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Have you ever felt like you were just stuck in a rut with Morning Time? It seems like you are just doing all the same old things and you can’t shake things up and make them seem new again. We are talking about exactly that topic on today’s episode of the podcast. I hope there is a pointer or two in here for you!

If you feel like you are stuck in a rut, because there is some resource that is just weighing you down, that you don’t enjoy, that the kids don’t enjoy that is not life giving to you. Oh my goodness. You have my permission just to stop it. Just close that resource, put it away, sell it on eBay. Give it to a friend.

This is your morning basket, where we help you bring truth, goodness, and beauty to your homeschool day. Hi there. And welcome to episode 106 of the Euro morning basket podcast. I’m Pam Barnhill, your host, and I am so happy that you are joining me here today. Well, on today’s episode of the podcast, we are trying something just a little bit new.

We’re going to see if you like it. I am answering a question just all by myself. It’s not an incredibly long episode of the podcast, but hopefully you will find it super helpful and super useful. That’s the hope anyway. So we’re giving this a try. We’re going to see how you respond to it. If you like it a lot, if you like it,

please come and tell us if you don’t like it. We want to hear that too. You can email and yeah, we’re just giving it a try and seeing if it’s something that you enjoy. So the question I’m going to be answering on today’s episode of the podcast is what about when your morning time is in a rut because Hey, it happens.

It’s perfectly normal and perfectly natural that sometimes we get in a rut with our morning time. So what are some of the things that you can do to kind of push through and get out of that rut? And so I have a number of different suggestions for you today. So before we get on with that conversation, I do want to let you know that we have our free gift to you this Christmas time.

And we so want you to come and get this free gift. So if you go to Pam forward slash Christmas, you can download a full set of our morning time explorations. Now, normally these are for our members there a $15 value inside our 18 activities, more than enough to get you through the school days in the month of December. And these are all about Christmas customs around the world.

And so you’ll be able to enjoy those and learn about those things with your kids. And we just want to tell you Merry Christmas and have you come and download your free gift. forward slash Christmas, now let’s get on with chatting about what do you do when you’re in a rut? Dear Pam by morning, time is in a rut. We do not have any fun doing it.

And we are not happy about completing our morning time each day. Help. What do we do? Well, sometimes it happens even with something as great, wonderful, and beautiful as morning time. Sometimes we just get a little burned out of doing something and, you know, morning time is no different from anything else that’s possibly good. Let’s think about,

oh, eating brownies. If we had brownies every single day, eventually we might get tired of eating brownies. I know, I know it’s hard to imagine being tired of eating Brownings, but we probably would at some point get a little bit tired of eating brownies every day. And honestly, you know, brownies are good morning. Time’s good, but it’s probably going to happen sometimes that we are going to get just a little bit burned out of our morning time.

So when that happens, what can we do? What are some of the things that we can do to live in things back up again, and really lean in and enjoy mourning time again? And so I got a few different tips for you here today. The first thing I want to say is don’t be afraid to take a break when it comes to morning time.

Now I know that this can be difficult because as with any part of homeschooling, you struggle so hard to build those really good habits and get that good consistency in place. And when you do take a break and then you come back to it later, you’re climbing this uphill battle and you’re fighting that struggle again. You know what it’s like when you come back after a summer break or a Christmas break and you have the first day back at school with your kids,

and it’s just hard and difficult. And I think it’s okay, as long as we expect it to be hard and difficult, but you’re not going to lose everything that you have gained from this morning time habit, just by taking a break. Yeah. It might be a little bumpy coming back to it. You may have to remind some kids of how they’re expected to act and how things are supposed to go in morning time.

But I think you’re also going to come back a little more refreshed by it. So honestly, we take a break every summer. I know that there are some families that love to do morning, time through the summer. I think that’s wonderful if your family wants to do that, you are not doing it wrong. Remember, there’s no way to do morning,

time wrong. So you’re not doing it wrong if you’re going through the summer. But for our family, we take a break off of everything. We take a break off of anything that even smacks a little bit of school and we just don’t do it for a few weeks. Now we don’t take a long summer break. Typically, typically our summer break is between six and eight weeks long,

and then we get back into it and yes, we have a Rocky start and there’s some grumbling and feet dragging, especially as my children have gotten to be teens, but we eventually do within a week or two, get back into that rhythm and that schedule and are happier because we did fully shut down and fully turn off and fully take that break in the summertime.

