YMB #119 Something for Everyone: A Conversation with Colleen Rein

I am joined today by Colleen Rein who is a member of our Your Morning Basket Plus membership and a mom who has been doing Morning Time for a number of years in her homeschool. What I love most about Colleen is all the practical insights she has into making homeschooling work for her family. Today she shares insights and tons of good ideas on how Morning Time can support a diverse group of learners.

Picture Books Aren't Just for Preschoolers Reading


And the nice thing is it works for both. It works for her because she’s getting to explore all the things and it works for them because I’m not sitting down with them and just going, okay, now here’s the hour and a half that I have for you and your aunt for all these subjects. Come on, let’s go with, fill out the workbook, lets do it. And they’re sitting there going, I wanna go play Lego. Instead, they’re doing it for fun as a family together. And they’re all benefiting from each other’s interests and passions and what they can contribute.

This is Your Morning Basket, where we help you bring truth, goodness, and beauty to your homeschool day.

Hi everyone. And welcome to episode 119 of the Your Morning Basket podcast. I’m Pam Barnhill, your host, and I’m so happy that you’re joining me here today. Well, today’s episode of the podcast is another one of those episodes where we invite in a mom, a homeschooling mom, who was doing Morning Time to kind of give you a peek inside her homeschool. How long has she been using Morning Time? What difference does it make in her homeschool? And just some of the different ways that she’s done it and adapted it over the years.

So today we are joined by homeschooling mom, Colleen Rien. She has been a member of our Your Morning Basket community for quite a while and she is always such a giving member. She always has such helpful tips, such wonderful advice. And we just love her. She’s been doing Morning Time since the beginning and her homeschool, and she’s going to be sharing all about it today. Now, if you would like more information about how to do Morning Time in your homeschool, we have a fun challenge coming up later this month. So go sign up for our Delight Four Days homeschooling challenge, where we’re going to take four days and show you how you can bring a little extra delight into your homeschool. Something that you and your kids are really going to enjoy doing together.

