YMB #75 Teaching History through Story: A Conversation with Rea Berg

Rea Berg loves books and stories. She has become quite the collector of them through the years as she homeschooled her six children and then later went on to found Beautiful Feet Books.

On today’s show Rea joins me to chat about how we can use literature to teach history from story. We will be chatting about some of the challenges homeschool families face in the teaching of history, why stories and living books make an effective approach to history study, and how to pivot from using textbooks to using living books instead — even in middle and high school. Enjoy!

Pam:

This is Your Morning Basket, where we help you bring Truth, Goodness and Beauty to your homeschool day. Hi, everyone, and welcome to episode 75 and a new season of the Your Morning Basket Podcast. I am so happy that you’re joining me here today. I’m Pam Barnhill, your host, and it’s great to be back after our little summer hiatus. So, this week on the podcast, we are joined by Rea Berg. Now Rea is a homeschooling mom of six, and she is also the owner of Beautiful Feet Books. Rea loves literature! She loves literature, she loves books and she loves teaching history through story. And that’s what we’re going to be talking about on today’s episode of the podcast. We talk a little bit about where this passion for children’s books came from for Rea, and also some of the challenges that homeschool families face when they’re teaching history and about how we can use story and why we would want to use story to teach history in our homeschools. It’s a fascinating conversation, and I hope you enjoy it right after this word from our sponsor.

Today’s episode of the podcast is brought to you by my guide of Five Solutions for Better Homeschool Mornings. Now, this is a quick, actionable little PDF guide that you can come and download. And it’s all about how to get your day off to a better start and stopping those morning struggles that sometimes pop up in our homeschools before they even begin. So, in the guide, I will show you how your smartphone can actually be your biggest help. Yes, help in getting your day started well. Also, my number one secret sauce tip to getting everyone started with the school day with no yelling or whining.

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We'll also talk about the subject you should never ever do first in your homeschool day and why. And a quick and easy way to save a day that is starting to go off the rails. And then finally, some learning tips that even your toughest students will enjoy. So, it's a very short, actionable little PDF guide, and you can get it by going to pambarnhill.com/better. Get your free guide by going to pambarnhill.com/better. And now, on with the podcast.

Rea Berg is a veteran homeschool mom of six with a genuine love of children's literature. Inspired by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay's book, For the Children's Sake, Rea set out to create a living books approach to teaching history. She and her husband Russell founded Beautiful Feet Books, which has been republishing classic in historical children's literature for over 30 years. In addition, she publishes a series of history through literature teacher guides that support parents in teaching history, geography, literature, and social studies using award-winning classic books. Rea holds a bachelor's degree in English from Simmons College, and in 2006, earned a Master's Degree in Children's Literature at the Center for the Study of Children's literature in Boston. She now speaks around the country on the joys of discovering history through literature. Rea, welcome to the program.

Rea:
Thank you, Pam. Thank you for having me.

Pam:
It is so wonderful to have you here, and I think I want to get started by having you tell us a little bit about your family and your homeschooling years because I know you're not homeschooling anymore, but you have quite a bit of experience there.

Rea:
Thank you. Well, I do. I was really attracted to homeschooling, as you mentioned after I read For the Children's Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay. I came from a dysfunctional home with a lot of brokenness, alcoholism, and I knew that when I had a family, I wanted things to look differently in my family. And so, one of the things that I felt like homeschooling could afford was just the opportunity to spend a lot of time with my children and really get to know them and know what made them tick and spend time learning together. So, I really approached homeschooling as something that was going to be mutually beneficial to all of us. I didn't go into it really with a concept of a teacher. I went into it with a concept of just sort of adventuring together and having this experience of learning together.

Pam:
I love that so much. And I say that one of the secrets of homeschooling that people ... I don't think moms realize it until they get into it, is that really, I think a lot of moms who homeschool wanted to continue their own education.

Rea:
Yes

Pam:
You know, they felt like they missed out on something and they wanted to learn more and you probably don't even think about it necessarily going into it. It sounds like you did. But I think a lot of moms are surprised by it. One day they wake up and they're like, "Wow, I love this so much. And the reason I love it is because I'm getting to learn right alongside my kids."

