YMB #111 Teaching History without a Curriculum: A Conversation with Amy Sloan

Sometimes history texts can be a little dry and uninspiring, but what can homeschoolers do to bring history to life? My guest Amy Sloan eschews the textbooks altogether and simply uses real living books to teach history to her kids. Worried about how to make it happen? Amy breaks down how to do it, where to find the books, and some of the benefits that can come from taking a more interesting approach to history.

Pam:

And instead, when I’m thinking about a book, like thinking about as an adult books by David McCullough, write his biography of John Adams. I know many people have either read or watched the mini series, a book like that an adult will come and they will read. And while it’s nonfiction, it’s written in this way, that connects you to the story and it connects you to the people involved.

And so I think that’s a really big difference when I’m setting, you know, my idea about studying history against textbooks. I’m really trying to set up this distinction between something written by committee that’s just dry and boring and doesn’t engage your whole self at all, with something that’s written in a narrative style. 

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

Hello and welcome to Episode 111 of the Your Morning Basket podcast. I’m Pam Barnhill, your host. And I am so happy that you’re joining me here today. Well, today on the podcast, we’re talking about a subject that is near and dear to my heart. I have always loved and been fascinated with the study of history, even though for years and years, when I was in school, it wasn’t all that exciting.

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Did anybody else have a coach for a high school history teacher who made you copy pages out of the book? Yup. That was totally our assignment at least once a week. But despite that, good stories always helped me to be a lover of history. And that's what we're going to be chatting about on today's episode of the podcast.
My good friend, Amy Sloan from Humility and Doxology is here, and she's going to be chatting with us about how she teaches history in her homeschool without using a textbook at all. Now, one of the resources that Amy and I chat about using today is actually our history Morning Time plans over at Your Morning Basket. We make history Morning Time plans that help you to bring together the art, music, stories, and events that have to do with history and wrap them all up into one beautiful Morning Time, along with these really fabulous history book lists. And so if this is something you're interested in, you can go check them out at Pambarnhill.com/shop.
Now don't stop listening because Amy has so many other great resources for you including a special offer on her masterclass, all about teaching history without a textbook. So let's get into the interview right now.
Amy Sloan is a wife and a homeschool mom of five. She's a second generation homeschooler giving her children a restfully classical education. You can hear Amy talk with other homeschool educators on her Homeschool Conversations Podcast, and you can find her booklists and printable poetry and textbook free history resources humilityanddoxology.com.
Now, if you are a long time, Your Morning Basket listener, you may remember Amy from episode 64, all about a mom's practical view of how to do memory work and your homeschool. And we're having Amy back because she was fabulous on that episode. And we know we've got a, she's got some awesome things to say about teaching history without a textbook. So Amy, welcome.
Thank you. I'm so excited to be here.
We are so excited to have you back that memory work podcast was one of my favorite episodes because it was just chock-full of practical advice for moms about a topic that, you know, people say we should do, you should be doing memory work and you actually showed us how it could be done. So we're glad to have you here again.
Well, I'm glad that was an encouragement. Yeah, definitely one of my favorite topics to talk about.
I know that that like textbook free history is another favorite topic. And before we dive off into that, tell me a little bit about yourself and your kids and your homeschool.
Sure. So my husband and I are both second generation homeschoolers and my children are ranging currently in age from six to 16. So we have everything from the beginning of the elementary years, all the way up through a junior in high school and our family lives in North Carolina. We start the day with our Morning Time and our memory work and enjoy lots of books, read alouds together and adventures and end the day with family devotions. And that's pretty much the flow of our family life.
I love it. I love it. And yeah, you have you been doing Morning Time the whole time you've homeschooled?
No, actually this was something that I started. Oh, I mean maybe like nine or 10 years ago now. So near the beginning, or maybe not nine, I don't know, nine or eight. It was one of those things where the first few years I had all these ideals in my head of these things that I wanted to include in our homeschool. And so I would, you know, get to the important quote-unquote things. First we do our math and we do these other things and then I would just be tired and wouldn't have time or energy to get to those things I thought was important.
So it was when I started hearing from people like Sarah Mackenzie and you, these ideas about you're allowed to start first thing with these beautiful, beautiful parts of your homeschool. I was like, really I'm allowed to do that? And just putting it right there at the beginning really made such a huge change. And so now there's things that I always said where my priorities are actually able to fit into the reality of our very full homeschool life.