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You can find the signup page for the challenge pambarnhill.com/D4D. So that's the number four. Pambarnhill.com/d4d. We'll see you there. And now, on with podcast.
Colleen, welcome to the podcast.
Thank you. I'm glad to be here.
Well, tell us a little bit about you and your homeschool to start us off.
Okay. So we live in Texas and I have kind of always had it on my eye to homeschooll. I was the kind of person that I was introduced to it and I thought, oh, this is interesting. And I looked into it before I was even like married. And then it kind of just ended up where both my husband and I were kind of aligned with that was probably where we were going. And my, my oldest has autism, but he, he was reading it two and a half and he was writing at four. And so all of a sudden I was looking at a kindergarten year where the bulk of what you do in kindergarten was already done. And I was like, what, what am I going to do?
And so other than obviously we were going to progress and reading and things like that, but phonics reading lessons weren't going to take up the bulk of his academic energy. And so I ended up doing like a whole thing on United States geography, cause he was really in a flag. So we did all of the state like symbols and all of those kinds of things and learned about the different states.
There's a little bit of US history while doing our other math and things like that. And I had a four year old daughter at the time that was all like 200% in. Like she wanted to be with us there the whole time. And so doing like family style learning just kind of happened. And then on top of it, the Catholic homeschoolers at the time that were super popular, like Elizabeth Foss and Clay Gibson And I don't even know her real name, but the lady who runs the Shower of Roses blog, like they were all doing some family learning. And so for me, I just kind of connected the two with homeschooling. Like if you homeschool, you do some type of family learning. And so I was really lucky.
I never had to do the like awful, like for me, awful, I should say like, I have to do it all out of a box. It has to be this. And it has to be from nine to three. I never had to worry about that because I already kind of had the good idea to start. I was lucky.
So I love it. I love it. Okay. So it's Jessica at Shower of Roses. Read the same blog. So know exactly which one you're talking about. Love it. And do you have a teaching background? So I have, I don't have a certification. I have taught as a para in a special ed classroom. And then I ended up taking over as a permanent sub for the year in that classroom.
And then pretty much almost every other job I had was working with kids with autism. So I do have a lot of training that in other ways, like how to do like ABA style, behavior modification type stuff, and how to teach kids with that style and all kind across the board. So I did have a lot of experience with working with kids. My thing was like the teacher certificate and stuff is like, that's not, what's going to help you. I honestly think the most beneficial thing is having taught in a classroom is you don't buy into like all the falsehoods that you hear in your head, like in classrooms, no one is ever not wanting to do work or they finished the textbook or, you know, things never going array in a classroom. They're always following the lesson plan.
Well, no, if you've taught in a classroom, you know, that none of those things are true. So I think that's probably where it's helped more than in terms of like actual, like how do I teach homeschooling? It's just such a different prospect that the two don't really combine.
No, they really, they don't really compare to each other at all because it said it's such a different situation. I mean, so much of classroom teaching is about classroom management, you know, because no, not everybody is eager to do the lesson. So when did you first discover Morning Time? About how long have you been doing it?
So I guess that we've been doing it pretty much since the beginning. Now I made my own for the first few years. So I did, we started out with RC history, which is a Catholic history program that I would pull the readings from that and because my two oldest are so close in age, they just shared subjects because my daughter was kind of a little ahead in terms of where she was interests and like ability wise in terms of attention. And so they just kind of worked perfectly together with the content subjects.
So we kind of started out that way and we went with that and I would tinker and I would do my own thing. And then we joined Your Morning Basket in 2019. And that was really helpful for me because now I was in a place where I didn't have to start from scratch every single time, but I didn't feel like I was in a place where it was like, okay, well we finished that year. Now I have to start totally over, you know, where are we going to do here? What are we going to do here? What are we going to hear here? Instead, I had kind of like a buffet of options of like, okay, are we going to do the history plans? Are we going to do the lit plans?
Are we, you know, that I could pick from? And that I really think, joining helped us kind of take it up a notch because all of a sudden I had a lot more resources at my hands and it was kind of like having experts, helping me find the best of everything and I can still change things, but I kind of had somewhere to start.
I wasn't having to start with Pinterest and hours of research. That's really just scrolling. Right, right.
Yeah. I love that. Okay. So I wanted to touch on a couple of things you said, because I think it's important for parents who are looking at this idea of combining their kids for subjects. So you have this kid and I don't know if you watch the Big Bang Theory, but you're talking about like this super smart autistic kid who loves flags. And I'm thinking she's teaching Sheldon, Right? It's like fun with flags, but, and I know your son is a delight, but his show is Sheldon. It just struck me as funny. But so, but he's like Uber intelligent here, he's, he's reading super early and he's doing all of the things so much so that you're like, he's just going to be completely bored in kindergarten. And then you've got this four year old little sister who you, who you're like, well, she's advanced then I'm like, wait a second. You're older kids advanced, but you touched on this idea of her attention span and the content subject. So I just wanted to point out that content subjects are those subjects that are not the skill-based subjects.
Yeah. They're the subjects that are great for combining kids like a history or a science or something like that. And so how, you know, we're thinking like your son is so advanced, how are you saying your daughter's advanced? I mean, what do you mean by that? Why does it make it easy to combine?
So, I mean, a lot of it was just that she wanted to be with, she wanted to learn all of it. And so I, I can't guarantee that she remembered everything at four that we learned that year, but she wanted to be with us. She didn't want to be separate. And so I was like, if you can sit with us and you can do those, and even if it means doing a coloring sheet or Play-Doh or whatever, what I do and why now, like, it's much better than like me trying to teach you where I'm like holding will wave. Like, no, you can't be here right now. Like I have to do that. Sorry. And so I have six kids, right? So as I've had more kids come in,I've had different kids of various levels at a young age in terms of how much interest they are in doing those content subjects.
And so I've kind of worked it on a kid by kid basis. But for her, she was just 100% all in. Like she wanted to be there. She wanted to be asking questions. She wanted to be doing stuff. And so I was like, okay, I didn't, I wasn't like berating her, you know, like I wasn't asking her to do an narration because she wasn't old enough to be required to do those things.
But I'm like, what's it going to hurt you to listen to the picture book or, you know, coloring the picture of the flag or the birds or whatever. And you might not do it at the same level he does, but that's okay. You know, so for us, it's always kind of been, we'll do it together. And the most adjusting I've had to do over time is with having different kids with different levels of tension.
Right. Cause there are some kids like my, my two oldest that will pretty much sit there and I can do school all day with my daughter and she would do it just because she's just like super inquisitive and loves learning everything. I have younger boys that are like very much I'd rather build forts all day.
Yea, to quote Andrew Pudewa
So I do have to balance that. And the nice thing is it works for both.
It works for her because she's getting to explore all the things and it works for them because I'm not sitting down with them and just going, okay, now here's the hour and a half that I have for you. And you're on for all these subjects, come on, let's go with, fill out the workbook with do it. And they're sitting there going I wanna go build Lego. Instead they're doing it fun as a family together. And they're all benefiting each other's interests and passions and what they can contribute.
Oh, I love that. I love that little thing about them all being able to benefit from each other's passion. So that's great. And they're probably getting to do the Lego's during Morning Time. Like I know a lot of people are very big into doing things while you do Morning Time.
I do have five boys. So we do have to be a little careful. Like my rule is a, can't be so much noise, but I can't hear myself read to them and they have to be able to narrate. So I have some kids that can do stuff and narrate, and I have other kids that pretty much have to be sitting next to me or have to be kind of directed attention because they struggle in getting into their own world if they're doing too many other things, it depends on the kid. But yeah.
So this is interesting because I think a lot of times people get into this idea that like if the whole family is learning together, it's all lock step. Actually, I was reading some comments on a Facebook post the other day about homeschool planning. So we had posted it on the Facebook page and said like, what is your biggest challenge with homeschool planning? And there were a lot of answers there, but one thing that kept coming up over and over again with, I have all these different kids with all these different learning styles and you know me about learning style, that's a whole other podcast. I'll link it in the show notes, but I mean, can you do that when you're doing whole family learning, is there a way to meet everybody's needs?