Rea:
Yeah. And I think, I felt like I got so much out of it. And probably because you have a little bit more experience than your children, you've seen life a little bit more in depth by the time you start having children. And so, I think you just bring that breadth of experience to the times when you're reading books together. I mean, that's why all of us as moms were crying at the end of books and our children are staring at us like we're crazy. It's because we've just experienced life in a way that they haven't yet.

But I remember as a young mom, we lived in just this magical house that my husband's boss ... He worked at a home improvement center. And it was in a small town in California and he had this beautiful Queen Anne Victorian that was just sitting vacant and he invited us when we just had our first and we were expecting our second. He invited us to live in his house and just caretake it. So we have this amazing experience of living there rent free for 15 years and being able to save money and all that. But in this house, which was built in 1903, there was an entire set of the Books of Knowledge. I don't know if you've ever seen them. They're leather-bound, I think they probably came out about the turn of the century. And they're just beautiful books full of history and nature studies and science and geography and different aspects of social studies, different cultures. And I just remember looking at those books as a young mother and thinking, "I just want to share all this stuff with my children and how can I ever do that? It's too much."

And at that time I didn't have any clue I was going to be homeschooling because I hadn't read For the Children's Sake yet, but I just remember that moment in time because it was that feeling of, "Oh, I just want to be able to have a kind of time where we can actually sit and read these kinds of books together." And so, when I read For the Children's Sake, I just immediately realized, "Wow, this is a way that I could do that." So, it was kind of born out of that passion of just wanting to have those magical moments of experiencing books together with my children and having that richness of a literature really be part of our lives.

Pam:
Oh, wow. I love that. And you're right. I mean, when we do send our kids off to school, which you didn't and I didn't, but that was part of the thing for me was if I send them off, we won't have time to do all the things that I want to do with them.

Rea:
Yeah.

Pam:
Really-

Rea:
I guess it's a little bit selfish in any way, but-

Pam:
Yeah, a little bit, I think they benefit from it. Mine are not complaining anyway.

Rea:
Right. Well, and I do have to ... full disclosure here, we have six children, so obviously none of them are children anymore, they're all adults, but our youngest is 20 and our oldest just turned 40. So, we have quite a span there. But I honestly did pretty much everything that kind of falls under the umbrella of education with my children. I've done charter schools, I've done strict pure 100% homeschooling, I've hired teachers and have them come into my home and tutor my kids. I've sent them to public school. I've sent them to private school. I've done everything because every child is different and every student needs different things at different seasons. And then there's always us too. Sometimes we need something different in a different season of our lives too. So, I am very passionate about homeschooling, but I am not religious about it. Let's put it that way.

Pam:
Right. Well, and you've made it work for your family, for the different seasons of your life. And I think that's something that I hear so much from moms who are kind of on the other side of this journey.

Rea:
Yeah.

Pam:
Never say never.

Rea:
Right.

Pam:
You never know what you're going to end up with, I'm thinking ahead and I have one who's about three years younger than everybody else in the house and he's a boy and where is he going to end up? We don't know.

Rea:
Right.

Pam:
So, leaving all of those options open I think is very smart.

Rea:
And it's interesting that you mentioned the youngest boy too, because that was the situation in my house. Our youngest biological was a boy. And then we adopted two girls from Ukraine, but he was 15 when we adopted. So, he went from being the youngest child to the middle child and then he became the oldest child, but all his siblings went off to college. He's actually the most well rounded of all of our kids.

Pam:
He's done it all.

Rea:
He's done it all. He's seen it all. But he was home with these two little ones, both girls, and he was really kind of going a little bit stir-crazy, and he wanted to play sports. And so it wasn't fair to keep him at home when we were trying to adjust to two new children joining the family, and then trying to homeschool him too. It wasn't fair to him. So, he went to a small private school where he could play sports. And that was the perfect option for us at that time and that season in our life.

Pam:
Yeah. I think keeping those options open and never say never, I mean, that's certainly the way I go at it. And so I think that's something that ... there's nothing wrong with it. That's the smart thing to do for your family. Well, you obviously have a passion for books. You were telling me about the set of books that you had found in your home. Have you always had a passion for children's literature before you were a mom, or did you kind of grow into that after your kids came along?