I love that. I love that so much. And I think that was one of the things for us too, was like, you've always said you wanted to do these things and now you're never finding time for them. And so just like, I think just reaching out and grabbing what you want and saying, you know what, we're going to put this first and do it first. And it does. It makes all the difference in the world.
Well, let's talk a little bit about history. Why does teaching history look like in your homeschool?
Well, for this, I really have to give a lot of credit to my own homeschool experience growing up. So when I look back on history, I know that for many people they're like, oh, that was so boring. It was just lists of dates and dead people and battles. And they just sort of dreaded that topic and in their own school life. But when I look back on history learning, it was filled with, you know, read alouds and discussion and field trips, activities. And so it felt like the people we were reading about were real people.
And I had this connection and this excitement, it was sort of like reading like an adventure story only it just happened to be true. And so, because that was something I had loved so much, I really wanted to communicate that in the same way to my own children. So for us from the very beginning history has been a really huge and important part of our homeschool day.
And it's something I've been able to do with many ages at the same time and not with a textbook or a workbook that's from grade to grade, but it involves a lot of read aloud and discussion and just really connecting with these people of the past, learning to love them as my neighbors much in the same way we want our children to love their neighbor now, and to understand the people with whom they're in contact in their daily life. I think it's really important for them to have that same idea as they look at the people in the past.
Okay. So I like that ideal. And I like the idea of using real people as opposed to dates and things like that. But why do we, like, why not a textbook? Why can't we do that with a textbook?
Okay. Well here is also my second generation a homeschooler coming out so, I was looking over some of these questions. I was like, I want to make sure people know. I mean, they can do whatever works best for their own homeschool. I definitely get, can get a little bit irritated with, you know, some of the things online where it's like, this is the only right way to homeschool. So just with that caveat, I am not saying this is the only way in which one can profitably and joyfully study history. So, but this is just my experience.
So when I think about history textbooks, when I've looked at them in my local homeschool bookstore, or I've seen them on the shelves at friend's houses and I flipped through, they tend to be very sort of lists of facts approach. They aren't engaging. Like I would never read them for fun. They feel like something you're literally just doing for school. And I mean that in a negative way, not in a, like, this is a joyful homeschool moment.
And instead when I'm thinking about a book, like thinking as an adult, books, by David McCullough, write his biography of John Adams, I know many people have either read or watched the mini series, a book like that an adult will come and they will read. And while it's nonfiction, it's written in this way, that connects you to the story and it connects you to the people involved.
And so I think that's a really big difference when I'm setting, you know, my idea about studying history against textbooks. I'm really trying to set up at this distinction between something written by committee that's just dry and boring and doesn't engage your, your whole self at all with something that's written in a narrative style. And that doesn't mean it's fiction or a story, but it's written in that kind of narrative style that connects you with the events that makes them real to you. So you really feel a connection.
I think another thing that I see as a difference with using a traditional textbook and this a textbook free approach is that with a textbook, it's really easy to sort of think, okay, well this is Western Civ 1, right? Like I open up at the front of the book and that's when this time period started and I closed the book at the end and that time period is over. And one of the things I really try to communicate to my own children is that, you know, no one woke up one morning and said, ah, it's the Middle Ages. And then they went to sleep and the next morning, and they're like, ah, it's now the Renaissance, right? These events where we're slow and gradual, and they're impacting one another people and ideas all around the world at the same time, it's this long, slow growing process. These were real people just like you and me. Right? They were just living there very ordinary, to them, lives. And yet as we look back and see how all of these things were impacting one another, like we see this bigger picture, this bigger story, sort of like the whole tapestry at once. And with a textbook, it's just sort of more like, and here's this thread and here's that thread as if they're disconnected and not part of the same picture.
And so teaching without the textbook and using more of those living resources allows you to weave everything together a little more?
That has definitely been my experience. Yes.
Awesome. Okay. So I think it sounds great, you know, let's okay. Let's put away the textbook and let's just read some really, really good books instead, but without using a textbook, how do you know what to teach? Especially if you feel like your own history, knowledge is kind of weak.
So this can be definitely a struggle. It kind of goes along with the same question of like, how do I know where to start? Like what time period of history or what topic of history to start? And the answer might be different for different people. I prefer to study chronologically that works well in our family. One, because I really do like seeing causes and effects and the implications of one person's decision down through the generations.