Yeah, absolutely. So that's actually one of the things I really like about the Your Morning Basket membership and what it brought into our homeschool was it was really the first time I was seeing predone plans that had things like a video of the music. So the person would be seeing the concert and as well as hearing it, that had just a cool, like YouTube video of something interesting, like an interesting little factoid that told the story in five minutes, but may have been a 40 page book, you know, and different things like that. So I find I can hit things from different perspective. I have the amazing book lists from Jessica that just are out of this world amazing. But I also have the kind of quirky little videos. That's going to really appeal to one of my kids. So maybe he didn't a hundred percent grasp it from the video that I'm sorry, from the book, the video kind of takes him the rest of the way.
And also you can have different expectations. So like I have a kid that he's a rising second grader. He was not a great narrator though I want to say I having enough boys at this point. I really feel like maybe Charlotte Mason should have said, boys don't narrate till they're seven. I was, I swear, I always see boys at six and I'm like, you can't narrate your way out of a paper bag. I don't say that to them, but that's what I'm thinking. And then they turn seven and it's like a switch hits, but it was a struggle for him. Like, I would have to basically read a few sentences and then stop and have them narrate. Whereas, I could have my daughter who like, she was like one of the best in the worst examples of having a kid narrate right away, because she was one of my early narrators. And so I thought this was what narration was like. She can just spew out like three pages of narration. This is amazing. And then I had a boy that didn't do that. It was like, oh, what's going on here, what's wrong.
And God’s laughing.
Yes! And God’s laughing. And they're all different. And they have different talents. That's what's actually nice about Morning Time, is it gives them different ways. The kid who's does a bang up job at memory work may struggle a little bit with narration, but they may also be really great at picture study. So instead of it just being this one type of learning, right? But, oh, I'm going to be on the hunt for like their best possible learning you have a feast, they're going to be better. And they're going to like some parts of the feast more than others, but there's something for everyone. And there's usually a mode of expressing their learning that works for everyone. But it also requires them to work on the things they're not great at. I don't believe that the kid who struggles to narrate to just be like, oh, well, no big deal. Or the kid who has trouble attending to a book, you just go, okay, you're six. We just don't need to read. We'll just go to this. You know? But I think it helps to have something that's good for everyone, everyone. So they have a little bit of cake to make them happy.
I love that. I love that. Okay. So you started back in the day from the very beginning with these two kids, his five-year old, four year old and you know this great little family learning together. Now you've got six kids. So you've added more. How has your Morning Time evolved or changed since you started?
Yeah, so I've always had like, even when I had that five and a four year old, I would have had a two year old. I have my sons, my oldest about ready to turn 13. I've either always been pregnant, nursing a baby, have a preschooler toddler and usually a mix of both. So I find that people who have large families kind of lean on two specturms, they're either really short Morning Time or not everyone has to be at the table. And there are people that do both and hats off to them. That is not me.
We do a long Morning Time or any time last from an hour with everyone. And then usually another half an hour with my youngest who are doing additional subjects that the other ones are doing on their own. That’s an hour and a half Morning Time even for my youngest students. That’s a long time. So before they are in kindergarten, they are not required to come to Morning Time. They will come in and out. Most of my, like three-year-olds right around three, most of them realize no one's playing with the toys right now. Play room is a hundred percent mine.
In a family of 6, this is a big thing!
I can hear them up there. So I know what they're doing. And they're happy usually doing that. And then they'll bop in and out. Like usually when they hear us when picture study or something like that, they'll toddle in because even a three-year-old can look at it and talk about the pretty picture, right.
And so they'll kind of come in and out. And then once you hit kindergarten, it's kind of like a maturing time in my family. You're going to be here with us. And then once they hit first grade, we add in narration. You now have to narrate. It's not an option. You have to do it. And so we have to learn to work together.
And I kind of joke that sometimes it's a little like that patients joke where you, where you go, oh God, give me patience. Not the opportunities to be patient, just the patience. And it's kind of like, that was homeschooling, right? Because homeschooling is sanctifying. I tell people that a lot. It’s not sanctifying because it's easy. No, I had never read the saint story where they went and their life was easy and perfect. And they never had any trouble and they went to heaven and they were very holy. Amen.
You know, saints become saints through trials and tribulations. Well, it’s the same thing with our Morning Time. If we want our Morning Time to produce virtue, it's going to have struggles. There's going to be times when the toddlers decided to come in and it's climbing on top of someone's head.
There's going to be times when people are arguing about who gets to sit next to mom during the book reading that day, there's going to be times where the older kid is like over it and just wants to be done and go do their own work. But working through those things helps us all become not just better students, but better people. And I just want to tell people like that is not the time when you had your worst Morning Time and you're set up and maybe even closed the book and said, you know what we're done for today? That's it go play, I just, I need a few minutes.
Been there, done that, by the way.
Exactly. That's not the time. We're always tempted to then go, All these plans are terrible. Like I drew up horrible plans. I need to go find something else. No, you don't, you can't have a day.
You could pull up completely new plan. And yeah, you'll have a honeymoon period where it's new and it's fresh and it's exciting and they'll do everything perfectly for about a week. And then you'll be right back where you were before because oh yeah, it's sin at the root of the problem. You gotta deal with that. There's nothing you can do, you know? No, no curriculum is going to get the sin nature of your child. So, you know, that's kind of where I'm at with it. You just have to take the time to work through the problems and treat it as an opportunity to become a better learner and a better person, as opposed to this is terrible, we should just all go to independent learning.
So I can totally understand the temptation because I've had it.
Oh yeah. Oh yeah. Lots and lots of days. For sure. So have you ever had a period of time in your home where you just haven't done Morning Time?
Honestly, not that I can think of. It's just really, really important to me. It's kind of because of how we do content subjects. Even my older kids, like last year, they did history and science on their own next year, my oldest they're that way. My second oldest, she's going to be doing some history with us, some history on our own because I wanted to pull her back in a little bit more. But to me, there's just so many benefits of it. And I liked the immersive aspect of, we use the history plans. It's the bulk of what we use from Your Morning Basket. And I love that immersion of we're studying this period, we're listening to their music, we're looking at their artists, we're doing all of that. And I just can't imagine how exhausting that would be to have to cover that same thing with other kids. If you need a break, like I think like Explorations would be perfect for that or something along those lines. If you just need something else for a week where it's just like, okay, they can't, I put more, more Medieval artists on the board they're gonna, you know, go insane, pull up the Explorations, do something fun there. And it gives them a chance of a little bit of new.
That's kind of how I use Explorations. We don't do it. Like all of the things every month we go in and I usually pick a couple of the books off the list. And then we do like maybe two of the activities a week. And it's kind of that little bit of new and fresh so that things don't get old and the kids get excited. And a lot of times it's stuff that's a little bit more active. So my younger boys like it for that. And it gives us that something without having to quit.
Yeah. Yeah. So what about when you've had new babies or things like that, have you taken like extended breaks?
Okay. So I do Plan Your Year. So I plan in a maternity leave basically, if I'm going to have a baby. So I plan my school year around it. But what I quickly find is once, because I have C-sections, once I've kind of gotten over the physical healing, I find Morning Time works great for when your baby has nursed and they’ve fallen asleep. Like to me, the newborn is not, I should clarify this. I've only had one colicky baby. And it was my second. So no, I would not have done Morning Time. I can tell you if you have a colicky baby, you do what you gotta do to survive. I just want to make sure I'm very clear about that. I I've been very blessed that most of my kids have been like nursing to sleep, you know, throw them up on the shoulder and they're happy while I can read.
