, honestly, I was like, oh, this is, you know what I remember when he got his first college acceptance letter, I teased him as it came in the mail. I was like, I think I’ll keep this because I think it’s just as much about the work that we’ve done together over these years.
somebody’s going to come along and humble you.
Exactly. But I have definitely been humbled along the way for sure. And I think that the biggest thing in that experience though is that I don’t think I ever felt like everything was going smoothly or that I was ever adequate to do this task. I feel like God and his grace and mercy has come alongside. This is a journey and it’s not easy, but it is one that is worthwhile. And he is the one that is going to bring any fruit in our children that we ever begin to see whether it’s academic or character-driven or any kind of relationship with him. And I think that in the moments where I feel completely inadequate, that that is the thing that keeps me humble and also just keeps me able to continue to do this day after day after so many years, because I know that I have to be faithful with what is in front of me, but ultimately that fruit and that work is going to be a work of God. And he is going to work that in their lives. And I can just be a tool in that process. And that mind shift is one that makes doing this thing every day easier to do, even when you can’t see what the outcome is going to be. If that makes any sense.
It does. I love it. Okay. So you had like your first round and now those kids, a couple of graduated and you’ve got a couple who are getting close to graduating. And so now you have your second round. So let’s talk about how your Morning Time has changed over the past few years. What’s it look like now?
Is it in the last couple of years we’ve shifted. And once again, we shifted, we did a pivot based upon some of your resources that I found for a long time. We were using resources that I had on my shelf because I had accumulated so many of them. And I wanted to make sure that we are using those. And so I would always shop my shelves, whether it was for the little kids or for the big kids. And I don’t know, it’s probably been a couple years ago. I joined maybe not even that long. I joined the Your Morning Basket community. And I was able to take advantage of the explorations that you offer. And I had purchased a curriculum at the beginning of last year, and I had been using that with these four little kids and I really was enjoying it, but I was feeling constantly behind and a little overwhelmed, where our Morning Time had always been this group for academic lessons. And we were accomplishing things. Now I have a handful of kids who can’t read, they all need individual phonics lessons, and they all need individual math on a little bit more of a scale that requires one-on-one with me.
And so our Morning Time began to shift away from really doing a lot of academic work, to just being a shorter time period where I could grab them all together, read a book. And I realized that I was trying to fit this curriculum into our Morning Time. And it just, the part that wasn’t working was my Morning Time had always been quite long because we were working with older kids and they had longer attention spans.
And then as I shifted and I was, it took me a while to realize that I needed to really shorten the Morning Time so that I could, then they would have the capacity to focus on their individual reading lessons and math lesson. And as we did that, we began to use the Explorations from the membership and all of a sudden everything else fell away.
We just quit doing all of the other curriculum. Now they were doing their reading, they were doing math and we were really diving deep into the Explorations. And I found that they were moving. They progressed in our family more like a unit study and let us discuss all kinds of topics from science and history and just interesting things and reading books about people and all of this came from the Explorations, which are not necessarily designed to be Unit Studies, but they lend themselves well to opening the doors for studying topics deeper. And so that’s just where we camped and they really enjoyed it. And so I felt like we were actually covering more of the kind of content area subjects in that time period then we were, when I was trying to follow a bird curriculum that had the geography and the history and the literature, and like all the different components that come with it as I was trying to muddle my way through that for so many kids, I found that just simplifying and backing up and only doing the explorations with something that was producing excitement and lots of beauty and truth. And they were, they were getting really interested and they would always be very eager to know what’s next month’s topic.
And we would go to the library. And I even noticed our librarian was always like looking at our stack of books to figure out what we were going to be studying next. So we’ve stayed there this year. We’ve actually added a few more of the other Morning Time plans from Your Morning Basket membership to combine with the Explorations that we have been using just to round things out a little bit more, but they still are really focused in on those Explorations. And that’s just where we’re camping now. So we have tons of picture books and they love all the activities and we’ve last month or the month before, I guess they learned how to do the embroidery from the full plans. And they’ve just really embraced the simplicity of what is offered. And I have relaxed in being able to teach from a different perspective.
I think before that point, most of the curriculum we had ever used that was designed to be used with a group was all based on history and that chronological history cycle. And I had a really hard time breaking away from that. And so that is one of the things that has changed much in our Morning Time is that everything is now centered around a particular topic each month.
And we dive into it starting with the Explorations, but that often leads us to be learning more about particular people or a history time period. But we’re not doing everything quite as chronologically. It’s quite a bit more interest-led which I think helps to keep the younger kids engaged. It’s certainly been a shift for me. We were not, we were certainly not as interest-led when they were, when my older kids were a little bit younger, I was more, okay, this is the curriculum we’re using. And then we would just go through it. And it was good. We, I think we enjoyed a lot of the books we were reading and a lot of the topics we were exploring at that time, but seeing the little kids get really excited about something is a little bit different than telling them this is what you’re going to study. And Morning Time has been a really big place for that to have them be able to learn more about the things that they’re interested in.