I love being able to communicate that to my kids when we study chronologically, but certainly there are other ways to, to study history as well. I just think it takes away decision fatigue. So I'll just share my, you know, what I do in my homeschool, but you do, you. So I just sort of start at the beginning and love to pick a book.
That is what I call like the history spine. If I had to pick like 50 different books to read through the school year, that would feel a little overwhelming to me. So I prefer finding one that's a little longer that's nonfiction that takes this sort of overarching big picture perspective. So once we've used in our family have been the famous men series. I actually have the old books from Greenleaf press that my mom used with my brother and I, when I was growing up. I also really love the Genevieve Foster books. And one of the things I love about her books is she's bringing in the stories of people literally around the world at the same time period. So one chapter you're reading about something happening in Spain. The next chapters are happening in Africa, a few chapters later, something in Japan.
So you're really getting this picture that all of these things are occurring at the same time. So when you pick, you know, one of these great books and there are plenty of great Booklist resources around with that spine, you just sort of start there. And then as you're reading aloud, there will be, say a topic that you're like, oh, this is interesting. Let's explore this a little bit more. Like let's learn a little bit more about the spice trade. And that's when I dig out my trusty library card and go keyword search at the library and bring home a bunch of extra picture books or biographies. And that's also with the supplemental reading where I include historical fiction. So I think that's a really important part of studying history without a textbook, but I don't like to have the fiction be sort of the primary way we're studying history. I prefer to have the non-fiction book as our read aloud, and then the historical fiction, the picture books, you know, the science and art and music of the time period, sort of coming along to supplement the main history spine.
Okay. So I was going to ask that too. I know that the books that you mentioned, like the great men series, and this would be like Great Men of Rome, Great men of was there great men of Greec? I know there was Great Men of the Middle Ages.
Yeah. Famous Men of Greece, Famous men from the Middle Ages. And then there was one written by a different author followed up later. That's actually famous men of the Renaissance and reformation too
Right. And Greenleaf press used to publish those. And I know that memoria press actually publishes those now. We've actually used some of those. And then the Genevieve Foster books as well, we did Augusta Caesar's World, which was you, you would think, well, it's just all wrong, but you're, you're exactly right. It was lots of different places throughout the known world at that time. And then also on our shelf is like George Washington's World. And they're covering things that are going on in Europe and, and all of these other places. But these are definitely word dense while they're written on an elementary level. There were dense chapter books, if you will.
So you actually do use picture books as well. Yes. So what has worked well in our family, especially with this sort of ten year age span is after our sort of regular Morning Time routine, I will get out our history read aloud. And that's where I'll just spend about 15 to 20 minutes reading aloud from the history spine. And that time has changed depending on our, you know, the ages of kids, if I had a toddler or a baby or, you know, other needs of the family. And so that's the time where I really focus on that all together learning. And because I limit it by time, not by a certain number of pages, it just feels less stressful, like, and not like, oh no, we didn't get to the right chapter today. We're behind. I just don't like feeling behind. So I'd rather just say, Hey, we're going to read for about 15 minutes. And then with the picture books or the art study, or, you know, a science topic that goes along with what we're studying, those are going to be things I'm going to give to children at the appropriate grade level that either I'll read aloud with them later on, or they'll read on their own. I should also mention too, here, since I did mention them the Morning Time. And we've talked about that before and memory work, it does kind of connect because one of the things I love doing with our memory work is to bring in things that relate to what we're studying in history. So it might be an original source from the time period, something like the first few lines of the Iliad, if we're studying ancient Greece or the declaration of independence, if we're studying American history or it might also be a poem about the time period like Ozymandias or something like that. So they're really all these subtle ways. You can take whatever you're learning in history and find ways to apply it all throughout the homeschool day without feeling like you're adding to the burden of your to-do list.
I love that. Yeah. We actually memorized the preamble to the constitution this year. We're studying American history and the declaration, the first part of the declaration is on my list. We just haven't tackled it yet. I like to throw like a little bit of poetry and scripture in between the, the longer historical documents. So, well, you mentioned something that I wanted to touch upon because you do have a six year old all the way up to a 16 year old. So does your 16 year old do anything in addition to what you are doing as a family for history?