So, you know, warning time can be great for summer. It can be great for learning when you’re not doing any other subject, but it can also be good sometimes to take a break. And that does keep you from getting burned out. A lot of our families take break weeks throughout the year. And so what this means is their schooling six weeks on and one week off or 10 weeks on and one week off or even 12 weeks on,

in one week off. And they completely take off during that week off. They’re not saying, okay, well, we’re going to take the week off except for morning time. We’re going to keep doing morning time. No, they take the whole week off completely and take that morning time break. And those little breaks just make you appreciate and long for the morning,

time that much more. So I think if you’re getting into a little bit of a rut, taking a break is a good idea. Now another thing you can do, and this is actually the perfect time of year to do this because we’re coming up on December. And instead of like completely not doing morning, time is instead go the opposite direction, drop everything else and lean into completely doing morning,

time and making morning time, kind of all you do for awhile and totally changing up what you were doing in morning time. So I’m going to give you some suggestions in a few minutes where it’s kind of the complete opposite of this. So just know that like no one way is the right or the wrong way. These are just a bunch of different suggestions,

a bunch of different things you could try. But for this one, as we’re going into the Christmas season, if you have found yourself in a rut with your morning time, one of the best ways to get out of it is to say, we are putting aside our entire morning time package. We’re putting aside everything that we’re doing for school. If you feel like you can do that,

and we are just doing a holiday morning time, we’re just doing an advent morning time. We’re just doing a Christmas morning time. We have a great resource for you that I talked about in the intro to this podcast, go to Pam and absolutely free. You can get our Christmas around the world explorations just as a gift. And so you could do that instead of anything else,

any other kind of school, and that’s going to help you kind of sit back, take, you know, have a little different take on things and really enjoy because you’re completely switching up what it is you’re doing, doing something totally different for a while. And then after the holidays are over, you come back to school in January, even then I would still suggest that,

you know, in those days between Christmas and new, year’s like, just take a week off completely. But when you come back after the holidays and pick up kind of your old morning time subjects again, because you have taken that break that, you know, break where you were doing something totally different, it’s going to feel fresher to you. It’s going to feel newer to you.

And it’s going to feel like something that you want to get back into. So don’t hesitate to completely do something different sometimes. Okay. But what if completely doing something different is an idea that overwhelms you and, you know, Christmas is the perfect time to do that. But what if you’re listening to this podcast in April or you’re listening to this podcast,

even in September or October, and you’re like, oh, I just don’t want to completely change it up right now, but we’re in kind of a rut. What can you do? So in that case, instead of completely changing what you’re doing instead, just add something in. So add one little thing. Don’t add a bunch of things, add one little thing in something just kind of new and fresh.

It’s kind of like going to the grocery store and picking up that bouquet of fresh flowers. They’re not super expensive. You didn’t really go out of your, you didn’t call the florist and order flowers. You just went to the grocery store and picked up a little bouquet with the flower food came home, you know, cut off the stems, arranged it prettily in a jar.

And you have like something fresh and new for your home just to breathe a little life into it. That’s what I’m talking about. So find one little thing that you want to add into your morning time, just to breathe a little bit of extra life into what you are doing with your kids. Now, one way that you could go about this, if you are the one feeling like morning,

time is in a rut and that you’re just doing the same old, same old, then you be the one to go out and find and choose the thing that, that you want to add and really choose something different than what you have done before. If your morning time has always been kind of arts and music and things like that, maybe you need to look at some kind of science or technology,

a topic to add to your morning time. You know, I’ve known families before that have studied architecture in morning time. That is often completely different than anything that we think about as a traditional morning time topic. And so that would be a wonderful way to do it. If you’ve always done classical music, maybe you want to dare I say, jazz it up with a little bit of jazz or maybe some modern movie music or something like that,

but find a little topic that is slightly different than what you’ve done before and add it. Now, if it seems to you that your kids feel like you’re stuck in a rut with your morning time, then I would highly recommend you ask your kids for suggestions. Hey, I was thinking about changing up our morning time a little bit and adding in something different than what we’ve been studying.

Do you have any ideas? Do you have a topic that you would like to study in morning time and get a few suggestions from them? Don’t add everything, but just kind of one at a time, roll some of their suggestions into your morning time and see if it doesn’t breathe a little bit of life or kind of give it a little bit of a spark.

