YMB #19 Getting the Year Off to a Good Start

We’re starting off a new season of Your Morning Basket with an episode all about planning and preparing for Morning Time. Pam and her good friend Dawn Garrett, who is the coordinator for the Your Morning Basket online community, discuss everything from the first ingredient of a solid Morning Time plan to how to pull ourselves out of those Morning Time slumps.

Whether you are brand new to Morning Time this year or a seasoned vet looking for a little inspiration, enjoy!


This is Your Morning Basket where we help you bring Truth, Goodness, and Beauty to your homeschool day.

Hi everyone, and welcome to episode 19 of the Your Morning Basket podcast. I’m Pam Barnhill, your host, and I am so happy that you are joining me here today. Well, today is a special show in that I’m not really doing an interview. I am having on my good friend, Dawn Garrett, who is the Community Manager for the Your Morning Basket community, and as such, Dawn spends her time answering a lot of questions from homeschooling moms and encouraging them all about Morning Time. And so she’s on here today with me and we’re chatting about how to get your year off to a good start; how to get your Morning Time off to a good start in the new school year. And so we give you what we think are some of our better tips and we talk about some of the places where you might get hung up in starting a new year and a new Morning Time. So, sit back, enjoy the program.

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My friend, Dawn Garrett, is a mom of three who has been writing for over 15 years at her blog LadyDusk. And she’s also the author of the free eBook, “I Am, I Can, I Ought, I will. Charlotte Mason’s Motto explained for upper elementary students.” Dawn is also the coordinator for the Your Morning Basket and Plan your Year communities where she provides customer care, encouragement, and helpful answers to any number of homeschooling questions. On her blog Dawn shares book reviews, curriculum choices, Morning Time plans, and so much more. She joins us on the podcast today to discuss planning and preparing for a new year of Morning Time. Dawn, welcome to the show.
D: Hi, Pam.
P: So today, we’re having a conversation. So it’s not so much that you’re the expert and I’m interviewing you (unless you want to be)…
D: No, no. I’m going to learn as much as everybody else today, I think.
P: So, we’re just conversing together and sharing ideas and helping everybody get their Morning Time off to a good start for the New Year.
D: I think that’s a great idea. And you know what? Even for those of us who use an alternative calendar schedule, I love back to school time because it gives me another kick in the pants to get things going the right way, the right direction, so this is going to be a great topic today.
P: So, let’s explain for everybody- you actually school with the calendar year, I forget this, and so you start in January and go through November and then you stop, and then start again in January. So this, for you, is honestly, New Year’s resolution time, right?
D: That would be a good comparison, but you know, the back to school sales are now, and everybody else is talking about all their new stuff, and cleaning out their homeschool rooms, so I just did that, because my kids were all at camp, and so, you could call it new year’s resolutions but I really do love the August back to school time, it really gives me another bolt of energy to finish the year strong, and then October turns into May, for me.
P: Well, let’s start talking a little bit about what people may want to intentionally do to get the year off to a good start, with their Morning Time, and so let’s talk a little bit about planning for a Morning Time. So what are some things that you think are necessary for a good Morning Time plan?
D: I think having some clear goals and vision of what you want your Morning Time to be. So, really thinking about … We’re Christian homeschoolers and so we definitely emphasize Bible and hymns and catechism, and doing almost a worship time at the beginning of our homeschool day. So that’s a key part of what I plan for in my homeschool for Morning Time. But, if you have other things that you think are really important, if poetry is going to be the cornerstone of your Morning Time, figure out what those cornerstones are and then fill in the blanks.
P: Oh, I love that. OK, so I’m going to take that even back further, and talk about the one thing. So, starting with one thing.
D: Oh yeah.
P: So you’ve been doing Morning Time, how many years now?
D: Oh, five or six, or eight. I’m not really sure. We’ve always done something that was like Morning Time. When I had toddlers we did Calendar Time even. So we’ve always done a little bit of something even when I had small, small children, just to give us a little bit of structure to our day.
P: So, we’re kind of the same way. We’re going on our 5th year now of doing Morning Time and so I’m pulling my plan from last year but I think what I really want to say to somebody who has stumbled on this idea maybe at the middle of the school year last year or this summer that they really know that it’s OK to start with very simple, one thing even.
D: I think in the Your Morning Basket group, I usually say something like, “Start small, build slow, start with one thing, 10 minutes at most, and then you can add to it.” I was just reading Cindy Rollins’ new book Mere Motherhood and she talked about how hers started with just practicing their AWANA verses. One thing, start small, and then as her kids got older and as they got more into the habit of Morning Time she said, ‘Oh, could I fit this idea in a Morning Time?’ and eventually she had things like grammar and Latin, all sorts of things built in. But she started very, very small.