And again, it’s not totally up to them because I do right now, we are pretty closely sticking to the Exploration plans that are in the membership. My six-year-old threw us on a loop though, because she insisted that we had to do courses next. And I was like, but what about tea time? I had that fight. I did horses that I am anxiously awaiting our tea time exploration, which I know that they all love team. They drink on regular basis. I know they’re going to love it. But she had been asking for several months when we were going to study horses. So I, we gave do horses in November and we are now doing Christmas.
I cant believe you did it out of order.
It was very difficult for me. Incredibly. I still have the tea time plans, like all in my folder and ready to go right next to them. And every day I would pull up, those horse plans that I was like, this is just hard for me, but it was funny. This is the great thing I was, my issue was if I do it out of order, what am I going to do next August? I’m going to be thrown for a loop again. And I didn’t want to put tea time plans off until next August.
But I discovered as we were going through these horse plans, I was like, there’s so much here. Like we are going to be able to go through these plans again and still find new things and it’s going to be great. There’ll be new books and new things. And so I just, I was able to let that go. And we’re doing that right now with the Christmas plans.
We did the Christmas Around the World last year. And we’re doing that again this year. And every once in a while, I’ll pull out a resource that we use last year. And they were like, Hey, we already read this book. And I’m like, yes, we did, but let’s read it again. And it’s fun to see them like, get excited about the recognition. And then also there was so much to explore in there that we’ve, I’m not sure we’ll ever hit the bottom of studying those traditions from different places. And so there’s so many new things that they get to do and the review is good for them. So, yeah, we’ll probably do the same thing with the horse plans.
I’m going to have to take a break at some point and insist that we do the tea time plans though, because I’m excited about the tea time plans.
Before it gets too hot you have to do the tea time plans. And we discovered the secret to the Homen children. All you have to do is give them bingo and they’re
A hundred percent. They are all over it. They are all over the bingo. I had a feeling if I would’ve come up with the bingo plans that they would have been like, no, we’re not doing that. But yeah, no, if we’re doing the bingo game, they are all about doing those activities. They are dead set on having a blackout for all the bingo they’re well on their way to a blackout or the Christmas Around the World.
Bingo right now. And I love that because it gives them something to when I can see interest waning. At the end of Morning Time, I only have a certain amount of time. They, their attention span is pretty limited. And when I hit this, I know what I can get through. And there are some non-negotiable things that are Morning Time. So we hit our Bible reading and we hit our memory work and we do some pretty core things right at the beginning.
But then I can always gauge, okay, I’m only going to be able to get through one picture book today, or this one activity might be pushing them a little bit much for their attention span. They’re going to be done and they’re going to be ready to leave the table. So if I save that bingo activity for me, end there, like on that, they’re like, oh, we’ll stay extra for that for the bingo.
I love this. I’m like,
I have no idea what is so motivating behind that bingo board, but all four of them are, they’re so insistent that they’re going to do that.
Oh, that’s awesome. I, then I love it. It was like tools you can use to just expand the learning in your homeschool.
I know, I think in the community I told Dawn I was like, I need a blank bingo board. I can just say it’s from Pam.
We can make one that you can like type in yourself and fill out. Yeah. We’re, we’re going to do bingo in the spring as well. We did fall 3.0 bingo this past year. And that, that was the first time we’d ever done Bingo. And it was so well received by everybody in the community. Apparently there are lots of kids in lots of places who love to do the bingo game. And very simply all it is just we’ve taken some of the activities from our different sets of Morning Time plans and put them onto a bingo board. So that, and with the Christmas one, we really went out of our way to make this something that a family could do. Like one of the squares was sing a Christmas song, go look at Christmas lights. These are things you’re doing anyway. But for some reason, the kids just, they just eat it up. And so we’re going to be bringing it back in the spring as well, bring the bingo board back.
You know what I think for my kids, I was just putting this together as you were talking about it, just like my high schoolers want to sit at that table for a purpose. And they know that they are accomplishing something when they’re at Morning Time because it’s going to count towards their credits of what they have to do for the goal of graduation for them. I guess my little kids have that same thing. Like when they get to see that they’re checking off a square on the bingo board, that means they’re working on something that they’re accomplishing something. And that’s why they really like, they can’t stand to see it unfinished. They’re like we got to do it all. Sometimes I’m like that embroidery really threw me for a loop. I was like, really? I have to teach you how to embroider. It seems a bit much for me, but they did it with gusto. And I was like, surprised at how well they did and how excited they were about it. And so it even stretched me out of my comfort zone. I am not a hands-on crafty mom. I think that we could just read books every day, all day and we would all be great, but my kids love to do things with their hands and to craft, and to do the key is they have to be able to do them.