Rea:
I didn't really have much of a passion for children's literature as a young person because I wasn't read to as a child, and we didn't have a lot of books in the house, but I do remember we had a leather bound book of poetry that was probably from the 19th century, it was a very old book. And it was those parchment kind of pages and it was sort of precious. I don't know why we had it, but I just remember falling in love as a child with the power of the words in that book. And I would take that book to bed with me with a flashlight. It was way beyond me and intellectually, because this was English poetry from the 19th century, but there was something about the magic of the words that I totally fell in love with at that moment.And that really never left me.

But then it was really my conversion to Christ when I was 21 that changed everything for me as far as literature, because I started becoming a real voracious reader at that point. And when my husband and I married, we didn't have television, we just made the decision not to have television in our home. And so we just filled in all that time with reading and we read books together and we read books separately and we talked about books and books really became our life at that time as newlyweds. And that was a real turning point. And so then when we started having children, then of course immediately, I was reading to them from the time they were babies all the way through till they went off to college.

And that's when I really, really fell in love with children's books. I had gotten Elizabeth Wilson's, Books Children Love and Gladys Hunt's, Honey for a Child's Heart. And I just devoured those books. They were my Bibles and I took them to a library with me to guide me into this world of books that I had no real prior knowledge of. That was a really fun adventure because then I was discovering these wonderful authors that I loved and my children loved them. And we were enjoying all of that together. That was kind of really where it began.

Pam:
So, you developed this love for books from reading to your kids and your homeschooling them. And so how does that turn into an entire company?

Rea:
Oh, that's a funny story. I mean, it was never intended to become the thing that it did, but I just started finding all of these wonderful books. And then I thought, "A lot of people have Tupperware parties, or a lot of people sell ..." I don't know what else do people sell Amway, or things like that. And I thought, "I could have a little cottage industry, because we are pretty poor and I could make some money selling children's books." And so I never did end up doing the Tupperware parties sort of model. But what happened was I just started ordering these books for our personal use, and then we'd get so excited about them. I share them with my friends and they would want to have them. And that was kind of the genesis of it and then it sort of snowballed out.

I was invited to do a CHEA conference, which was a Christian Home Educators Association conference, used to be at the Disneyland Hotel in the old days. And I had all these books that I had been collecting, the D'Aulaire books and the Genevieve Foster books and the Children's Classics. And I thought, "Well, why not? I'll just try it and see what happens." And it obviously really struck a nerve because the books that I brought down to that conference just really flew off the table. And obviously people were falling in love with them too. And so at that point, when I started putting the books together to actually create the ability to teach history through literature, because I was doing it myself, I wasn't doing it in any sort of organized way. I would just sort of put the books in order chronologically. And once I did that, people were saying, "Well, can't you just write it down so that I can do that too." So that's how the study guide was born.

And we bought our first computer and I started tapping out study guides on an old Mac Apple computer when they were still those big things on your desk. And then we were printing them off a home printer and binding them by hand with a spiral binder. And that was how the study guide was born, wow, over 30 years ago.

Pam:
Oh, wow.

Rea:
Yeah, it's come light years. I would be very embarrassed if anyone was to see any of those early renditions of my study guide.

Pam:
Oh, there are probably some of them still floating around.

Rea:
I imagine. I hope none of the spiral bound ones are still out there.

Pam:
Well, you created this way to help families teach history in a way that allows them to connect kids with story. This is one of the things when you hear people talk about Beautiful Feet Books, that's what I hear so much from families is, "My kids just really love the books. They really love the stories." So, what are some of the challenges you feel homeschool families face when they're teaching history?

Rea:
Well, I think most of us ... I found out that I sort of fell in love with history, like I said, after I became a Christian and I started reading Foxe's Book of Martyrs and these old Christian classics. And so I started falling in love with history at that time in my life. But my experience of studying history in school was probably like most people. Other than when I was in college, I had a US history professor that I was totally in love with. “I can make you interested in history.”

Pam:
I'm thinking Indiana Jones.