P: But, I think your vision idea, your idea for a vision of what – even if you’re thinking into the future and you’re sitting there with a five year old and a three year old or something like this and you know you want to start Morning Time and you’re thinking into the future of what you want it to be, use that vision to help you choose, OK, what is going to be most important to us as a family? And for your family, like for my family, it’s the prayer, it’s the hymn singing, it’s the catechism, that’s so very important to get the day off to a good start. And so you say, “OK, I’ve got these little kids and we’re are brand new to this, my kids are not sure about this whole idea” (and we’ll talk a little more about that later) but we’re just going to start with one simple practice and begin there and then do it even for two weeks and then you can start adding other things in.
D: When my kids were very small I decided that I wanted them to start learning hymns because then they could participate during worship. So we started off with the Doxology and Holy, Holy, Holy, and hymns that were sung regularly in our congregation or that were going to be seasonally appropriate. We were coming up on Palm Sunday so we did All Glory, Laud, and Honor. So we did things that were almost immediately applicable to their lives, that would build, and then today I was going through our hymn list and it’s extensive. We have 60 hymns that we’ve learned as a family together.
P: Oh wow.
D: And, you know, that vision would never have started when I was starting out with the Doxology and Holy, Holy, Holy, but now it’s such a blessing to see what all we’ve been able to do in even this short amount of time. So, having your vision is important. My vision was smaller than what it has become. My vision was to learn hymns to sing in worship so they could participate in worship and now it’s become so much greater.
P: Oh, that’s great. That is something awesome to keep in mind. And 60 hymns?! I am so impressed! You know, something else you said that I wanted to point out is people, a lot of times, will ask me what hymn resource do you use, or what hymns do you start with, and the ones that you sing in church, those are it. And for us, I’ve tried some other hymn resources in the past and honestly, they’re not the ones we sing in church, and so it’s been a matter of ‘I did find some’ I had to go seeking outside the homeschool hymn resources and go to albums on Amazon and things like that and I was able to find some, but I think it’s important to start with the ones that they’re going to hear and can participate it in.
D: There is a great post on your blog by Jessica about doing hymn study in your home. I think that would be great to put in the Show Notes because it gets people really started with some excellent resources and ideas of how to incorporate them into a Morning Time.
P: Yes, you are correct, but once again, those aren’t the hymns that we sing.
D: No, pull out the hymns that you sing, and I have a list of the hymns that we’ve learned on my blog, and Mystie has a list of hymns that they’ve learned on Simply Convivial and AmblesideOnline’s schedule’s hymn that they think are valuable and important, and everybody has to choose the ones that work best in their situation but there are resources out there that can help anyone who is seeking out the hymns that they would like to study in their Morning Time, but we’re getting a little off track.
P: Oh yeah, let’s get back on track. So, tell me about when do you plan for your Morning Time, and then I’ll talk a little bit about when I plan?
D: We do the six-weeks-on-one-week-off schedule, and so our Morning Time is pretty set at this point. I just am plugging in the newest things so a couple of weeks before the end of the term that we’re working on, or during that off week, I go and look at AmblesideOnline to find the things that I need to plug into our Morning Time; the new Shakespeare, the new Plutarch, the new nature study focus, those things that just plug into those slots in our Morning Time and put them in, but ours is pretty set in that it’s structure, so at this point we don’t change that part very much, just the components.
P: OK, so that’s interesting. So, you have a set form that you follow and so you know what you’re studying each term but then you get down to the specifics and you change that for the particular terms.
D: Right. This week we kind of starting a new term, it’s not exactly, but my kids were at camp last week and they have swim lessons this week so we’re doing some lighter things. We were reading Psalm 119 and I decided that we were just going to read through the Psalms, a Psalm a day. So sometimes I might change mid-term but I didn’t take out reading from the Psalms, I just substituted what I decided would work better for us for this time. Does that make sense?
P: Yes, it does. It does. Well, I sit down in the summer and so I have not done it yet for this year, and school starts August 1st, so I kind of need to get myself in gear. So this is my focus over the next couple of weeks to shore up my school plans (we’re recording this toward the middle of July so I have a couple of weeks left), and I will base a lot of my plan on what we did last year, though I tell you, it’s going to be more simple this year than it was last year. I got pretty ambitious last year. I think I was working on the book last summer and it all sounded so good I wanted to do all the things and I think I’m going to back off and simplify a little bit, so I will actually set up my entire plan for the rest of the school year in the summer, and I’ll know what I’m doing from time to time.