So adding something into the morning time is definitely one way to change things up just a little bit. Okay. The next thing I’m going to suggest if you find yourself in a morning time, Bret, and you’re really not wanting to do it, it’s kind of ho-hum well, then you give yourself permission to switch something out and this can be a temporary switch or this can be a permanent switch.

Now, like the adding something in, what you don’t want to do is you don’t want to like do a complete overhaul. You don’t want to throw yourself off kilter with having to like come up with a bunch of different things and make a completely new plan, right? But you can switch out one or two things to just add a little bit of spark.

And so when I say switch something out, how this is different than adding to is you’re actually going to drop something else from your morning time plan. It could be that you just can’t add another thing and you want to have space for something new. And so you have to drop something. This does not have to be a permanent drop. You can get halfway through some resource that you’re using in your morning time and say,

you know what, for the next six weeks or for the next 12 weeks, I’m not going to do this resource. I’m going to put it aside and I’m going to do this other thing. Instead, give us a little bit of spark, a little bit of life. And then when we’re done with this other thing, we will go back and pick up the original resource and continue it and finish it.

Or I am giving you permission right now. If you feel like you are stuck in a rut, because there is some resource that is just weighing you down, that you don’t enjoy, that the kids don’t enjoy that is not life giving to you. Oh my goodness. You have my permission just to stop it, just close that resource, put it away,

sell it on eBay, give it to a friend. Or, you know, you might not want to give it to a friend of it’s that bad, but you know, other people love certain resources and for whatever reason, they just don’t land with some of us. And so it’s okay. It’s completely okay to permanently set aside a resource that you find is not life-giving to you and your family.

You can totally put it aside, not pick it up, not look at it and say, we’re just done with this because this completely had us dreading doing morning, time, each day, just throwing that out there. You completely and totally have my permission to do that. Some other things that you can do if your morning time is in kind of a rut,

it might be fun to play with some theme days and just take the same things that you’re doing and rearrange how you do them a little bit. So maybe on, you know, you do like a fine arts Friday, or you do nature one day and you get like a great nature, read aloud to go with nature journaling and watching some nature videos.

So kind of like just rearrange things a little bit and not try to necessarily do everything every day, but kind of group things together. A little bit. Another thing you could do is try Sarah. McKinsey’s one thing principle, she’s talked about this before on the podcast where instead of trying to do a bunch of things in morning time, she would do her basics,

which are like memory work and reading aloud. And then just do one other thing until that thing was done. So let’s say you’re doing picture study, you’re doing music appreciation and you’re doing some kind of art program. So you’re doing those three things and you’re just feeling in a rut and a little overwhelmed by it all. So what you would do is the next time you sat down to do morning time,

you would do your memory, work, your read aloud, your family prayers. And then you would say, you know what? We’re going to do picture study every single day until we’re done with this resource. And then we’re going to put it aside. And then we’re going to do music appreciation every single day until we’re done with that resource. So you’re not changing up the resources that you’re using and doing something different.

You’re just changing the scheduling of them a little bit, just to kind of mix things up a bit. If you’ve been doing a block schedule, you could try doing a loop schedule instead. And if you’ve not heard of blocks and loops, I’ve got a great morning time podcast that I could send you to a few other changes that you could make that are really,

really simple on you. That might breathe a little bit of life back into your morning. Time is switch up the time of day that you do it. If you always do it first thing in the morning, and you fallen into kind of a rut. If you’ve noticed that maybe your older kids are getting to where they want to sleep in a little bit longer,

and you would like to give them the luxury of an extra 30 or 45 minutes, pull your younger ones closer, do some of their core subjects. Then have your older kids come in and do your morning time. So switch up the time of day that you do it. You could even end your day with morning time instead of starting your day with morning time,

see how it works for your family. Also switch up the location a little bit, you know, feel free to go out on the back porch, move into the living room and build a fire in the fireplace. Take morning, time down to the park. If the weather’s nice, feel free to get out and travel a little bit. I had a friend at one point that one day a week,

she would take her kids down to Panera bread, which is like a local coffee shop, kind of eatery place. Actually, they’re all over. They’re not just local to me, but she would take her kids down to Panera bread once a week and do morning time with them there. And just saying that out loud, it’s making me think, oh,

I need to take my kids down to the coffee shop for morning time. That would be so much fun. And we haven’t done it in forever since they were little. And it was hard to do that. Now they’re older and it would be so much easier. So, you know, if you have the opportunity, take your kids out somewhere and do morning time together at a different location.