So like this last baby, for example, I had in November. So right around the start in December, I was ready to get back doing some, like having a routine actually helps. Yeah. And so it was the Christmas Around the World Exploration. So we just went like gangbusters on that. And there were videos and you know, all kinds of great stuff.
And we could go down all of these rabbit trails that we could go down. And instead of just not doing anything, the kids are doing something they're learning, but I can do pretty much all of it while my baby's sleeping and I'm in the recliner, you know, but we don't have to miss out and I don't have to spend the whole day going. I need you to be quiet cause the baby's gonna wake up and there's going to be noise either way. So we might as well be doing something productive is kind of how I feel about it. But it does change. Like I'm not going to be like, okay, we're doing a two hour Morning Time, whether you like it or not. Like if the baby wakes up, they want to nurse and they're not, you know, sometimes babies are cool nursing while you're reading. And sometimes they're like hitting the book like, no, no attention must be here, mom. In which case it's like, okay, close the books with, do some other activities. It's a great time for the playlist or other types things that I can put up that they can do. So it will fluctuate. But I just, to me, unless I've scheduled it into my year, we don't take a break from Morning Time if I can help it.
Yeah. Yeah. And you, you started to allude to this and then you kind of got off to talking about some other things. But the hardest year after having a baby is not the first year.
Right. It's the, one-year old to two year old. That's like, everybody's like, I'm having a baby next year. How am I going to survive? I'm like, well, you know, after the first three months when you just never sleep and you know, then it's probably going to get a lot easier. It's that second year you've got to watch out for.
Exactly. That's what I just went through. And it's like, it goes from the baby being happy. Like now the baby wants to take the book out of your hand and they're walking around and they're pulling other people's things off their lap. And they're not really at the age where they can be by themselves playing somewhere. Cause we can't, you know, they need to be attended to.
And so that's me as a time for us to really like be teaching patience. So like that's the time for me to tell me all this, like, yeah, I know it's annoying. He just ripped your memory workbook out of your hand, let's put it back with,let’s find something for him to do. And it's, they're learning patience through it. And so yeah, there are days where it has to be cut shorter, but it works. It works. You just have to kind of like, I know a lot of people will say it's a season and if you only have two or three kids, that's true. But like my 13 year old, his entire academic career has been during this season.
Have you ever had a preschool or nurse the baby or been pregnant? So we gotta do school. So I had to figure out a way to make it work and that having those plans and having things to do has really been the center of our homeschool for really long time.
I, it, I love it. So other than like just being the center of your homeschool, what are some other race that Morning Time has positively impacted your schooling?
So I’ve become like an evangelists for Jessica's booklist in Your Morning Basket. So anyone who's homeschooled for like five seconds, they know that you can find book lists galore. Like there are lots of people that put out amazing book lists, but after you've spent like maybe an hour on Pinterest, they all start to look the same.
Most of them have the same five books and those books are on there for a reason. They're really good books and those books will be on Jessica’s list too. But somehow even though I have basically an entire shelf in my library that is books about books and I have all the lists, Jessica finds books that I have never seen before. And they're just amazing.
We were doing birds and I thought we did a bird study when my daughter was like three because we had a dove in our backyard and she wanted to go to library a get all the books. And then we did birds study another time, because it kind of started this long fascination with it and so I have like 20 bird books in the house. I was like, I don't know if I'll even need another bird book. I'll pull all the ones I have. And so I did match up if we had a book about beaks, it wasn't the same, but I was happy with my beak book. We did that book, but I remember I found one, it was about new Caledonian birds. And it was a Scientist in the Field series I think is what it's called.
I never heard about this series before. And I was like, oh, this sounds interesting. It was on Thriftbooks for like four bucks. I bought it. It came in and this book was amazing. I had no idea that there were birds that built tools until I read this book. And it was the level of a book that I read with all of my kids cause it was super fascinating. But you could have completely, if you were doing Explorations for example, and you had a middle schooler and maybe you only have a middle schooler and you're looking at first and you go, oh maybe this is the for little kid. This was a middle school book. You could have handed this to a middle school book. And it was completely at their reading level. It was paragraphs per page. It was super fascinating. It taught the scientific method, like just packed full of knowledge. I honestly think even a high schooler, would have found it interesting, the information. And that's what I find really are the gems in her book lists. It's not just, here's the five picture books that everyone uses that they're great.
But it's these other things that have excellent back matter or will appeal to every age or like for history. She always finds these cool choose your adventure books that aren't the boring, like there's some choose your adventure books as they're really cheesy. Like the point is for the reaction more than it is for the truth. These are not like that, these are great books to teach things.
They're so fun. But my kid who is younger that can lean a little, like this is kind of boring. He's totally engaged. Cause he wants to pay attention because he needs to know the choices so he can pick where we're going next. And so the book lists have been invaluable. So even if I'm not doing a set of plans, but maybe like there's a topic and another subject that we're doing that I want to pick something from I'll do the little, I think we still have that membership right. Where you can go to a site and you can type in the word and it will pull up the plans. I will do that because I will go look at Jessica’s book lists and go, okay, I'll go get some books from here because honestly, and I just straight up buy them. I don't even go to library because I have never read a book from Jessica where I've been like, oh, that wasn't that great. I don't need to own it. I need to own them all. And I’m not buying them all new on Amazon. But like if they're on thriftbooks, I'm buying them because I know I'm going to want them forever. And I know we're going to read them again. So the book lists are definitely like, that's what I always tell everyone about.
Okay. That's so funny. And like, so Jessica has this library like you would not believe in her house. And she truly does kind of have this gift for finding the best books and she finds what she calls these niche books. And it sounds exactly like the one you're talking about with the birds. Another one, this Cottey is mushrooms. Did y'all get that. When did you ever do the mushroom? I think it was in like a seasonal set of Morning Time. It was in like a spring set or something and there was mushrooms and my daughter loves mushrooms. She's a high schooler. She still has this book. It's a picture book, but it's got such great information, like totally as a high schooler, she pulls it out and there's so much wonderful information in there. So yeah, we're just truly blessed with having Jessica and her ability to find these really, really good books. So I love that. And then the index. Yeah. So you can still go in and search a topic in the index and it'll show you where we've talked about it in the plans before. So you can go find that set of plans and pull up the books and follow those rabbit trails to wherever they might lead you. So yeah, I love it.
So what about fruits? What are some of the fruits that you've seen in your kids for Morning Time?
I mean, for me the biggest thing is the relationship. And I know that there are some people now saying it's not about the relationship and I'm just like, I don't know. I think it kind of is. I get the fact that, you know, yes, your kids' education is important. You can't give up that for the sake of relationship, but I don't think anyone who's arguing about relationships is saying that, but I have my oldest and my youngest, I've been taking the pictures of them the last year. And actually, no, I'm sorry. It's my second youngest. My four year old because they're like buddies. They both love being outside, but I'm still at the point because he's a little bit like, and very adventurous where I'm not really comfortable with him being outside on his own. I'm just like, I don't know what you're going to decide to do. So I'm like, you need to find someone and it's hot in Texas pretty much all year round. And so sometimes kids want to be outside and sometimes they're like, sorry, it's too hot. And my oldest is autistic is like, yeah, we'll go outside. And there's been in there. Like we have a big platform type swing that they're sitting in and just swinging away.
And all I could think of, I think this picture was if I had these kids in school or even if they were doing all of their work independently, I would not have a 13 year old and a four year old that just genuinely love spending time together. And that's not because they're intellectual equals or anything like that. It's just, they've enjoyed life together. We've done stuff together. And so the idea that you would spend time apart just because you're younger and just be like, get away from me, you’re only four, I don't want to spend time with you. It doesn't exist because they're used to it and they have to learn to deal with each other and in learning to deal with each other, they actually realize, Hey, I actually like you. I think you're cool. There's things we can do. That doesn't mean they don't have times where they kind of pair off the older kids, go off and do their own thing. And the younger kids go off and do their own thing. But there's not this automatic association that I remember from my own childhood of, ugh, I gotta hang out with the babies.