Rea:
Yeah. Oh my gosh. He was just so handsome and he was so passionate about history and I just remember sitting in his class and just drooling, but anyway. But I found out that the way that most of us learn history through textbooks is not conducive to really cultivating a love for history. And so when I started reading these children's historical biographies and they were so enthralling and they were so interesting and there was adventure in them and there was good characterization, and then you saw your historical character grow over the period of the biography. And so the difference between learning about a historical character through reading a biography and reading a historical textbook where they may be mentioned in a couple of paragraphs, it's a world apart. And I love what David McCollough says because he won the Pulitzer for his book John Adams. Have you read it?

Pam:
I have not. I watched the mini series that it was based on, but I haven't read the book yet.

Rea:
Oh my gosh. Well, you’re in for a treat because that is such a phenomenal book because he really does for the American Revolution what literature can do because it is, it's a work of literature. It's a work of art. And the way John Adams is presented in that Pulitzer prize winning book is so extraordinary. But after he won the Pulitzer, he was talking about how and why knowing history is so important, but he said there's no secret to teaching history or to making history interesting. And actually he quotes from another history and here Barbara Tuchman, who said in two words, "Tell stories," and that's what history is. And then E.M. Forster, the great novelist, Howards End, A Room With a View, said, "Here's what it means to tell a story. If I say to you, "The King died and then the queen died," that's a sequence of events. That's history, basically. But if I say to you, "The King died and then the queen died of grief." That's a story, that's human."

That calls for empathy on the part of the reader or the listener. And that's what story does for us when we're talking about historical study. Because suddenly you're not just looking at a series of events, but you're looking at human people and you're looking at the things that made them passionate and the things that they were pursuing, and the heartache and the tragedy that they suffered in their lives and how those things form them. So, I feel like that's why it's so good to teach history from a literature perspective.

Pam:
Yeah. And I've heard you talk before about this empathy because we're not just teaching our kids empathy for things or people from the past, but by teaching through story and by them developing this empathy for what they're hearing, they're also going to then translate it to today and people now.

Rea:
Yeah, absolutely. And that's really been proven. I mean, there's no question that a lot of how we learn empathy is vicariously. And I can tell you for a fact that nobody learned empathy through reading a history textbook. I mean, it just doesn't happen because there's no opportunity to identify with a character and their struggles and what they've been through. And so, cultivating empathy is really important to me. It's at the top of my list when I'm talking about teaching history through literature, because we live in a society that's becoming measurably less and less empathetic. And that's partly a result of our addiction to social media and the way that devices have interrupted relationship. And not that devices can't be helpful for relationship, but for the most part, the effect at this point is proving to be pretty negative.

And so, it's really important that we are intentional about how we're cultivating empathy in our children. And I mean, there's just so many books that do that so well. And it's so nice to do it through a book with your children, because you're not having to preach at them. You're not having to sit them down and say, "Now, you listen to me, here's why you need to be kind." It's just they're learning these things through stories and that's getting in their heart and it's getting in their soul and it's making them who they are.

Pam:
Yeah. Well, if we have a mom who's interested in this idea, she's like, "Oh, I've never thought about this before. We've always just pulled out a textbook with a number on it." And I'm going to say that one of the other beautiful things about teaching history in this method is that you are able to combine your children to do it.

Rea:
Yes, absolutely.

Pam:
And so you're not having to pull out a book with a third grade on it or a fifth grade on it, and everybody goes their separate ways. You're able to learn together. But kind of practically, what can it look like to use kind of this living books approach to history?

Rea:
Well, I think the guides that we've published have really been designed to make it user friendly for your average mom. And really, I mean, we understand that many families are coming to the study of history with a lot of trepidation. They hated history in school. I mean, almost more than math. And so when they're thinking about having to teach history to their children, they're just thinking about, "Oh my gosh, all those dry dates and times and places, we've got to learn all that stuff. I've got to learn that all over again with my kids." So, I think people that are using a living books approach to history are pleasantly surprised that suddenly they're falling in love with history right along with their children.

