YMB 12 Teaching From Rest with Morning Time: A Conversation with Sarah Mackenzie

We have some episodes here at Your Morning Basket that are all about the philosophy behind Morning Time, and we have some episodes that are all about the practical how-tos of actually making Morning Time happen, but this particular episode is a lovely mixture of the two.

Sarah Mackenzie is a mother of six, the author of Teaching from Rest: A Homeschooler’s Guide to Unshakable Peace, and the host of the Read-Aloud Revival. She joins us on the podcast to discuss Morning Time as a key tool that can help us order our children’s affections, turn our attention to things of utmost importance, and ground ourselves in state of rest, avoiding that place of frenzy and worry that we are not doing “enough.”

But Sarah doesn’t stop there. She also throws in some of her best practical tips, like ideas for how to wrangle a houseful of toddlers and simplify Morning Time as needed during key seasons of family life. There is something for everyone in this interview, so sit back and enjoy!

Pam:

This is Your Morning Basket where we help you bring Truth, Goodness, and Beauty to your homeschool day. Hi everyone, and welcome to episode 12 of the podcast. I’m Pam Barnhill, your host, and I’m glad you’re joining me here today. Well, today we have a fun episode of the podcast for you. Oh, I hope you find it fun. It was a lot of fun for me. I got to talk to my best friend. I have known Sarah Mackenzie for about six years now. We met online, of course, finally got to meet in person last year, and she’s just as delightful in person as she’s been all these years not in person. And I’ve been just as excited these past couple of years to see all the things that she’s been coming out with from her landmark homeschooling book, Teaching From Rest to the wonderful Read Aloud Revival podcast, and membership site. It’s been a lot of fun to see these great resources come out from Sarah and I’ve been blessed by them, too.

Now, Sarah’s special language is one of encouragement. She’s very encouraging to moms, whereas I’m more of a practical applications girl myself. I really love to dig deep into practical aspects of things, where she speaks a little more encouragement and philosophy. So I have to say I was really excited when Teaching From Rest came out and she had included Morning Time as one of the practical ways that you could teach from a state of rest in your homeschool. So, I knew that she would be the perfect person to have on the podcast to talk about what exactly does this look like? How can having a Morning Time in our homeschool help us to be more restful and less anxious in what we’re doing in the day to day with our family? So I was really happy when she agreed and said yes and I think you’re really going to enjoy this episode of the podcast.