Our high schoolers have used some lecture, a lecture series by Dr. George Grant as part of their history learning. And so that's been a huge part of their high school history and with what's actually a humanities. So it's like literature and history and art and philosophy sort of all intertwined together.
So they do a lot of that on their own and then have discussion time and things like that with me. But one of the things I love is that the topic or the time period they're studying is the same as the time period that I'm deep diving with the younger kids. And so we're in one sense, we all have that sort of shared vocabulary. Like we can all sort of be talking about the same types of things through the day. And so it doesn't feel like we're in disparate areas. Like we still have common ground.
I love that. Yeah. And this is very similar to how we do history in our house and that we are together for a certain amount of reading with our spine in Morning Time. And then, you know, the older kids, because, you know, my kids are a little closer in age than yours. So the stuff we do together is age appropriate for that middle schooler and up. And then the older kids have something additional that they do at a later time of day. But we still have that common, that common discussion thread through the stuff that we're reading in Morning Time. So I love that.
Well, if somebody is interested in teaching history in this way, where do you go about finding the books? Where do you go about finding the spines and the additional great picture books that you've been alluding to?
Wow. I would be remiss if I didn't say you should come over to humilityanddoxology.com. I love to make book lists for various time periods and topics, so you can come see me. I know you also have a lot of Morning Time resources that are, you have some that are history geared, don't you Pam?
Oh, totally. Yeah. Four year history cycle boarding time plans with a lot of book lists in there as well.
Yeah. Ambleside online, I know is not a Booklist, but I mean, you can also go find great books recommended on their
It’s not a book list, but it has a book list
That's right. It has a good book list with it. And also if there's a particular curriculum provider that you often respect or look up to, a lot of times what I'll do is like go on their website, go on websites of curriculum providers that I trust and look through some of their recommended resources. So I'm not actually buying the curriculum from them, but it can really be a useful tool to fill my, my library hold list.
Yeah. Yeah. And if I can, can I mention a couple of things, please? Of course, we've got our Morning Time plans, which are four year history cycle based, but then also read aloud revival. What I love about their book list is they really do focus on the books that are good for reading out loud. And sometimes that even means that the books are a little bit shorter if you're looking for kids with like a certain attention spans. And so sometimes they will break their books down into certain history periods.
And then another fabulous resource is IEW’s Timeline of Classics and it's it's classic world literature, and it's all arranged chronologically. And then they break it out for you by grade level. So they say like, this book is appropriate for your high school or this one is more appropriate for middle school. And this, you know, these are the books that are appropriate for early elementary school. And it's just a really fabulous resource as well.
That sounds amazing. I'll have to check that out.
Yeah. So many good resources. So, you know, honestly, I think for moms who are interested in teaching this way, it's a lot more about feeling confident that I could do this than it is finding good books. The good books are out there.
Oh, definitely. Yeah. Yeah. So how do you deal with something like outdated language and older books?
Because we mentioned a couple of resources that has more classic style books and, and as the world has changed, some of the language has gotten a little outdated. So what do you do about things like that? Well, the good thing is when I'm reading aloud the spine, I can either make edits on the fly as need be, which I do on occasion.
Or sometimes I'll just use that as an opportunity to stop and take a pause and just talk about why things have changed over time. What does this show about the worldview or the culture in which the author of the book lived, right? Not just the people about whom he or she is writing, but the author themselves. And I try to do that in a really gracious way because I think that just like we want our children to learn, to understand and, you know, come with humility as they look at the people of the past. We want them to come with that same desire to understand and listen to the authors of the history books. Another thing that I think is really important is to read widely. So a lot of times I think our instinct is to be like, oh dear, there's something concerning in this book or that book. So I'm going to like, limit my book list. I'm going to narrow it down. And I prefer to expand my book list. So I try to read things that are older and a lot that are newer because they have different blind spots. It's not like one is necessarily always more accurate than the other, just by virtue of their age. I think, you know, some homeschool circles, they only want to read old books. Right. And others it's like, no, we're going to only read the new books. And I'm like, well, how about if we read both and they will help us get actually a fuller view of what was really going on because our own culture has its own blind spots. Right. And unfortunately we can't read books from the future, like CS Lewis said, so we have to stick with books from the past, to kind of help us balance out our, our approach. But yeah, I'm not afraid to, to edit or to just sort of read something to my kids and be like, okay, let's talk about why we wouldn't want to use these terms. Or talke about people this way now.