So, I think having a good guide or a good mentor is really important. And that's what we've tried to provide in our Beautiful Feet Books guides, are really good mentors. We put hundreds and hundreds of hours of research into those so that we're trying to sift out the things that aren't that great. And we're trying to really provide a chronological and comprehensive study of the period. And it's when you're doing let's say medieval studies through literature, you just have the opportunity to read all kinds of books with your children that you would probably never pick up if you weren't studying the middle ages.

So, you're going to be reading King Arthur. Most people never read King Arthur, or they're going to be reading Robin Hood. Most people never read Robin Hood. You're going to be reading The Door in the Wall. You're going to be reading, oh my goodness, Shakespeare and so many authors that you just wouldn't normally read those things with your children if they're just in a typical course of curriculum. So, I feel like that's such a beautiful advantage is a lot of us are given the opportunity to go back and make up for gaps in our own education and have the opportunity to read some things that we never had and enjoy those.

Pam:
Yeah. Actually, I'm sitting here ticking all those off. I've read all of those.

Rea:
That's great. That's awesome.

Pam:
Because we were studying medieval history.

Rea:
Yes, that's great. I think it's kind of fun to think ... Well, it's not fun to think about it, but I think it's intriguing to think about that Shakespeare wrote some of his major tragedies like Romeo and Juliet, and Macbeth and Hamlet when he was in quarantine. I think he was in quarantine for about two years because of the plague in London. And so it's interesting to think about how this kind of sequestering down has been the genesis of a lot of the world's greatest literature. I mean, Cervantes wrote Don Quixote when he was imprisoned. And John Bunyan wrote Pilgrim's Progress when he was in jail. So, I think it's interesting to look at how times of real stress and trial and trauma and tribulation can be really creative times, as well as difficult times. A lot of beauty comes out of difficulty.

Pam:
Right. And once again, going back to those feelings of empathy.

Rea:
Exactly.

Pam:
So many things there. Well, let's talk a little bit about the mom who's like, "Well, you know what, this is all fine and good when your oldest is in third or fourth grade, but hey, I've got kids who are in middle school and I've got kids who are in high school and we've got to get serious now." Can this approach be used for those older grades.

Rea:
Yes, absolutely. And our history programs that are for junior high and high school, they're rigorous programs in the sense that students will read a lot of literature. But you're just killing so many birds with one stone when you're studying history through literature. Because not only are you studying history, but you're also studying the great works of history or the great works of literature that came out of those periods. So, when we're doing modern history with a high school student, we're reading The Jungle, we're reading To Kill a Mockingbird.

We're reading the Albert Marrin books, which are some of the best historical books for young people because Albert Marrin tells history in the form of story. And those books, there a way to have a lens into culture that you don't get from reading a typical textbook. I mean, I love what Neil Postman said, he wrote the book, The End of Education, and he was really, really concerned about what had happened in education, really in the 1950s and 1960s when he was a professor at Yale. And he was seeing students coming into university that had so little historical background, they just really didn't know history and they didn't understand the rudiments of what democracy is. They hadn't been schooled in these things like children were a hundred years ago. And so he really became quite a spokesperson for getting rid of textbooks in schools.

And he said about textbooks that they're actually enemies of education, instruments for promoting dogmatism and trivial learning. So, when you think about that it's really true because as we all know, when we're studying history from a textbook, we are learning that information to pass the test on Friday. And then as soon as we pass the test on Friday, it's gone and we don't retain it. And it's that trivial learning. It's being able to grasp some facts and some dates and be able to demonstrate that on a quiz. And that is what learning history was reduced to. So, the other thing that I think that is important that Neil Postman said is that because textbooks are the way they are, they're just “concerned with presenting the facts of the case as if there can be no disputing them, as if they're fixed and immutable. And still worse, there's no clue given as to who claimed these are the facts of the case or how, it (in quotes), discovered these facts.” But I really like this. “There is no sense of the frailty or ambiguity of human judgment. No hint of the possibilities of error. Knowledge is presented as a commodity to be acquired never as a human struggle, to understand, to overcome falsity and to stumble toward truth.”