It's just, what are we going to do? And I just can't think that if we hadn't spent Morning Time together, that that would've necessarily happened. I think if it would have been all of the subjects at their own level individually, especially cause I have a lot of boys, and boys are competitive. I could have just seen it as being like Oh I’m like a level of reading than you are, or like, you know, different things like that. Or, you know, and that's an individual subject, but you know, or I can do this or I've learned that and you haven’t. And I could see a lot of that kind of arguing back and forth. But with Morning Time, it's like, oh yeah, we're all learning about that. And so when they're talking to grandma and grandpa or someone else is, oh, we're learning about this. Or, you know, Ms. Pam does a poem yesterday and it was so much fun and they're all doing it together. It's not just one kid going well, I'm doing this. And the other ones are like, bored because they don't want to hear about it and they don't care what their siblings doing. They're all, they're all enjoying life together. And for me, the other big fruit of Morning Time is that it really does, and I guess it's homeschooling in general, but it allowed us to have time with our larger family.
So when I can schedule a subject, kind of get it done as a family, I can build these breaks down homeschool where grandma and grandpa are coming down and we can not have school that week. They're teaching them about the things that we're learning because they're interested, so they're telling grandma and grandpa all about it and they get time. You know, my mom just passed and all I can think about with all of the years where we were able to take those chunks and do those with her and spend time with her and just think if we hadn't done that, if they had been in school A, we wouldn't have been able to take the time off that we took off because I wouldn't have been able to schedule my school year around it. You know, we do the same amount of days, just different time periods. But then on the other hand, I find that kids who haven't been in Morning Time, who don't do that type of learning, get this idea at a certain age, the grandparents are cool anymore. It's just like, or aunts or uncle, like, they get bored. Like they're just like, oh, let me go play with the kids my age. Whereas my kids, they see a distinction in terms of respect, but they don't see a distinction in terms of like, you're someone that I could still talk to you about everything I'm interested in.
They all come running to the door when my mother-in-law, their grandma comes over, you know, they're interested. So I find that the relationship you build with a family and Morning Time extends outward. So it's not just your own family. It's Hey, I noticed that mom learns with me when we're studying this musician or we're studying this painting or she goes, you know, I don't know, lets look it up. I bet grandma's like that too. So she's talking about something I don't understand. Maybe I asked her a question and we go off and we Search it together. They don't just assume that school is this box that you put it in. And once it's over, you're done, you know, school is really all the time.
Well, you know, we talk a lot about moms learning alongside of their kids and modeling, but I've never thought about it from that, you know, from the opposite direction that when kids have the mom, who's learning along with them and modeling the lifelong learning and things like that, that they're going to assume that everybody else is too. And therefore everybody else is going to be interesting to talk to.
So yeah, that's really cool. That's really cool.
What would you say to a mom who's hesitant about starting Morning Time in her home? Maybe she's tried it before and she's a little overwhelmed.
Yeah. I mean, I think I would recommend joining Your Morning Basket for a few reasons. One is you have pre-made plans and then good premade plans.
So not someone who I'm, someone who's looked into a lot of different, like literature-based curriculums and stuff that navigate really easily to Morning Time. And the problem is what you'll hear most often when people are struggling with those is it's a buffet, you just have to pick and choose. Well, that's really overwhelming if you're also concerned, what if I don't make the right choices?
Like what if I pick the wrong book? What if this doesn't work unless I do all of it, and so having a plan that's doable. And that's one of my favorite things about the plans at Your Morning Basket is they're very sensible. There isn't too much reading. There's not too much of the beauty type stuff. There's things in there to appeal to real kids, varying interests and degrees of liking school. You can take basically any set of plans in there, get your books and start tomorrow. There isn't this, like, there's a schedule in there that you can follow. There's a loop you can follow it's all right there. So that would be my first piece of advice is join there.
The other reason I say join is because the community is amazing.
It's my favorite place on the internet because everyone's super supportive and there's no like I'm in this type of homeschooler and you're not doing it right. You know? Everyone's like, how do you homeschool? And how can I help you meet the goals that you have? It's not about whether your goals are my goals. It's okay, your goal is that your kid really loves reading.
Well, here you do X them that might help. Or this is what helps when I was trying to get a kid passionate about reading.It's not, well, you know, if you have been doing Charlotte Mason, all along, your child would just naturally love reading. Like, you know, there's none of that. There's no judgment. In fact, what you're most likely to hear from people is like, oh yeah, I had a kid like that. It's really hard mama. You're going to be okay. And so I think having a community of people, whether it be a co-op in person or something like Your Morning Basket is super important because on the days where it's really hard, you're not turning around your neighbor who put kids on the bus because that's what works for their family, no judgment. And she's going well, you know, it's a lot easier. The school bus comes to the corner. Put them on that. You're talking to people about the difficulties who know the bonuses of doing it and can remind you when you can't see it yourself. So I would say, you know, you need to have a community.
And I, I really, when you're starting out, I think having a plan that's doable that you can deviate from later if you want, you can add to later. I mean, we add some things that we love that we've done over the years. You know, I might change this out for something else. You can do all of that when you want to, but you have the bones, you have something to start from. So you're not just looking at a blank piece of paper going, well, that sounds great. But my kid just chucked the Lego block and someone, and I don't really know what I'm doing and I don't know if this plan is going to get me anywhere because he came up with it all in her head. There's some security of knowing, okay, Jessica picked that awesome book list. I know if I only get a few things here, I'm good. I know that Genie has set up, like we do the history plan. Her music lessons are amazing. I know very little about classical music. I was totally the person who has a kid. I liked the arts, but when it came to the symphony, I was like, this doesn't have lyrics. I'm not interested. And through from lessons, I such more appreciation now for music throughout time and what it's doing and what it's not doing, but I don't have to be a music expert. Genie’s my music expert for me. She's done it. The lessons are there. Or even if it's not the ones with the lesson, there's a playlist all ready to go and you just have to be ready to come to the table and present it. If that makes sense.
It does. It does. I love it. I love it. And yeah, I depend on these same experts too. I am certainly not an expert at any of these things. So it's really nice to have kind of those resources of the people who have done it before and do have kind of that expertise. So we absolutely love it and love all the resources that we have.
Well, Colleen, thank you so much for coming on and telling us about your Morning Time and so encouraging to moms about what it's like and why they should do it. Some really great nuggets. I think my favorite was like, you know, no curriculum is going to get the sin nature out of your child. I'm going to use that one. I'm going to, I'm going to credit it you.
It would be really nice if it did Because then I'd be like, where's the box? How much does it cost?
We could probably market that one really well, but yeah, so, so much great stuff here. And so we just really appreciate you and all the help that you give in our community. So thanks so much for joining us.
Thank you.
And there you have it. Now, if you would like links to any of the books and resources that Colleen and I chatted about today, including Jessica's wonderful book list and the delight four days challenge that I am inviting you to come and enter into. You can find those on the show notes for this episode of the podcast. That's at Pam barnhill.com/YMB119. We'll have links to everything over there for you.
And Hey, I want to say thank you so much for taking time to listen to us each week, to spend a little time with us. We really appreciate you doing that. It means so much to us that you think we are worth your time to listen to.
And we hope that your homeschool year is going to get kicked off to a great start. I know some of you have already started and some of you, it might be a little bit longer because the weather's still so nice where you are, but wherever you are on this journey, we appreciate you taking us along with you. We'll be back in a couple of weeks with another fun homeschooling interview until then keep seeking truth, goodness and beauty in your homeschool day.