Read Full Transcript

Sarah Mackenzie is a homeschooling mother of six, ranging from a teen all the way down to twin toddlers. And, she’s also the host of the popular Read Aloud Revival podcast where she equips and encourages families to read together and build a shared culture in the home around books. Sarah has a passion for speaking to the hearts of busy, frazzled homeschool moms. Through the Read Aloud Revival and her book Teaching From Rest, a Homeschoolers Guide to Unshakeable Peace and her talks on the homeschool convention circuit, she passes along her vital message of finding peace and assurance in the busy day to day. She joins us today to share how the practice of Morning Time can help us teach from a state of rest. Sarah, welcome to the program.
Sarah: Well, thank you for having me. It’s so much fun to be here.
Pam: Well, I just love having you on. You and I do quite a few things together, and so …
Sarah: We do.
Pam: … this is old hat for us.
Sarah: Yes it is.
Pam: For those of the listeners out there who may not know you, tell us a little about your family.
Sarah: OK, well, like you said, we’ve got six kids. My oldest is 14 and probably could run my house better than I do. I also have a 12 and 10 year old. And then we’ve got this big gap, and then we’ve got a whole passel of toddlers, so a three year old- she’s almost four now, and twin two year olds who keep us constantly running. We’ve homeschooled all the way from the beginning and it’s just sort of been this big long journey of figuring it out as we go. And neither my husband or I were homeschooled, so it’s been choosing our vision and running with it and seeing where it’s going to take us, rather than knowing what it should look like. It’s just been good. It’s been fun, lots of fun.
Pam: Tell us a little bit how you got started doing Morning Time.
Sarah: Let’s see. I’m trying to remember the first time I really called it Morning Time, was probably after I had read something by Cindy Rollins, that would be my guess. I don’t exactly remember a big shift, like we weren’t doing Morning Time and then we were. I do think from the beginning of homeschooling I always liked the idea of having some subjects be done altogether, where we’re all enjoying the same stories or singing a song or reading some poetry, but Morning Time itself has become a more important part of our school day the more kids we have, especially when we had all three babies in about a year and a half, and ever since then one of the most important parts of Morning Time for me has just been a way to organize ourselves so that we still get to those really wonderful, beautiful, delightful things that we want to do altogether in a reliable fashion. Morning Time just makes it happen every day, or most days at least. And so we’ve probably always done some things altogether as a family, but now I’m more intentional about what those things are because I’m thinking about them in the context of Morning Time.
Pam: You know, I think that probably happens for a lot of people because, and Cindy will tell you, you know Morning Time is not rocket science.
Sarah: Right.
Pam: We, kind of, give it a name and we make these plans and things like that and I think that’s a good thing that we do that because we do become more intentional about it, but honestly, when you get right down to the heart of the practice of it, there’s really nothing special there.
Sarah: I think people are always surprised when they hear me talk about Morning Time or say that we do Morning Time, and so they’ll say, “Give me more. I want to know how you do it.” And when I tell them they’re kind of underwhelmed, like “that’s it?” It’s very, very simple but it’s almost like a mindset shift for me, a paradigm shift. I tell myself ‘Morning Time and Math are the two most important things we’re going to do today.’ Morning Time, Math, and time for my kids to read are the big rocks, the big things that have to happen. And so, just having that be one of the main big things that we do, helps me prioritize a couple of things. It doesn’t have to be complicated, it doesn’t have to be some really elaborate schedule, it could be something super simple. Like the way we do it now is super simple because we only have a pretty short amount of time before toddlers start wreaking havoc and so we have to make the most of it, we keep it really short and sweet.
Pam: So, we’re going to break a couple of the things you just said apart, in just a minute. I think Morning Time is a lot about attitude and atmosphere, and less about practices or …
Sarah: What actually happens.
Pam: Exactly. So, let’s break apart two things you said. First of all, I want to talk a little bit about what does your Morning Time look like now and how has it changed over the years? So let’s start there and then I know everybody’s wanting me to ask you about the toddlers, and the impact that they have. I have a feeling it’s like Godzilla coming down on Tokyo?
Sarah: It’s pretty much like world detonation.
Pam: Let’s talk about what does your Morning Time look like now?
Sarah: Right now, it is super short and sweet. The shortest it’s ever been for us. We start Morning Time after breakfast but before the kids do any of their independent work. We get together, we all gather together in a room, we begin with the Doxology, we sing the Doxology. We say a couple of prayers, and then we do two things after that. That takes 3-4 minutes to do our Doxology and a few prayers. We generally do one other thing and then we read for about 10-15 minutes from our literature book. Sometimes we don’t read aloud from our literature book because the toddlers are already starting to break down and we all love reading from our literature book so we’ll save it for later when it will be more enjoyable. So the big things that happen are the Doxology and prayers, and then one other thing. And I say one other thing because that rotates, and I’ll kind of give you an idea. So, right before Christmas we were doing picture study using the picture study portfolios from Simply Charlotte Mason. Are you familiar with those?
Pam: Oh yeah, they’re lovely.