And I think that's really powerful when we think about the way we've been presented with history, it's never given as though it is to be a quest for truth, it's to be a quest for what really happened. What were the true causes of the genocide of Rwanda? What were the true causes and roots of racism in the American South? And when we read books like The Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor, or To Kill a Mockingbird, we suddenly, our eyes are open to what the true roots of that type of racism is.

And that's what we want our children to understand. There are no easy answers for any of these questions and these injustices that are so part of our culture. And so if they're only learning about these important issues in human history through a textbook, they're never given the opportunity to really dive deep and really explore these things from the perspective of, say, justice or a perspective of empathy and the basic human experience. That's another thing. So I think for parents that are coming into it that are feeling inadequate and overwhelmed, I think all of us do, I don't think I ever spend an entire homeschooling day and I homeschooled for 32 years feeling adequate to the task, but there are good guides out there now if you want to teach history this way. And you can do it and your children will thank you for it.

I remember, one of the stories that I like to share is we had a family that they were using living books all through their homeschooling experience. And then the homeschooling movement got hit like a tsunami by this very new and novel stress on academic excellence. And there was nothing wrong with pursuing academic excellence, but it was through a method and a methodology that was really not life-giving to most people, especially most mothers. And it really impacted the homeschooling movement in a negative way. And this woman was trying to stand firm on her stance, that living books were the most important thing for her. They were a core value of her experience and they were saying, "Well, but what are you teaching for this? And what do you teaching for that? And how are you doing rhetoric? And how are you doing ... " And so on and so forth.

And she just said, "Well, we read good books." And that was her answer, "We read good books." And so it was very interesting because her oldest son was accepted to West Point and her friends' kids all got so burned out on education by high school that they didn't go on to college. And so, I mean, this is obviously very anecdotal, but the point of the story is that when her son went off to West Point, basic training was really difficult for him. It's a foreign environment. Everything in there is designed to break you in order to make you, I understand that. But the whole military mindset in all is difficult for a fine young man that's coming out of a loving home and is not used to that kind of treatment.

And he would be a little bit depressed at times when he would talk to his mom and she'd say, "Well, honey, are you going to make it? Are you okay?" And he goes, "Yeah, mom, I'm going to be just fine because whenever I get really down, I just read good books." And it was just a powerful testament to the fact that that was what she raised him on. And he knew where to go when he was really struggling. And I think that's an important thing to remember right now too when we're going through this difficult time is that it is a beautiful time to really take refuge in the books of the heroes of the faith and the heroes that did some much enough in foundation of our country. And just the inspiring stories from around the world that are important to read when we're going through a time of difficulty because they give us insight and they give us perspective.

And I love when General MacArthur was he was commissioned to rebuild Japan at the end of World War II. And you have to remember that Japan had been on an imperialistic quest since the late '20s and early '30s. So, Japan had literally by the time World War II was over, they had been at war for over a decade and a half. And so, MacArthur had loved the Laura Ingalls Wilder books as a kid and so when he was working on the democratization of Japan after Japan surrendered, he brought in The Long Winter. And that was the book that he distributed all over Japan, because he knew the power of that story of families who are suffering deprivation and extreme conditions and not losing their courage and not giving up and persevering. And he knew that that book would speak to the Japanese at that time in their history and indeed it did do that in powerful way.

Pam:
Yeah. And I think they ended up as a result translating the other books into Japanese and there was quite a revival of ... It was big. Those books were big in Japan. I remember reading that story not too long ago. I was reading one of the Laura Ingalls Wilder biographies, and them talking about that particular thing.

Rea:
Yeah.

Pam:
Yeah. You were talking earlier about the whole textbooks versus a living books approach, and so often in textbooks, this is presented to us as, "This is fact this, this is exactly the way things happened." And I think we can see even today, with everything that we're going through right now, because we're obviously living through a historical event, there's so many interpretations of fact, and it's interesting to see this is nothing new. It's not new that there are multiple interpretations of what's going on. And so-

Rea:
Yes, absolutely.

Pam:
... when we're reading these textbooks, we're getting one side of the story and it's presented as fact. But one of the beautiful things about reading living books is we're getting the human side of the story. And we realized that it's much more multifaceted than just a list of facts, which may or may not be. It's never just facts. There's always something more to it.