D: OK.
P: It will be all planned out.
D: I like the variety of being able to change it up, which is why I like the six-weeks-on-one-week-off where I get to change things up and I like the spontaneity of it so we finished memorizing, we were studying Romans 8, we memorized that pretty well, it still fits into our review time of our Bible passages, but until this morning I hadn’t really even decided what our new Bible passage was going to be. We decided on the Good Samaritan, that parable in Luke, but my kids helped me decide. But I like the spontaneity of deciding, “OK, we did this for a while, and now we’re going to do this passage, because it’s something we’ve been thinking of, something that was recently preached, something that just builds encouragement.” In this time of our life, of what’s going on in our church and in our family and in our friendship, what do we need to focus on? I still have the structure but it gives me a little bit of a chance to be spontaneous which I’m not particularly good at most of the time. So that helps to balance that for me.
P: Oh yeah. Well, see?! I’m the person that I feel like if I don’t have it all planned out at the beginning of the year then I’m going to reach a point where I don’t have something to go in that slot and I’m not going to get it in there and so that slot will get pushed aside and get forgotten for the rest of the year.
D: And it’s good to know yourself and your style and what works best for your personality and it’s wonderful that when you know those things that Morning Time can be fit for any personality or any family structural type, it works well for us to pick up a Bible passage as we go and it works well for you to know what those Bible passages are going to be ahead of time.
P: I think so. And now something that I haven’t done is I really haven’t pulled my kids into the choosing. Now, they haven’t asked and we’ve never butted heads over it, it’s never been an issue. And maybe that’s why; they’re really kind of easy going, quite honestly, sometimes too easy going. So that’s something I haven’t done and that’s an interesting idea- to let them take some ownership and maybe choose some of the things that we do. I do kind of like that.
D: I claim final say, so we’d battered around some ideas. Some people had suggested James because our Associate Pastor is preaching through the book of James. We were talking about, do we want to try a whole book, because we’ve been doing some whole chapters. So we talked about James, or part of First John, or another Psalm, or Isaiah 53. And I was looking back at the formidable attainments for a 6 year old from Charlotte Mason and she suggested that 6 year olds knowing two parables well would be a good idea, and we’d never done any of the parables, so I thought as all the ideas had been stewing around that that was the one that was going to work for us for this time and place, so that’s what we’re going to do.
P: I want to point out, as you’re talking about the formidable attainments for a 6 year old list, that all of your kids are well over 6 years old.
D: They are. 9, 10, and 11.
P: I’m not pointing that out to say, “Oh Dawn’s a failure, she didn’t get this done before they were 6,” I’m pointing it out to show how worthy it is to keep working on that list even past that age.
D: It is a very worthy list and there’s a formidable attainments for a child of 10 also, that we haven’t really looked at very much. It’s a formidable list for me and I’m 43.
P: Right.
D: Knowing several, I think it’s two parables well. I think it’s time to look at some of those parables a little more closely so that’s why we chose that.
P: We can link to that list in the Show Notes. I believe it’s on the AmblesideOnline site, right?
D: It is, yes.
P: Alright, we’ve talked a little bit about planning in that Dawn plans for each term. She has her structure set up but she plugs in new things every term and she chooses as she goes along because she likes the spontaneity, whereas Pam wants everything planned out at the beginning of the year and so there aren’t a lot of surprises but there’s variety. We move from one thing to the next. So, how do you store your plans and stay organized for getting started with your Morning Time?
D: Well, we started when the kids were really young and we started with me doing everything out of a notebook, just me having a notebook with all of the things so they would listen and repeat or I was the only one who had the words before me, because they couldn’t read so they didn’t really need them at that time, and I have made notebooks for them and actually, I’m in the process of re-making notebooks for everybody, like Mystie does (and explains it at Simply Convivial) but my kids never really use them. So we have notebooks and they’re accessible and usable but they got into the habit of doing it just from hearing what I was saying or just from call and repeat, and so they don’t really look at those things very often, which I find, kind of, fascinating, but a notebook is definitely the best thing. When I first started out I tried the index cards in the box. Do you know what happens to index cards in a box?
P: They get spilled out all over the floor.
D: And your organization is gone!
P: Yes, I agree. I keep a notebook and oddly, my kids are like yours. I don’t do notebooks for them, they do it all call and repeat or through playlists. We use a lot of playlists, and I have even been known to record things myself into a playlist so that the playlist can just guide me.
D: That’s a great idea.
