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In this episode of Your Morning Basket Podcast, hosts Pam Barnhill, Laney Homan, and Dawn Garrett talk about how to make morning time work for your family.

They discuss how long Morning Time should be and why treating it as a separate activity is essential. They share their experiences and tips on incorporating different subjects into morning time, like history, science, and skill work and also give practical advice on balancing content area work with skill work, especially if you have multiple children.

The team discusses whether you should have separate morning time activities for different age groups and the importance of having designated times for everyone to come together. Join them as they give helpful advice on setting goals for Morning Time and making it a fun and meaningful part of your daily routine.

Pam Barnhill [00:00:04]:

Are you ready for homeschooling to feel joyful again? Do you wanna build closer relationships, remove some of the stress around planning, and enjoy learning with your children? Welcome to your morning basket. I’m Pam Barnhill, a homeschool mom just like you, and I’m going to show you the magic and fulfillment that morning basket or morning time can bring to your homeschool. Grab your coffee or tea, and let’s get started. Hello there. Okay. So I am joined today by 2 of our team members here. I always said my favorite team members, but I really shouldn’t do that because You’re all my favorites.

Dawn Garrett [00:00:46]:

What kind of like your children?

Pam Barnhill [00:00:48]:


Dawn Garrett [00:00:48]:

Your children are all my favorites?

Pam Barnhill [00:00:49]:

All my favorites. Yeah. Well, it’s funny because I was recording a podcast with Olivia earlier, and I said, one of my very favorite people. And she said, I thought you were gonna say one of my very favorite children. And I’m like, I can’t do that Because your brothers won’t like it. But, yes, 2 of my favorite team members here today, Dawn Garrett, who is our community manager here at, your morning basket and then also Laney Homan, who is our member success manager. So ladies, welcome. Thank you so much for joining me.

Laney Homan [00:01:18]:

Thanks for having us here.

Dawn Garrett [00:01:20]:

Yeah. Always excited to be here.

Pam Barnhill [00:01:22]:

Always good to have you. Okay. So we are gonna jump into our topic in just a minute, But first, I wanted to start with our morning time moment, and I just wanted to ask you, what is it that you’re reading right now in your morning time? So, Dawn, you wanna tell us?

Dawn Garrett [00:01:39]:

Sure. My 1 student is wanting to do a year where she learns about cooking. And so I pulled 2 books, and, one of them is Tamar Tamar Adler’s An Everlasting Meal, and it’s a book of essays about cooking and the way you think about food and How you go from 1 meal to the next. It’s really beautiful. I told I told Rebecca I told my daughter. I was like, This is a book about food for a single person, not for a family. She lovingly puts the leftover roasted cauliflower in a mason jar that she puts in her refrigerator, and I’m like, I could cook 4 heads of cauliflower and have some leftovers, but we will eat as much as you can get. But she just writes really beautifully, and I wanted I wanted to have that aesthetic in our morning time.

Dawn Garrett [00:02:38]:

And then I ordered a, a cooking school cookbook, and I’ll get you the link later, for the show notes. But it’s about How to cook from the, America’s test test kitchen people. And it’s a real basic introduction. So we’re going through right now, we’re go we just Recently read, you know, what does it mean to boil? What does it mean to bake? What does it mean to roast? I like to find all of those cooking techniques, and then we have The things you use in the kitchen and ingredients and so it it goes step by step.

Pam Barnhill [00:03:11]:

Okay. So not to get too off on a tangent here, But, you know, you have always been this big, cheerleader for living books in morning time. So this America’s Test Kitchen book, it’s a living book?

Dawn Garrett [00:03:26]:

Well, that’s why we’re reading The Tamara Opera because that’s very much our living book. But I do think that, This kind of reference, if it’s well written, can be living. And We’re just, like, looking at a couple pages a day, and it has recipes. And so we can kind of talk through some of those things and try them out. She wanted some practical things to learn. She as of for her junior year, she would like to learn about cooking. For her senior year, she would like to talk about sewing. I’m not sure how many living sewing books there will be, but I’m trying to, like, have a balance.