Right. And I love that what you said about balance. You know, like if, if we really get myopic and narrow and only look at modern books, then we're really going to be missing some, some things of great value from the past that maybe we wouldn't include 100% of every single word from it, but there's still some value there. But if we only read the old stuff, then we're going to miss out on some of the value of the newer things as well. And so I think it's, I love that approach to, just to balance it all out balance is a great word.
And just to remind my kids that we're talking about humans, like these are human beings who are flawed, whether it's the people we're reading about in the past or the authors of the books. I think that's so important not to idolize people of the past any more than it is to demonize them, but to talk about them as being human. Like, this is an essentially human experience where you have people who seem to be these great, you know, great heroes. And then we read about these other things they did. And we're like, how can this possibly be?
Or on the flip side, you're, you're learning about someone who's terrible. And you're like, oh, but they actually did this one good thing. Like what? And just to be able to talk to the kids about like, this is human nature, I think is, is really valuable. And not just as we look back at history, but as we look at our, our current culture as well.
Yeah. And I, I think it's like, that's the thing we need to realize too, is that we can see our own flaws and we should see our own flaws. I mean, you know, like we can not ignore our own flaws and say, well, we're just so much better than somebody from the past because we have flaws too. And it'll be interesting to see how history judges us when it's all said and done.
So I love like this humanities kind of approach this, this humanist actually kind of approach that you have to teaching history because it is all about the flawed human being, no matter where they fall on the historical timeline.
And as a Christian, it's something that's even bigger than that because I see God as the author of this story. Right? Yeah. So history really, as this adventure story with these characters, but I see that there is an author and he is working his Providence throughout history too. So we don't just see that when we read the Bible, which is full of stories, right? It's mostly story, in fact. And so we think about that as we read the Bible, I'm like, oh yeah, we see God at work, but I want my kids to see that that's also happening in the story that is being written all around us too.
That is so true. Yeah. He doesn't just stay in the Bible, he's in the world as well.
So what encouragement do you have for a mom who is nervous about the idea of teaching history without a textbook? We had to say, you can do this. And in fact it may be something that ends up becoming your favorite part of the homeschool day. So start, you know, start small. Don't try to get 27,000 books and do all the hands on activities. Just pick one topic that you're already interested in, or maybe it's something you've always wanted to learn a little bit more about. And just start there, start small. Kind of like you encourage with Morning Basket things, right, Pam. It's good to just sort of start small and, and develop that sense of like, oh, this is the kind of thing we do every day. And then you can gradually add on in the future if you wish to. But I think mom's enthusiasm is really the secret sauce of homeschooling a lot of times. So for the mom, who's nervous, I would say don't try to pick like the perfect history, you know, topics. Certainly don't go on a Facebook homeschool Group and Ask, what should I do for history? You'll, you'll go crazy. You know, just pick one thing, just pick a book and read it out loud with your kids and talk about it.
Yeah. And I wanted to point out, and I am trying to remember the lady's name who taught me this little trick. And guys, when I find it, I'll put it in the show notes for this episode, but there's, she actually wrote an article. I want to say, Shelly is her name. And I can't remember her last name, but she actually wrote an article and we included it with her permission in Plan your Year. But her idea for teaching homeschool subjects without a textbook was to actually get a textbook and look at the table of contents and see all the things that they covered in there.
And then go and find books about each one of those topics. And so if you were like, I can't do this, how, you know, how in the world can I teach history without using the textbook, I'm going to miss something or I'm going to forget something that is the perfect way to do it. Because now you have a list of things as a jumping off point that you can study with your kids. And I just thought that was a genius idea.
That's A great tip.
Yeah. Yeah. And then what do you think, Amy, because I'm totally going off script now, what do you think about if your oldest is six or seven? Like where do you dive in there?
Well, I think it will definitely depend on the child. You know, I just, again, as all things I would say, Hey, well, it depends, but I remember something actually really fun that my own mom did with me when I was about five or six. And I did that, at least with my older children. I probably dropped the ball with my littlest guy, honestly, but this was to make a timeline of my own life.