And this can be a public location like the coffee shop, or it could be something as simple as your back porch. You could also invite friends over for a morning time or a morning basket. There are moms out there who absolutely would love to see what your morning time looks like. And so just inviting friends over and having somebody new and getting to kind of share this wonderful way that you homeschool with others might be something that’s fun to do.

So changing up the location a little bit, changing up the time of day and changing up who you do morning time with are some small changes that you can make every now and again to, to help keep your morning time fresh. And you can also add food. So food is so much fun to add to your morning time, even if you don’t want to do it every single day of the week,

there could be a special time each week that you add some kind of food and it could be as simple as popcorn. It could be as simple as bread and butter, cinnamon toast, kind of thing, making some herbal tea, having some hot chocolate with marshmallows, any of those wonderful kind of treats that you usually have around that would be really fun to bring into your morning time.

So adding a little bit of food once a week or every now and then also would help you get out of a rut and keep your morning time fresh. Okay. So those are the ideas I have now. What if you’re saying Pam, it’s not Christmas time when I’m listening to this, do you have a resource for not Christmas time? And actually I do.

If you go to Pam forward slash month, we have our months of morning time plans. And so if you have been in a rut, even if you’re the kind of person who just absolutely loves to make your own morning time plans come and get our free ones for when you’re in a rut and you want to try something new, we have a bunch of wonderful suggestions right there for you that you could just pull out when you are feeling like you’re in a rut.

And if you’re the kind of person who likes to have your morning time activities planned out for you, then you are absolutely going to love the month of morning time plans. So Pam, or Pam to switch things up a little bit in your morning time, never feel guilty about being in a morning time, Brett. It happens to all of us and it’s just a natural part of the ebb and flow of our homeschool days.

And so there’s not anything to feel guilty about. It’s not anything to feel guilty about if you’re not getting to morning time every day of the week, morning time should never bring guilt, only joy. And there you have it. Now, if you would like links to any of the resources that I chatted about today, and there were maybe a couple in there,

you can find them on the show notes for this episode of the podcast. Those forward slash Y M B a 1 0 6, but we will also throw a link to those Christmas explorations there for you, and also the month of morning time plan. So if you’re listening to this at a different time of year, you have some kind of resource, some kind of rut busting resource that you can go grab and use in your morning time.

And this is the final episode of your morning basket for the fall season of 2021. And we just want to say, thank you so much, the team, and I do not do this by myself. I have a wonderful team of helpers who helped me put the podcast out, and we want to wish you a Merry Christmas. And thank you so much for listening to the podcast and thank you for the ratings and reviews that you leave on iTunes.

And the other podcast platforms. We really, really do appreciate it. We will be back again in January with a whole new season of the podcast. We are already planning and working on that and we can’t wait to bring it to you, but thank you so much for having a listen and Merry Christmas and until then keep seeking truth, goodness and beauty in your homeschool day.

Links and Resources from Today’s Show

Christmas Around the World Morning Time ExplorationsChristmas Around the World Morning Time ExplorationsAdvent Morning Time PlansPinAdvent Morning Time PlansA Month of Morning Time Ready-Made PlansPinA Month of Morning Time Ready-Made Plans


Key Ideas about Handling Morning Time Rut

Every family gets into a rut with Morning Time at some point. But there are lots of ways that you can get out of it with a little creativity.

It’s okay to completely take a break from Morning Time. You can do this by just setting it aside for a set amount of time, taking scheduled breaks from it during summer, holidays, or planned break weeks.

Add something new and fresh to your morning Time. It could be something your kids really enjoy or something that you are interested in. You can also drop a subject completely from Morning Time for a short time if necessary.

Another way to freshen up Morning Time is to change the time of day or the location. Get creative. Go outside, go to a coffee shop, go to a park, or move to a new room in your house for Morning Time. You could even meet with another family to do Morning Time once a week. You can even choose to use a different kind of schedule to make a change; use a block schedule instead of a loop schedule, or vis-versa.

Find What you Want to Hear

  • [3:00] Dear Pam, we are in a Morning Time rut. HELP!
  • [4:12] take a break from Morning Time
  • [7:19] ways to change the content of Morning Time
  • [15:30] change the schedule or location

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