Pam Barnhill [00:04:05]:

I’m challenging you. If anybody can find a living sewing book, it’ll be you. So I’m challenging you, you’re gonna have to come back next year and report, did you find The living sewing book. But I do think it’s actually really fascinating that you’re like, okay, we’re just opening it up and looking at a couple of pages a day and talking about the things that are on the page and, yeah, so I’ll be interested to see how this goes for the rest of the year. Very cool. Very cool.

Laney Homan [00:04:32]:

It’ll be up to dawn to find the book, but I bet that you could find a living quilting book. Quilters are confident people. So I’m curious. It might not be exactly a how to, but I bet you can find like, I even have some picture books about quilting, I think, Because my mom is the quilter.

Dawn Garrett [00:04:53]:

Patricia Polacco’s, the keeping quilt, is that what it’s called? I know she has a couple.

Pam Barnhill [00:05:01]:

Yeah. Yeah. I bet. If nothing else, you’ll be able to find a memoir or something like that about either seamstress scene or or quilting or something.

Dawn Garrett [00:05:10]:

Maybe Betsy Ross.

Pam Barnhill [00:05:12]:

Maybe. Maybe. Yeah. Alright, Lainie. What are you guys reading?

Laney Homan [00:05:17]:

Okay. So we’re just we’re still, like, in the middle of fairy tales. We’ve been doing the fairy tales exploration, and, I have really been enjoying it. We spent about a week reading, the Beauty and the Beast poem by Charles Lamb. It Took us a while. We weren’t reading through it quickly, just a few stanzas a day, but I think my favorite so far has been The King’s Equal by Katherine Paterson. And that was a new fairy tale for me. I had never heard it, and I just really enjoyed it.

Laney Homan [00:05:46]:

We just finished that one this past, I guess last Friday, we finished that one. And then, you know, we’re just diving into some of the more familiar fairy tales, that the kids we’ve read The Little Mermaid, that was one that they were a little like, they they were surprised because the endings are different. Like, the versions The versions that they’re familiar with just from and we don’t spend a lot of time in the Disney fairy tales, but those are still the things that kinda come up that they’re more familiar with. So I’ve been trying to really stick with some of the more original type versions. The kids are old enough and, like, I’m not sure that you can be too young for them in the 1st place, but it’s, Yeah. So we’ve been reading a lot of fairy tales. But The King’s Equal by Katherine Paterson was a new fairy tale for me, and, I really, really enjoyed it. It was one of the book picks from the explorations.

Links and Resources from Today’s Show

An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and GraceAn Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and GraceThe New Cooking School Cookbook: FundamentalsThe New Cooking School Cookbook: FundamentalsBy Patricia Polacco - The Keeping Quilt (1988-09-16) [Hardcover]By Patricia Polacco – The Keeping Quilt (1988-09-16) [Hardcover]The King's Equal (Trophy Chapter Books (Paperback))The King’s Equal (Trophy Chapter Books (Paperback))GlitchGlitchEdge of Extinction #2: Code Name FloodEdge of Extinction #2: Code Name FloodAnimal FarmAnimal FarmThe Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963[WATSONS GO TO BIRMING][Hardcover]The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963[WATSONS GO TO BIRMING][Hardcover]


Key Ideas About the Length of Morning Time

  • Morning time should be seen as a separate activity, treated with importance and joy. 
  • Balancing content area work and skill work is a challenge, especially with multiple children. Skill work is often done outside of morning time. 
  • It’s acceptable and beneficial to have separate morning time activities for different age groups if it works for the parent and benefits the child. 
  • Identifying priorities and deciding who needs to be present for certain activities is crucial in optimizing morning time. 
  • Setting goals for morning time, considering the ages of your children and the season of life, is an essential part of making it a successful practice.

Find What You Want to Hear

  • [0:04] Meet Dawn and Laney
  • [1:22] What are you reading in your morning time?
  • [11:07] How long should your Morning Time be?
  • [16:35] Why do homeschoolers have this question?
  • [23:38] Should you do math first?
  • [26:12] The length of morning time can change
  • [33:01] Morning Time with just littles?
  • [36:27] Your goal for Morning Time

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