And so it's hard sometimes for young children to really understand like the way time works and how things are placed on a timeline. And so you can actually at five or six years old, get like a big piece of butcher paper and make a little timeline and just put on there. Things like mommy and daddy, met and mommy and daddy getting married. And, you know, Joey is born and like, ask your kid, like what's something important that's happened in your life. And it may be like that time. I got a lollipop at the dentist and you don't put that on the timeline and sort of help them understand the way time works that way. I think that can just be a really great way to get that framework in their head first for them to be thinking historically, and then just get some fun picture books, you know, and, and just read together. I don't think you have to do anything super formal or intense at that age. You want them to be filled with wonder and delight and to want to learn more about these people in the past.
Yeah. Yeah. And I think that's the thing too about where it starts with kids this age particularly is really, really focusing on the people more than the events, but really, really like who these people were and what they did. So as you're expanding on this and you know, we're going to have some moms who are like, okay, I can read my kid these books, but how can I be sure they're learning anything, you know, where's the test. What would you say to that mom?
That is such a great question. So one of the things that we do in our family is we teach our kids to keep reading journals. So I don't worry about this at all. When we're talking about a kid who's like kindergarten, first grade, second grade, then we just are having conversations and I'll ask them questions and they'll tell me something they remember that they, you know, read in the book or watched on the documentary or whatever. So I don't worry about it at all in those little, those beginning years.
Can you give me an example of one of those questions, Yeah. Am I be something like something very factual, it could be like, Hmm. Who was the king of, or where did that king, what country was he a king of or something very basic like that? Or it might be like, oh, did you notice a similarity between the story we read today? And then when we read yesterday, like, what did the Kings do that were similar? Or who would you want to be? If, if you were one of the characters that we read about today in this story or something like that, similar questions that you would ask with like a fictional story.
And then as they get older, I teach them how to keep reading journals. And so that sort of becomes the way that we keep track of what they're learning when they're third grade or so again, depending on the kid, but it'll be something simple, like copying out keywords from their reading, or maybe copying a diagram or a picture from the book that they've read. And then as they get older, my middle school and high schoolers are writing from a paragraph to a page three to five times a week about the things that they're reading. And so that kind of tells me that they're paying attention, that you're actually getting something from what, from what they're learning, you know. Charlotte, Mason, homeschoolers talk about narration. So it's same kind of idea. It's just transitioning from oral narration to the written form. And that's the main way I do it up until high school. I actually do give my high schoolers an exam and some weekly quizzes and a lot of them are actually focused on some ideas or philosophies of the time, along with, you know, more again, factual details, of dates and stuff like that.
I love it. I love it. And it all kind of works together. You know, it grows and it all kind of works together, but it's not all answering questions at the end of the chapter when you're seven or eight years old.
Exactly. I can think of few things that would make it more dull.
And that is the truth. That is the truth. Well, if you would like more information about how to teach history without a textbook, you are in luck because Amy's Sloan has a masterclass for you and she has a special offer. So Amy tell everybody how they can get that.
Yes, I would love to give you 30% off my textbook free history masterclass. So if you head over to humilityanddoxology.com/shop, you can find that in there and use code Pam and get 30% off.
I love that. And then we'll also include a link to that on the show notes for this episode and Amy and I both just really want to encourage you to ditch those textbooks and make history more engaging and more exciting at your house.
So Amy, thanks so much for coming on and showing us how to do that. Thanks for having me, Pam. And there you have it. Now, if you would like links to any of the resources, the great book list or Amy's masterclass, all that we chatted about on today's episode of the podcast, you can find them pambarnhill.com/YMB111.
So we're going to have links to all of those resources over there for you. So do go check those out and check out Amy's masterclass for that special coupon code as well. Now I will be back again in a couple of weeks with a very special episode, we have a brand new book, all about Morning Time that is coming out. We want to tell you all about the book where you can get your hands on a copy.
It's absolutely beautiful. It's called Gather: Exploring the Wonder Wisdom and Worship of Learning at Home. And it is a photography book, and we think you're going to be so inspired by this one. I'm going to be joined by my good friend, Heather Tully, who was the photographer for the book. And then also Brittany Bailey, who was the mom of one,
the families who we featured in the gatherer book. They're going to both be here talking to me all about how can we see the fruit of Morning Time, or how can we trust that there will be fruit with our Morning Time efforts long before our kids are grown and gone. And it's going to be a wonderful topic. We're going to dive into a little bit about what's inside the book, what it's about, but also this topic that I think is important to moms, all of our hard work, is it worth it? How can we see the fruit of this ahead of the time that our kids are grown? So join me for that very special interview until then keep seeking truth, goodness and beauty in your homeschool day.