P: And so, it’s just one of those reduce-the-decision-fatigue kind of thing. We just work our way down the playlist and it might be my voice that comes on and recites the poem or sings a little song or something like that and then we do keep everything in a notebook. I keep everything in a notebook as well to help keep me organized.
D: So, how do you play your playlist? How does that work during your Circle Time, or your Morning Time?
P: Well, I’ve always used iTunes on my computer and I’ve made my playlist in there and then put them onto my phone and then I have a little wireless speaker that I use. Now this year, so you know me, I’m like a tech-crazy, I’m a techie…
D: Yes.
P: …. so I got one of the Amazon Alexa’s.
D: Oh.
P: And so now, I told my husband he’s the one who actually owns the Prime account where you can put all the music. And I told him, “If you start seeing over the next few weeks these weird playlists pop up on your Prime, it’s because I’m loading them up.” So, my plan is to load up his Amazon Prime account with all of the playlists and then I should just be able to push the little button. We got a Tap, too. Push the little button and say, “Play alpha year week three playlist” and it will just play down the entire thing for me.
D: OK, I’m sorry. You got a Tap?
P: Oh, it’s called a Tap. It’s an Amazon Tap. OK, so this is bad. My husband kept stealing the Alexa and taking it upstairs where he was painting and so the Tap went on sale for Prime Day for half price and so I bought the little portable Tap too so I would be able to take that one to my scholè group with me and play the playlist there as well.
D: Oh, sounds really snazzy.
P: We’re very high tech with our Morning Time.
D: I guess. I have an old Samsung Galaxy mp3 player that has Bluetooth and I use Bluetooth speakers as long as they’re charged for hymns, sometimes for poems, because we use IEW’s poetry linguistic development through poetry memorization (I always struggle with that name). So sometimes I’ll make the kids listen to Andrew Pudewa say the poem instead of me say it.
P: Bluetooth speaker even with, you said your Samsung Galaxy was older, even with an older device, being able to have that Bluetooth speaker and play, you can even take it in your car and play your Morning Time on the go, I’ve done that before.
D: That’s a really good idea. I’ve given the notebook to the oldest child and said, “OK, you’re in charge today while we’re driving down the road,” that works too.
P: So, what about if somebody just doesn’t like to plan and they’re less structured. Do you think they can have a successful start in Morning Time?
D: Yes.
P: I know that’s not you or I really, so let’s help this person come up with a few ideas.
D: I think if you, for someone like me, I would say, gather everybody at a table or on the couch and read something from the Bible and pray and sing a hymn and be done with it and go on.
P: I’m thinking use the basket. Grab your basket or your box or your carton or your laundry basket, or whatever it is, but sometimes I do really feel like it’s important to put everything together. And you can do it on a shelf.
D: Yes. I just redid my homeschool room, I think I mentioned. And I built three bookshelves and two of them are just for my school things, so I have one shelf for Morning Time and a shelf for our AO books, but I put my basket on the shelf but I’m contemplating taking the basket out because it’s tall as the shelf so it’s not as convenient as it used to be, but yes, having everything all in one place and you just pick it up and do the next thing. I think that’s a great idea.
P: So, if you don’t like to sit down and plan, if you don’t like to make the little charts, I know Dawn and I both have charts, what you can do is just pick up your basket and walk around your school room and pretend you’re going on a picnic, you’re going to spread this feast of beautiful things in front of your children and put all of those things in your basket and then every day, just bring your basket out and pull something out of the basket. It doesn’t even matter what.
D: Or even what order. If you’re one of those spontaneous people you know that you would like to have these books but you don’t care what order you do them in, sometimes my kids like to do Morning Time backwards, so we start with the end and finish with the Bible, and it just changes it up. But if you don’t care about the order, toss the stuff in and grab it out randomly and do the thing, put it in a pile next to you and re-fill the basket for tomorrow.
P: Or refill the basket every … well … when you feel it’s got stale and old, by the time you’ve gone through a lot of it and throw in an art book, one of the great S born artist or art books, or even a big coffee table art book. At the night you could go to your library and do this and then you’d only have it as long as what your library would allow you to have it but then you would go back again and get a bunch of new things and bring those back. So I don’t think that Truth, Goodness, and Beauty has to be ordered lockstep. You could just throw it all in there and pull it out and be spontaneous with it.
D: Absolutely, I agree. And throw in a puzzle every once in a while or I’ve put in math dice, they’re 20-sided die, or throw in two dice, and the kids have to tell me what their product is. But you could do it for sums or you could work on figuring out a way to do division with them, I suppose, but we’re working on our multiplication tables still, so it doesn’t have to be just books either.