Key Ideas about Overcoming Morning Time Challenges

Morning Time is a great opportunity for families to learn together, and there is usually something for everyone.

Because there are a variety of subjects touched on in Morning Time, it’s easy to find something that every child will enjoy, and they benefit from learning about each other’s interests as well.

Morning Time allows children to work on things they are not great at, also.

Colleen has seen amazing fruit in doing Morning Time together. She has seen that it not only connects her children to one another, but to their extended family as they share what they have learned with others.

One of the things Colleen has found helpful in achieving Morning Time in her home was to use the premade plans from Your Morning Basket Plus. Using those plans has allowed her to rely on the expertise of others making the resources to help her be successful.

Find what you want to hear:

  • [3:22] meet Colleen Rein
  • [12:42] meeting everyone’s needs in Morning Time
  • [16:29] overcoming Morning Time challenges
  • [26:45] ways Morning Time has positively impacted Colleen’s homeschool
  • [31:45] the fruit of Morning Time
  • [37:40] encouragement for the uncertain mom

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Thanks for your reviews

  • Always a favorite!
    by Lizzie O' from United States

    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!

  • Morning time will change your life
    by RachBoz from United States

    I’ve listened to YMB and Pam off and on for years, and she literally changed my life 7 years ago when I was just starting to homeschool. I’m so thankful for her ministry and encouragement to homeschool moms of all ages! I highly recommend doing morning time!

  • Life Affirming
    by Logandinco66 from United States

    This podcast is amazing and has helped me so much as recovering perfectionist homeschooling mama! Pam gives so much great insight into so many aspects of life and focusing on homeschooling.

  • Life giving!
    by lapatita5 from United States

    This podcast has been so great. It’s so practical and encouraging without being overly preachy or narrow. It gives ideas in a take-what-fits kind of way. I have used many of the recommended resources and ideas mentioned and been inspired by many others. Even the episodes that I found less relevant to me specifically, often had tidbits that I could use. Pam’s podcasts, books, and resources have been a godsend to me in my beginning years of homeschooling, helping me discover my own way to teach my kids in a way that prioritizes what is most important to us.

  • You've made my school year!
    by Lizzie O' from United States

    Pam, My children are almost 11 and 13 and I never sent this review in! I found it sitting here. This is testimony that I am still so blessed by this podcast years later. So here it is: I wrote you an email when I first felt it placed on my heart to homeschool my now 6

  • Love the show!
    by Startup Travis from United States

    Love your content and the guests you have visiting the show! I am a huge believer in using the morning hours well. Thank you for your direction and products!

  • Enjoy the podcast & some thoughts…
    by rufocused from United States

    I enjoy listening to tips on starting and using morning time as I am just starting it this year. We have kind of done it in the past, but when you only have one child you tend to just call it bible, story time, etc… but now that my second one is old enough to join we’re going to have more of a true morning time. I did notice Pam mentioned CNN ten in one episode. CNN can be pretty liberal biased in the main news, I’m not sure if they curb that in the “CNN ten”, but thought I would mention the Daily Wire, which is from a conservative viewpoint (and often covers indoctrination in public schools) and could be fun to compare and contrast with CNN. Our family also recently discovered Daily Citizen from Focus on the Family which has a very Christian perspective, which has been refreshing as news can be so depressing sometimes! Just thought I’d throw that out there… but really do appreciate the perspectives and insights of these women who have been doing this for awhile!

  • Very helpful and pleasant to listen to.
    by Heather homeschooler from United States

    I have listened to many episodes of this podcast and have highly recommended it to others. It has been a wonderful source of inspiration and encouragement. Pam has a great voice and presence and I love that she does not interrupt or talk over her guests. Thank you for your hard work!

  • Always insightful!!
    by method_money from Canada

    Pam always has great great guests who bring great insights and encouragement! I so appreciate her down to earth style and ability to ask great questions! Keep up the great work!!

  • A wildly encouraging and equipping podcast for homeschool families.
    by Eryn Lynum from United States

    As a homeshool mama of four (Ages 2-9), Pam's podcast has been an increidble encouragement to me. Not only that, but I have discovered so many helpful resources for focusing on what is lovely and true during our homeschool days. I love that it is not overwhelming in nature, but instead a gentle help for moving forward one day at a time in our homeschooling adventure.

  • Best podcast for homeschooling/variety of topics
    by Bethetal from United States

    I love this podcast for so many reasons. (1) Pam is friendly, funny, humble and kind (2) She covers a multitude of topics (one at a time)- I have learned about nature notebooks, classical music study, narration, living books, Shakespeare and so much more. Whenever I have a question about a new (to me)HS term or practice, I come here to listen to Pam interview someone about it. Her interviewees have all been all-in on their respective areas of interest/expertise and I love the way she interviews/asks questions to really let the guests shine as they speak. I have changed the structure of my homeschool, found books for my kids and me, purchased materials, and found inspiration due to this podcast and I can’t recommend it enough! This podcast has shaped my homeschool in so many positive ways, most of which I probably can’t even articulate yet, as the changes have been done inside of me. Thanks, Pam!

  • Great!!!
    by Eloblah from United States

    I love the variety of things that are talked about on this show for homeschooling - things that I would never even think about including or doing - with easy ways to do them. Very much recommend this podcast

  • New home schooling mom
    by A prit from United States

    I am listening to the past episodes and loving it. This podcast has helped me develop my own homeschool. So many ideas!! I love morning time so much, we do a nightly family time so my husband and public school attending son. We do all the things instead of watching tv, playing ps4, and YouTube. My kids hang around me every evening asking if we are doing family time. I can tell they love it but don’t want to admit it.