Key Ideas about Teaching History Without a Curriculum

One of the benefits of using a textbook free approach to studying history is the focus on the actual people of history. You can really come to understand the humanness of history by getting to know the stories of these historical figures and see them as people, living their ordinary lives, just like us.

Instead of studying historical periods in isolation, using a living books approach, you are able to see many threads of history and how they weave together.

A great way to go about it is to pick a longer non-fiction history spine and supplement with picture books, biographies, and other resources. You can also choose art, music, and literature that corresponds with that historical period to give a fuller picture.

If you are interested in teaching history this way, start small. Pick a historical topic that interests you and find a few resources. Then, grow from there.

Find what you want to hear:

  • [4:11] meet Amy Sloan
  • [6:04] history in Amy’s homeschool
  • [11:10] knowing what to teach
  • [19:17] resources for finding the books you want
  • [21:49] dealing with outdated language in older books
  • [26:43] encouragement for moms who want to do this
  • [28:56] history with 6-7 year olds

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Thanks for your reviews

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

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

  • Life Affirming
    by Logandinco66 from United States

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

  • Life giving!
    by lapatita5 from United States

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

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

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

  • Love the show!
    by Startup Travis from United States

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

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

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

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

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

  • Always insightful!!
    by method_money from Canada

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

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

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

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

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

  • Great!!!
    by Eloblah from United States

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

  • New home schooling mom
    by A prit from United States

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

  • Morning Time Magic!
    by DrewSteadman from United States

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

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

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

  • So excited for 2020!
    by JCrutchf from United States

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Super Helpful!
    by Jennlee C from United States

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

  • Practical Inspiration
    by Mamato3activeboys from Australia

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

  • So many great ideas!
    by Parent 98765 from Malaysia

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

  • Joy
    by Ancon76 from United States

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

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

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

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

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

  • Love it!
    by s chenvmv from United States

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

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

    Love this!

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

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

  • Wonderful resource!
    by honebubble from United States

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

  • A wonderful podcast!
    by NoName2018 from Canada

    Great ideas and interesting guests - thanks Pam!!

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

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

  • Such great choices of guests
    by andinic from United Kingdom

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

  • Great
    by WifeyKayla from United States

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

  • Interesting ideas
    by Lisa1932 from Canada

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

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

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

  • Excellent!
    by Jodylleigh from United States

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

  • Truly an inspiration!
    by Soaring2him from United States

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Thanks Pam!
    by BraveMomma from United States

    So many great ideas every single week! Thanks!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Hope for the weary
    by MomToTheMasses from United States

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

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

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

  • Mamma of Five
    by Mamma of Five from United States

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

  • Great Homeschool Resource
    by KS Becky R from United States

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

  • Really great!
    by BeeGerW from United States

    I love hearing all these ideas!

  • californiafamily
    by californiafamily from United States

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

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

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

  • First Things First
    by Lukenoah from United States

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

  • So helpful!
    by jofcrich from Australia

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

  • Great resource
    by Ejs0928 from United States

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

  • Amazing!
    by CDefnall from United States

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

  • Inspiring and enlightening
    by spycej from United States

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

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

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

  • One of my favorites
    by FaithAZ from United States

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

  • Great Ideas
    by Hiphooray from United States

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

  • TaraVos
    by TaraVos from United States

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

  • Lots of useful information
    by Kristizy from United States

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

  • <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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