P: Oh yeah, that’s a great point, which kind of segues us into the next thing I wanted to talk about which is Morning Time with different ages. So, I cannot tell you how many times I’ll get emails from moms and they’re like, “I’m so distraught, this Morning Time isn’t working in my house, we’re trying to do The Lord’s Prayer, memorize the Nicene Creed and we’re singing all 12 verses of … I don’t know, does A Mighty Fortress have 12 verses? .. and then I’m reading Shakespeare to them and on, and on, and on, and then we get to the end and we find out their oldest is only 6.
D: Oh yeah, it’s so hard with your oldest. I did, kind of, the same thing. Not to the same extent but it’s so hard with your oldest because so many of us a really academically minded and we see how smart these kids are and we say, “they can do this” and we’re so academically minded we’re all excited about the “we can do this” and we have so much – slow down – again, start small, build slow.
P: And do things …
D: … that are age appropriate.
P: Yeah, yeah. So like, nursery rhymes. I know that Cindy Rollins is a big fan of nursery rhymes and you’ve got further in the book than I have, does she give us some insight there about nursery rhymes and the importance of nursery rhymes?
D: She does talk about it. She talks about … this is genius … she talked about how her kids would act them out, so Jack be nimble, Jack be quick, Jack jump over the candlestick. I’m not even sure she’d have them, but they acted it out – how fun!
P: And that’s perfect in a Morning Time with a 5 or a 6 year old.
D: I’ve got a big thick book of nursery rhymes. There are so many nursery rhymes I’d never heard and my mom taught kindergarten and first grade and did emphasize nursery rhymes and I remember reading nursery rhymes as a kid, there are so many nursery rhymes you could spend years just doing those. Nursery rhymes are perfect. Is it Andrew Pudewa that talks about … he was asking an Italian speaker what his favorite English poem was? And it was a nursery rhyme because they don’t have them in their language. I love that story, I don’t remember who it was, but I think it was Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water. That was their favorite nursery rhyme because they just don’t have that in their culture to feed their children. Well, we have them, let’s feed our children with them.
P: So, nursery rhymes, age appropriate. And then, finger plays and little songs, very much so, and so I think there’s a do your verse of, a hymn that they are hearing regularly in church, but then also spend a little time on some of the little children’s songs because they are almost a lost art too.
D: So, Wee Sing collections are so good.
P: Yes!
D: They have them for everything but we had the Wee Sing Bible and my kids memorized the books of the Bible because Wee Sing Bible had it and they listened to it over and over again, and the Wee Sing America it has the national…
P: Yankee Doodle.
D: And all the fun songs. Doesn’t it even have John Henry on it? Even some of the legends of American history are on there. And it has some quotes, like JFK’s ask not what your country, my daughter’s always reciting that. I’m like, “Where’d you learn that?” “Wee Sing America.” Those are such a great resource for young children, I’ve always recommend the Wee Sing series.
P: We’ve been big fans of those in the past, too. And then the Maestro Classics CDs, I just interviewed Bonnie from Maestro Classics for a future episode of this podcast and those are wonderful. I don’t know if you’re familiar, but they have The Tortoise and the Hare and Casey at the Bat and Juanita, the Spanish Lobster and Peter and the Wolf and they’re just wonderful ways to introduce kids to classical music through these, kind of, musical stories. And so those would be really appropriate for a younger kid Morning Time, because it’s classical music but the stories are intertwined within the CDs.
D: We never have used those. I think those started to come out when my kids were getting a little big for them. I’ve seen them at conventions but I’ve never used those.
P: They’re wonderful.
D: That’s great.
P: So, let’s talk a little bit, so age appropriateness and then, of course, I cannot remember the number, but Your Morning Basket with Celeste Cruz (the whole one on the young kids).
D: I wish I had heard that podcast when I had had young kids, I might not have messed up so many things. I love that episode. Celeste is just so wise about how she’d let kids go when they were done listening or sitting still, when they couldn’t sit still any more, we stop. Or, that child stops and they know they can quietly get their crocs on and go out back and play while I finish working with the older children. And that takes training and effort and you have to really work on those things, yes, but what a blessing for them that she did work on those and it worked so well for her. That is episode 15.
P: You looked it up too! I was just about to say that. Episode 15. OK, so let’s talk a little bit of the other end of the spectrum, because another question I get is what do I do with my older kids? And I want to talk about what to do with teenagers? And I do have a post on this called Morning Time with All Ages where I do give some ideas of what to do when you have teenagers in your Morning Time and I talk about things like doing Logic with them and current events and talking about what happened in the presidential debates last night, could you point out any fallacies? Doing things that are going to allow them to do some of that deeper questioning, apologetics. So instead of doing Bible study with an older kid, which you certainly can, but that’s a great time to start transitioning into apologetics because it gets their thinking going.
D: Or really good theology.