Rea:
Yes, absolutely. And that's the beauty of knowing our history. I think it was Cicero that said, "To not know your history is to remain always a child." And that's why one of the reasons the study of history is so important. Michael Crichton who wrote Jurassic Park and Andromeda Strain and all of those, he also stated similarly that, "If you don't know history, you are like a leaf that doesn't know it is part of a tree." And so, the study of history is not important just because you need to know what happened. It's really important for preventing what may happen in the future. If we don't know our history, we are destined to repeat it. I think that should be important to all of us as Americans and as parents. That is one of our goals as parents to make sure that we do impart that legacy to our children and that understanding. So yeah.

Pam:
Yeah. And knowing where we came from.

Rea:
Yes, absolutely. Yeah. I love that. There's a quote in Grapes of Wrath that when the family is having to leave Oklahoma because of the dust bowl and they're just destitute, but their roots are there, their family is buried there, their history is there, their heritage is there. And one of the family just ask the question, "How will we know who we are?" Because they're leaving their history. And so that's why our history is important because it does tell us who we are, where we came from.

Pam:
Well, Rea, tell everybody where they can find you and Beautiful Feet Books online.

Rea:
Well, our website is just www.bfbooks.com. And you can also email me at rea@bfbooks.com. And I also blog on children's literature @reaberg on WordPress.

Pam:
Yeah. And we will put links to all of that into the show notes-

Rea:
Thank you.

Pam:
... and to your Instagram as well, so people can follow you there. I know you're always doing things over there as well.

Rea:
Yeah.

Pam:
Well, thank you so much for coming on here and talking to me today about teaching history through literature and why it's important. I think absolutely wonderful to have you on.

Rea:
Well, thank you, Pam. It was a pleasure to be here. Thanks for having me.

Pam:
And there you have it. Now, if you would like links to any of the books and resources that Rea and I chatted about today, including the downloads for this episode of the podcast, which includes a full transcript, you can find those on the show notes for this episode. Those are at pambarnhill.com/ymb75. You can also take the time to leave either one of us a comment over there, or we even have little instructions on how to leave a rating or review for the Your Morning Basket Podcast to help us get the word out to more listeners. And we always love it when you do that. Thank you so much.

So, next week on the podcast, I'm going to be joined by Rebecca Zipp from ahumbleplace.com, and Rebecca and I are going to be chatting about the value of Morning Time in a kindergarten education. We know people are going back to school, and some of us have kindergartners this year, not me but others. And we want to talk about how we can use Morning Time and how Morning Time benefits your kindergartner. So, it's going to be a fun conversation, and I can't wait to see you here until then keep seeking Truth, Goodness and Beauty in your homeschool day.

Key Ideas about Teaching History Through Story

Many home educators feel uneasy about the idea of teaching history because they feel ill-equipped in their own historical knowledge. But, the key to making history interesting and memorable is to tell stories. By telling stories, instead of just giving a list of historical events and people, we allow the reader/listener to engage with the people and events. This enables them to feel empathy for historical figures and then allows them to extend that to people in their lives.

Using a literature-based approach to history is a great way to study history while also immersing yourself in great works of literature from these time periods. In this way, it serves to teach more than one subject at the same time.

Find what you want to hear:

  • [2:50] meet Rea
  • [11:46] Rea’s passion for children’s literature
  • [14:30] how Rea’s passion became Beautiful Feet Books
  • [17:45] overcoming challenges homeschool families face when teaching history
  • [24:10] how to implement the use of living books in your homeschool
  • [27:55] using a literature approach for middle and high school
  • [33:22] the power of living book

Leave a rating or review

Doing so helps me get the word out about the podcast. iTunes bases their search results on positive ratings, so it really is a blessing — and it’s easy!

  1. Click on this link to go to the podcast main page.
  2. Click on Listen on Apple Podcasts under the podcast name.
  3. Once your iTunes has launched and you are on the podcast page, click on Ratings and Review under the podcast name. There you can leave either or both! 

Thanks for your reviews

  • 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.

  • <3!!!
    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! <3 THANK YOU!!!!

  • 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!

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