  • Morning Time Magic!
    by DrewSteadman from United States

    I am so excited Pam is back to her morning time focus for 2020. Our homeschool has been shaped by the rich ideas and practical wisdom shared here.

  • Yay! Morning time is back!
    by Homeschooler in Germany from United States

    I was so happy and excited to learn that Pam is shifting her focus back to Morning Time for 2020! I’ve missed the morning time exclusive podcast and can’t wait to hear her back in my earbuds.

  • So excited for 2020!
    by JCrutchf from United States

    I absolutely LOVE this podcast and was so disappointed when I realized you were not actively producing it! I’m NOW relieved to know there is a whole year of episodes ahead! I’m beginning my homeschool journey with 4 little ones very close in age and my style falls somewhere in the Classical and Charlotte Mason. I found your podcast by chance via Instagram recommendation as I was doing research on “morning menus.” Your content is beautifully philosophical but at a level most parents will be able to grasp and appreciate. Filled with truth, beauty, and goodness! Your episodes fill me up and leave me feeling inspired personally and in regards to my children’s education. Everything is so good! Please don’t stop producing ever again! I’ll be grateful forever!

  • So glad Your Morning is back!!!
    by alissajohn2020 from United States

    So glad to have the morning basket podcast back! Thank you for bringing it back!!

  • So good I ran out of gas.
    by JoanieHummel from United States

    This podcast is awesome! It was recommended to me a few years ago by a very wise and experienced homeschool mom but I didn’t start listening until I saw it come up a few more times on Facebook, recommended in various groups (in particular, episode number 41). I wish I had picked it up years ago! So much great information, I’m learning so much! Be careful though, I was so interested listening to this podcast that I didn’t notice how low my gas tank was getting! I ran out of gas and as I write this review I’m stranded on the side of the road waiting for a friend to come rescue me! Happy listening!

  • Knowledge Goldmine
    by A.J. Edwards from United States

    I’ve just been eating up every episode of this brilliant podcast over the past few months. The guests are stellar and Pam’s interview style is wonderful. She gets each guest to the meat and potatoes of their topic but it’s anything but a plain meal. This is a feast for the homeschool mom’s mind. I know I’ll be revisiting many of my favorite episodes again and again. Feeling so inspired by each guest!

  • Myths and fairytale truths for homeschoolers
    by Allierhn from United States

    Mind blown! I’m listening to the myth podcast and it’s absolutely perfect. It is answering so many questions I’ve struggled with my whole life. It helps me to view our curriculum and informs my teaching so much more.

  • Super Helpful!
    by Jennlee C from United States

    I can’t speak highly enough about this podcast. It has been a huge inspiration and a practical help to my homeschool! Thank you so much Pam Barnhill and everyone else who contributes to this. It has been an amazing blessing to me and my children… And possibly generations to come!

  • Practical Inspiration
    by Mamato3activeboys from Australia

    Not only am I inspired by each episode of this podcast but I have actually put so many of the ideas into practice in our own morning time. Such a huge help as I seek to inspire my non-stop boys to truth, goodness and beauty. We are now memorising poetry as they jump on the trampoline and they love Shakespeare. That's a parenting win in my book!

  • So many great ideas!
    by Parent 98765 from Malaysia

    Thank you, Pam! I’m now bursting with inspiration and can’t wait to start our 2019 school year with a strong morning time routine.

  • Joy
    by Ancon76 from United States

    My heart is enriched and I can’t wait to learn more.

  • Just what I was looking for!
    by Joey5176 from United States

    I was looking for morning basket ideas—simple ones. These podcasts are giving me a picture of a good morning basket.

  • Wow!! What amazing nuggets of knowledge
    by HeRo84 from United States

    This is truly life changing information for me as a homeschool mother. Thank you Pam for this amazing series.

  • Love it!
    by s chenvmv from United States

    I love all of Pam’s podcast but this one is prob my favorite. I love to listen to all her guest and see the different ways a morning time can be done

  • Excellent
    by W.A., R.A. Hall from United States

    Love this!

  • Love, love, love this show
    by SarahPMiller from United States

    And I'm not even a homeschooling mother! But I've created a Morning Time for my children nonetheless, and I wouldn't have been inspired to do it -- nor could I have done it -- without this podcast. It's my favorite, and I get something out of every single episode.

  • Wonderful resource!
    by honebubble from United States

    This podcast has changed what I thought I could offer my children, my family and myself... I never would have believed that it would be possible to live a life as so many people actually do. Thank you for these tools and for what you do to help women, teachers, moms and all those on this path. You are amazing and I just can’t get enough, each episode teaches me so much!! Thank you again!

  • A wonderful podcast!
    by NoName2018 from Canada

    Great ideas and interesting guests - thanks Pam!!

  • Insightful, Inspiring, Life-Giving Podcast
    by Mackenziechester from United States

    I love this podcast. It has turned cleaning my kitchen into a really valuable part of my day. There are great tips here for gathering your family together and finding ways to share the things you are passionate about but can never quite find the time to fit in to a typical school day. So many ideas, so many varied topics. Great, inspiring guests. Life-changing podcast. Thanks so much for sharing these ideas!

  • Such great choices of guests
    by andinic from United Kingdom

    This podcast is inspirational for your homeschool plans. Pam Barnhill has a delightful interviewing style and her guests share their insights and enthusiasm for their topics. Among my favourites are the episodes with Cindy Rollins, and Angelina Stanford. Don’t miss this encouraging podcast!

  • Great
    by WifeyKayla from United States

    Some great interviews and very helpful for figuring out the flow of our mornings.

  • Interesting ideas
    by Lisa1932 from Canada

    Just started this podcast. There are some very interesting ideas here on how to create quality time with your children, learning together and focusing on the things that are most important in life. Great hearing other moms' stories too.

  • WARNING: This podcast will revolutionize your homeschool!
    by JoysTeacher from United States

    Honestly, I started listening to this podcast because I had run out of other homeschool podcasts to listen. I really didn't think we needed a morning time! I homeschool one teen daughter and I thought the concept was too "baby" for us. WOW! I was completely wrong!! We needed a morning time, and it has changed the climate and the productivity of our homeschool. The habit was so important to us, we still do morning time when we are one break. (And neither of us is a "morning" person). Pam is an talented interviewer and will not waste your time (her time is precious, too)!

  • Excellent!
    by Jodylleigh from United States

    I'm really enjoying the ideas and tips Pam bring up in this podcast!