P: And we’ll link to that post for you, I believe it’s called Morning Time for All Ages but we’ll put it in the Show Notes, but let’s talk about what do you do if you, the mom, are really excited about starting Morning Time this year with your kids and maybe you have a 6 or a 7 year old, maybe a little girl, who’s going to go along with it just fine but then you have a 9 or 10 or 11 year old boy and you’re getting the eye roll, the “Oh mom!” so how do you reach a child or children who haven’t been raised with this so they’re not on board with it and you’re really excited but you’re facing a little bit of opposition?
D: Well, I don’t think you only face opposition when it’s new. I still struggle some days with having opposition. Mostly, I just say “Just sit down and let’s do it, and the sooner we’re done, we’re done.” So, I’m not really patient with that. I get opposition and I’m like, “We have to do it.” I think in Cindy’s book, again, she said with narrations if you always hold the line and say, “We have to do it” it just becomes an expectation, and so they know they have to do it. I think the same thing can be said with Morning Time. You have to do it, just do it and get it done. But you can choose things that are particularly engaging for that older child, like if you’re doing poetry memorization, you could choose something like Charge of the Light Brigade which oh! that draws in the boys so quickly.
P: Henry IV, Band of Brothers. Is it Henry IV or Henry V, do you know which speech I’m talking about?
D: I do, I only ever watched the one on YouTube because I don’t know my Shakespeare very well. We are just delving into that now.
P: One of the things we do almost at the beginning, we start with prayer but almost at the beginning, after the prayer, is MadLibs, and that’s one of the things my kids just love. They think it’s hilarious, they laugh over it, and they get reinforced again and again “I need a noun!” “No, that’s not a noun; a noun is a person, place or thing.” Or “I need an adjective,” “You know, it’s a describing word.” And so it has a use because you’re learning the parts of speech but it also has a use because it is something that is just vastly appealing to children and they do it.
D: We do MadLibs, and we do a grammar week, (we do a loop), we do a grammar week and then a writing week and then we do MadLibs at the end of the grammar week during Morning Time so that’s not an everyday thing at my house but they do like it when we get there.
P: So, I think trying to find something that delights your reluctant child and putting that into the plan and using it, that’s one thing. And then I totally agree with what you said, that towing the line, sticking to your guns, and any other bad … what’s the word I’m looking for? … cliché, “just do it!”
D: I think you told me that this spring, ‘just do it.’
P: Oh, I did! because you were having a hard time. So let’s talk about that. So we’re starting the year off and maybe it’s not going so well. Maybe, even sometimes, I want to put this out there, moms have a hard time being the one to get motivated to do Morning Time.
D: Yes, when you slump it gets hard to start back up, I think. You get in the habit of ‘Oh, I’m sitting here on my couch reading my book, I’ve done my thing all morning” … just go do your math, we’ll do Morning Time tomorrow. I want to read my book, you go do your thing and I’ll check it when you’re done.’ And, I was asking in the Morning Basket group and Pam comes in and says, “Dawn, put on your boots and put on your big girl panties and just do it!” Once I just did it and got it back into the habit then it becomes wonderful again, but sometimes you just need somebody to remind you that when you’re slumping the best thing to do is just work it at making that habit stick again.
P: And that’s for yourself, if you’re slumping, but it’s also for your kids if they’re resistant. The more consistent you are at doing it and just doing it the less resistance you’re going to get from them, and that’s with any kind of school.
D: And I think a lot of homeschool moms never want to ask Dad for back up, because they don’t want Dad to always be the ‘bad guy,’ they don’t always want him to have to be the bully or the disciplinarian. I know I feel that way a lot. But when I tell my husband we’re having a hard time with attitudes about [this] and he gets involved, attitudes shape up pretty quickly and they realize that mom really does need to be listened to even when Dad’s not here and he’s going to hear about and if I just do it there won’t be a fuss.
P: Right.
D: So sometimes it’s OK to rely on Dad to say, “Hey, this is important, you have to do it, get over yourself.” And just be that second voice saying the same thing.
P: And I think it’s important to remember , too, that if you’ve started your homeschool day for years with let’s say math, handwriting , or whatever the case may be, and your child may not even particularly like to start that way, but it’s a habit that’s ingrained in them because they’ve done it for three or four years, it’s going to take time to work through, for them to come around, because we’re human and so often, we just say “Oh, that’s different and the only reason I don’t like it is because it’s different, it’s something I’ve never done before.”
D: And so sometimes that family dinnertime conversation is “I have this new idea, I think it’s going to really help our family to work together a little better, to spend this time studying some of the same things, it will give us a common vocabulary, a common culture to start our day, these are the reasons why I want to do this Morning Basket thing, I want to try it out for this first six week term, I need you to buy in to it.” A 9 year old wants to be in charge, he wants to be the authority figure, you get that buy in from him, everybody else is going to fall in line, right? So, sometimes that dinnertime conversation of ‘these are the reasons why we’re going to do this’ and not just Monday morning, “OK we’re going to start with Morning Time now,” those things also help.