Yes, I have to do them for them. That’s a whole other, that’s a whole other game right there. I just, not my that’s not my gifting by any means.
But it got everybody doing something that you otherwise wouldn’t have done. And I think that’s one of the wonderful things about Morning Time is that it, it really can stretch you into experiencing things that you never would have even dreamed or imagined. We’ve been reading these math poems in two voices, and they’re just, they’re poems about math. And we read our little poem every day to have us read them together. And we’re like, that’s really cool. And it’s nothing we ever would have picked up without Morning Time.
That is my favorite thing, I think is that over the years, having accumulated all of these different bits and pieces of curriculums and complete curriculums that I loved parts of that didn’t love else. There were just pieces of things that I felt like we just never got around to doing. And I have used Morning Time to plug in all the things that I wanted to do that we just never got around to doing because I was too busy checking boxes for spreadsheets or whatever in our early years of homeschooling. And so certain resources would get left behind.
And so they wouldn’t be used, but I was like, oh, that was actually one of the big things why I bought that curriculum. I really loved that aspect of it. But I think Morning Time just was able to give me a mental shift. Did that those good, beautiful, and true things that we cover in Morning Time are just as important and maybe even more important than all the academic seat work that we tend to put our focus on at the front of our day, or just we put our focus on in our homeschool because we’re worried about the kids being behind, or we need to make sure that we’re caught up and Morning Time has really been able, it’s one of the things that has shifted my focus to that broader perspective of just being able to sit and enjoy those good, beautiful, and true things. And it’s just as much for me as it is for my kids. A hundred percent.
I am constantly pulling resources in that I want to do. I want to read this book that I’ve never read, or I want to memorize this poem that we have that we haven’t really dug into yet. And it is definitely a collaborative thing. We’re doing it together. It is not something that the kids are doing and I’m just facilitating.
I am just as much of an active part of learning those things as they are. And that is one of the things that I think is best about it.
I love it. I love that so much. If there’s a mom out here who’s been listening to this and maybe she’s tried Morning Time before. Maybe she’s not sure how she would add one more thing to her day. She’s just hesitant for some reason, what would you tell her about Morning Time?
I just think it’s a game-changer and there’s not really a simpler way to do that, to just pick one thing. And I think like for me, it’s one thing that I wanted to do. Choose one thing that I really wanted to do that maybe I just hadn’t found the time to work into our homeschool for whatever reason. I would just take that one thing and then start there. It is definitely something that grows. I would certainly caution not to dive all in and over plan and try to schedule something huge, but just one small thing that you want to do and bring that to your kids and just start slow. consistency too. I think it’s the other thing, getting them on board Morning Time has definitely built consistency in our homeschool. It’s just what we do in the morning. And everybody knows that’s what we do. And then the rest of our school day flows naturally from that. So that’s just helped with the kind of their expectations of what their day is going to be. They just know that from Morning Time then flows are other activity. So just get started to something simple, see where it grows.
I love it. Laney, thank you so much for coming on and chat with me. We appreciate it.
Thank you so much for having me. I love it. Your resources are, have brought much delight to our, to our homeschool. And I just, I love being able to chat and share with other moms and we can do this.
And there you have it. Now, if you would like links to any of the books and resources that Laney and I chatted about today, you can find them on the show notes for this episode of the podcast. That’s at Pambarnhill.com/ymb108. Also over pambarnhill.com. You can find the green, get the tools link that’s on the homepage there. And that will take you right to our, Your Morning Basket plus membership, where you can find the Explorations and all of the wonderful Morning Time plans that Laney and I were chatting about today. These great resources will help you easily start your own Morning Time small, and build a blessing for your family from there. So that’s at Pambarnhill.com as well. Now I will be back again in a couple of weeks with that interview with Lynna Sutherland all about how to handle Morning Time when your kids bicker and fight, because you know what, it happens to all of us. It happens to me too. It happens to Laney. It happens to Lynna. It happens to all of us. And so what can we do when our kids are bickering and fighting? And is it even worth it to try to do Morning Time when that’s happening? So we have some great tips for you for that situation on the next podcast. We’ll be back again in a couple of weeks until then keep seeking truth, goodness, and beauty in your homeschool day.
Links and Resources from Today’s Show
Key Ideas about Shifting Focus
Laney Homan shares how her family discovered Morning Time and how she used it as a tool to help her older children earn credits for high school courses. She shares how she was able to keep a wide range of children engaged when she had students from high school down to toddlers.
Laney also discusses how she shifted focus from the big kids in Morning Time back down to the little kids as her older kids graduated. Using Morning Time with her younger kids allowed her to refocus on the things that were most important to her and gave her an opportunity to use a variety of resources that she didn’t want to miss out on.
Jumping into Morning Time wholeheartedly, using Morning Time Explorations, allowed her to learn alongside her kids and engage all her kids in a fun and meaningful way.
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