  • Truly an inspiration!
    by Soaring2him from United States

    I have started a morning basket just because of listening to this podcast. Pam sold me on the beauty of having a morning basket. I love all of the ideas I've gleaned from listening and I've implemented many of the ideas I have heard about through this podcast. It's really helped simplify some things in our homeschool day!

  • Easy to listen too, incredibly practical
    by HarrisFamily0323 from United States

    I really enjoy Your Morning Basket. Pam is a great host and I have taken away many practical ideas and had many unrealistic expectations corrected. I don't listen to all the episodes, but the ones I've thought were pertinent to my needs and have been able to apply something helpful to our homeschool. Thanks Pam!

  • So helpful for this new homeschooling mom
    by klund08 from United States

    I'm planning our first homeschool year and have really enjoyed this podcast! The interviews are great and I enjoy hearing from different homeschooling moms and how things work in their family. I'm excited to start Morning Time with my kids!

  • You've made my school year!
    by Lizzie O' from United States

    Pam, I wrote you an email when I first felt it placed on my heart to homeschool my now 6 & 8 year old children and you responded with a warm response. I then began to listen to every podcast you have (all 3!) and I have been so very inspired and encouraged in so many ways that it would take up too much time here to explain it all. This Morning Basket podcast is really a light for me and my children as not only are they the recipients of our mornings of gathering but so am I. I have learned so much from your guests (and you!) and have been able to take tips/ideas to add to what my own mornings look like. We truly have experienced Truth, Goodness and Beauty. God certainly has chosen you for this type of work and serving to others. Thank you for what you do!

  • Thanks Pam!
    by BraveMomma from United States

    So many great ideas every single week! Thanks!

  • Truth, goodness, and beauty
    by I'm Sonny from United States

    Need I say more? I am deeply grateful for this profound and practical resource as we seek to surround our children in the truth, in goodness, and in things beautiful. I leave feeling encouraged, refreshed, determined and equipped.

  • Very encouraging
    by .....hk..... from United States

    So helpful with recommendations for new things to do in morning time.

  • A wonderful podcast full of useful tips!
    by Klarnold79 from United States

    I have listened to almost every episode over the last few months on my morning runs and they have made me look forward to running! I have learned so much and have been inspired to add truth, goodness and beauty to our homeschool days. Thank you so much!!

  • Wow! Talk about a solid series!
    by KastenbauerFamily from United States

    Each episode is fabulous alone, and when you've been listening for a while, they all continue to be full of new information!

  • Hope for the weary
    by MomToTheMasses from United States

    I enjoy the variety of topics covered as well as Pam's cheerful personality. Thank you for being a cup of cold water for so many homeschool mamas.

  • Great guests and host
    by My Life as a Rinnagade from United States

    I love the people Pam has on and all the great morning time tips! Thanks for a wonderful show :).

  • Mamma of Five
    by Mamma of Five from United States

    The ideas, information and encouragment that Pam shares through the different guests and talking about the purpose and practice of Your Morning Basket has been a huge blessing to our family. Helped me to practically see how to bring truth, beauty, and goodness to our day.

  • Great Homeschool Resource
    by KS Becky R from United States

    I have just started listening and am gaining so much knowledge and practical advice. I can't wait to keep listening to more.

  • Really great!
    by BeeGerW from United States

    I love hearing all these ideas!

  • californiafamily
    by californiafamily from United States

    I absolutely love Your Morning Basket podcasts. Pam interviews excellent people & so far, I've incorporated information from each podcast & have purchased many items that the interviewee's suggest. I think all families could benefit from this even if they don't homeschool! Thank you so much!

  • Love Pam's podcasts
    by Flourishing Mama from United States

    There are many homeschool related podcasts that I enjoy, both for their content and the host. But I must say that Pam Barnhill's podcasts are top-notch for the following reasons: 1) the content is both relevant AND in-depth, 2) she NEVER interrupts the guest speakers with incessant (annoying) "uh huhs," "ummms," and such, 3) she provides multiple lists and links to supplemental materials that are really useful and interesting, and 4) she shares forms she's created even though she could make you pay for them. She has a gift for tapping in to the issues homeschool moms are REALLY dealing with. Thanks Pam. Keep up the good work!

  • First Things First
    by Lukenoah from United States

    Every episode inspires me to start my day bringing my children the true the good and the beautiful through our family time.

  • So helpful!
    by jofcrich from Australia

    Every time I see that I have a new podcast from Pam Barnhill I know it's going to be good. Every one I have listened to (which is all of them!) have helped, inspired and encouraged me in some way or another. Pam is so good at summarising what her interviewee has just spoken about; a great knack which helps me distill the main ideas from all that good conversation. I really like that she always has links to whatever is discussed so that I can go back to it in the future and find what I need.

  • Great resource
    by Ejs0928 from United States

    Such a help for a new homeschooler. Highly recommend that you check it out if you'd like to learn more about starting your day with morning time.

  • Amazing!
    by CDefnall from United States

    This podcast is filled with great information to help you take full advantage of morning time or all together time in your homeschool. It also has great tips for extending your child education whether they are in public or private school as well. We all want to aid our kids in thier success and no matter if you are a homeschool parent or a public/private school teacher this podcast will enlighten you and provide valuable information you to to better help your students.

  • Inspiring and enlightening
    by spycej from United States

    One of my favorite podcasts and I love and subscribe to all of Pam's podcasts. Thank you for the fabulous interviews.

  • Must-Listen for Homeschooling Moms
    by DaffodilSocks from United States

    This podcast has revolutionized how I homeschool my young children. A must-listen.

  • One of my favorites
    by FaithAZ from United States

    Love Pam and all of her podcasts - can't wait for new episodes!

  • Great Ideas
    by Hiphooray from United States

    Just found this podcast and have been listening to them over the summer break. Pam is a great host and has fun guests and together they bring a lot of inspiration to the concept of morning time in homeschool. Thanks for the great resource!!

  • TaraVos
    by TaraVos from United States

    I would not be exaggerating if I said that I have learned so much from this practical, encouraging podcast that has changed our homeschool. Thank you Pam!

  • Lots of useful information
    by Kristizy from United States

    This podcast does a great job finding guests who give a ton of practical help to make morning time enjoyable and educational for everyone. I always feel reenergized after listening to any of Pam Barnhill's podcasts.

  • 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!

  • 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!



  • Amanda Witten says:

    This is great! I am just having a hard time finding “Jessica’s” booklist, etc. Please help!

    • Dawn Garrett says:

      Jessica’s Booklists are part of the Morning Time plans we sell on the site and part of the YMB+ Subscription.

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