P: Getting their buy in at another time at a less charged time, and talking through it and getting their buy in. And, of course, start with a song.
D: Start with a song. And, forewarning. Mystie plays a song that’s four minutes long, a four minute warning, “OK, you can stop doing your things now and come to the table,” and some people do Morning Time not in the morning, they do it after lunch time, so maybe they still get to do their copywork and math. You don’t have to do this just in the morning, you can add it to the end of your day. You could split up the middle of your day. Think about if you’re saying you’ve got established routines, where’s the best place to fit it into your established routines to make it more palatable, because you want it to be enjoyable and fun.
P: I agree. Alright, so we’re down to, kind of, the brass tacks here. I told you I was bringing in more clichés. OK, so one tip, if you could only give people one tip for getting their Morning Time off to a good start in the new school year, whether they’re brand new to it or they’re coming back, what would you recommend?
D: Set an alarm on your phone for 10 minutes before and for the time that’s starting. So I have on my phone, I have an alarm set for (our Morning Time starts at 9:00) 8:50 and an alarm set for 9:00, and my kids hear the alarm, the phone is the authority in this case, not mommy. So the kids hear the phone, I say, “We have 10 minutes till Morning Time, finish up what you’re doing,” (we have an open floor plan, they can all hear me and I don’t have to really yell too badly) and then they hear the phone again when they’re all at the table at 9:00. Again, the phone is the one that sets the day, not me. And that works for “We need to go inside in 10 minutes. You can ride bikes for 10 more minutes.” I set the timer on the phone because, I don’t know about you, but I have a terrible sense of how long 10 minutes is, so setting your timer is my best trick for getting it going consistently every day, “OK, I know I have 10 minutes to finish this page in my book.”
P: Or in my case, I have 10 minutes to go finish my shower and finish my breakfast and get to the table because I’ve done something else. For my one tip, if I can only give one, I’m going back to starting small. And, starting small for people who are brand new to this; starting with one thing and slowly and gradually building on. Because I think that is the number one key to being successful with this. But then also for people, like myself or like you, and you’re obviously not starting your school year now, you would be doing that in January, but when you’re starting off a brand new year, coming off an extended break, and for us, we haven’t schooled since the 3rd week of May, then even easing back into it small is so important. So you can do that either by starting on a Wednesday, or starting earlier in the week, your first week and only doing Morning Time, or if you’re going to do Morning Time and two or three other subjects, doing an abbreviated Morning Time to begin with, so you’re not just exhausting yourself and knocking everybody out the very first week with just this exhaustive week of all of school but Morning Time as well.
D: Another way to ease back into Morning Time at the beginning of the year is, I don’t schedule necessarily new things, so I don’t schedule a new hymn for January, we do about a hymn a month, I don’t schedule a new hymn for January, we only review hymns in January. We only do review Bible passages in January. I don’t necessarily schedule a lot of new memory work, I try and just ease back in with things that are very familiar, and then in February we kind of hit it harder, but January we ease.
P: I love, love, love that idea! So, I’m going to translate this now for the people who don’t school with the calendar year. So, basically you would take August or August and September (for your first three or four weeks) and you would only review old things that you learned. So you would sing hymns from last year, you would do memory work from last year, review poems, things of that nature, and that would be what got you started for the first four weeks, and then you would pick up and start learning the new stuff.
D: Exactly.
P: I love that so much!
D: Exactly, yes.
P: Well, hopefully we have given everybody some really good tips to help them get off to a new school year and a new start. And Dawn, thank you so much for being here with me to chat about this stuff.
D: Well, thank you, Pam, it’s a lot of fun. I always like talking with you.
P: And there you have it. So, for today’s Basket Bonus, we have for you a printable checklist of some of our best tips from today’s episode, so you can just work down this list and check your plan against it, and make sure, hopefully, avoid some of these rough spots that may come up by looking at the list that we have there for you. You can find that, along with all of the resources and links that Dawn and I chatted about today at the Show Notes for this episode, and that is at EDSnapshots.com/YMB19. All of the books are there, the links, and the printable checklists. We will be back in another couple of weeks with another great Your Morning Basket interview. Until then, keep seeking Truth, Goodness, and Beauty in your homeschool day.

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Thanks for your reviews

  • Thank you
    by mrsbeliever from United States

    I take my walks outside two times a day. I enjoy listening to all the knowledge you have on your podcast! I am a mom of 7 and have been homeschooling for 18 years! I’m not a novice but have loved all your advice and input! Thank you for everything you do! I love it!

  • 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!



  • Jen says:

    So, when you are learning the hymns, are y’all just singing them a cappella? Or are you listening to something? I can’t read music, so a little concerned about keeping the tune, etc.

    • dawn says:

      Jen, I can’t carry a tune in a bucket so I use CDs on my mp3 player or YouTube videos on my mobile device. Some of my favorite CDs are Hymns for a Kids Heart series, Hymns for Kith and Kin, and Listen While We Sing. HTH!

  • Susan says:


    I’m intrigued by your iTunes playlists. What do have on them? Would you mind posting some sample lists? I’d also love a demo on how you use the Amazon gadgets – the Amazon Alexa and Amazon Tap. Maybe a FaceBook Live recording? I use YouTube a lot through my phone. Would these gadgets be easier to use than pulling my playlists up from YouTube?

    I record memory work for my children on the iPad with an app called Educreations (www.educreations.com.) I use it mostly for poetry and catechism memory work. There’s even a white board on the app so I can write or draw illustrations as I’m recording. My silly illustrations provide visuals for my children and their memory work locks in much quicker.

  • Kathleen Leubner says:

    I’m with Susan. In fact, I think that would make a great follow-up podcast— how you use technology in your morning time!!

  • Abby Johnson says:

    I would love to hear more about how you use the Amazon tech and recorded playlist and readings, along with a how to. ?

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