Sarah: Yes. We love them. We did Monet. And I tend to like to do – how do I word this – I don’t like to rotate my subjects as much as I like to go all in and go really deep, kind of whole hog, it’s sort of my personality. My kids seem to respond well to that. So instead of, say, doing picture study on Monday and Shakespeare on Tuesday and geography on Wednesday, that’s what we would do in Morning Time, I would tend to do just one of those things every single day until we were done with whatever we were going to do. So, for example, for the picture study we would do our Doxology, we would do our morning prayers and we would do a picture study from Monet every single day for, I can’t remember, I think it took us 2-3 weeks to get through that whole Monet picture study. Then we were done. Then after that we were reading an Advent book called, Bartholomew’s Passage so for Morning Time we would do Doxology, we would do our prayers, and then we would read a chapter from Bartholomew’s Passage which was our religious book for that period of time. We would read it until it’s done. We would read it every day until it was done. So we also have some plans for the rest of this year for Morning Time to read The Taming of the Shrew so when we do that, we’d do exactly like I said before, Doxology and prayers and then we’ll do The Taming of the Shrew every day until we’re done with The Taming of the Shrew. So I tend to pick one thing and we do it from beginning to end and then we move onto another. So I have a plan at the beginning of the year. I want to do a Shakespeare play, I want to do a picture study, I want to do a composer study, I want to read these three books for religious education, and so we’ll just rotate those during Morning Time but we just do one until it’s totally done. Oh, and I forgot! We also do memory work. I completely forgot to say that. We also do memory work, we memorize just very small amount compared to a lot of what other people memorize. Right now we’re just memorizing The Sermon on the Mount, and so we spend anywhere between 3-5 minutes practicing our memory work during that time as well.
Pam: And you’re memorizing one thing.
Sarah: One thing. In the past we have done lots of other things. We’ve done states and capitals, we’ve done math facts, we’ve done history timelines. This year, we’re just doing The Sermon on the Mount, and so every day we start at the beginning and we just recite it until we get to the next verse that we haven’t mastered yet and then we’ll keep saying it every single day, we just recite it together. Actually our memory work is so simple. I just have it printed out for them and they look at it and recite it out loud, so it’s not even where I’m asking them to chant it back to me without looking at it. We just read it out loud together every single day and I’m kind of astonished at how much kids put in memory in that very low pressure [**inaudible** 10:24] memorizing.
Pam: Yeah, that’s another thing not to complicate. If you just keep reading it over and over and over you will eventually get it, and they’re going to get it before you will.
Sarah: Yeah, exactly.
Pam: I love, love, love the simplicity of this. And I’m really, kind of, latching on to the whole do one thing until you’re done with it.
Sarah: Well, you know, it’s less to keep in your head, because you don’t have to go “Where were we? It’s been a week since we got to Shakespeare, where were we in the Taming of the Shrew, what was happening before?” and try to remember and there’s good things that happen in our children’s brains when they have to do that, you know, a little bit over a long period of time, but for my mama brain, it’s enough to make it explode. It’s just simpler for me to know that when it’s Morning Time I need to grab our memory work and our read aloud and the one thing that we’re working on and not have to, every single day, have to go look at a chart and remember what I need to grab, or grab the basket. You know, there’s ways to simplify that. But for me, right now, it just needs to be very simple to focus on one thing.
Pam: I’m hearing this collective sigh across all of podcast listendom and they’re just going, “Oh, we’re going to do it like Sarah does it.”
Sarah: The other really great thing that has come as fruit of that that I didn’t really anticipate is that it lets my kids dive in a little deeper. So for example, when we were doing the Monet picture study, because we were so immersed in Monet for those few weeks, when we would go to the library, the kids would naturally ask me to pick out some books about Monet, or I would choose a DVD that’s about Monet’s art or whatever, and we’d bring it home and it just seemed like it was a little more immersive than it would have been if I had spread that Monet study all year. Maybe not, maybe we would have done that anyway, but I don’t know. Maybe the deep dive into whatever that one thing is that we’re working on, is a way that our family just seems to respond really well to.
Pam: Now, let’s talk about those toddlers because you mentioned in your description there that you’d reach a point where the toddlers were melting down. So, you’re sitting at the table with the three kids and I’ve seen pictures of your little binder. I think you’ve got a Periscope where you talk about your Morning Time and we’ll link to that…
Sarah: I do, yes.
Pam: I know that they have little pages on a clipboard or something like that, and so, you’re all sitting around the table, what are the toddlers doing?
Sarah: OK, well it kind of depends. I love having things set aside in a Morning Time box or a Read Aloud box, whatever you want to call it, that just comes out for those times of day when you know you want your toddlers to be busy. We have three toddlers, so in some ways that may be easier than having one because they have each other to play with, and in other ways it’s not easier because …
Pam: they fight.
Sarah: Exactly. And then they don’t share very well because they’re two, and the whole nine yards. So things like a bin, has something like playdo or those color wonder markers or in the summer time we would put these paint brushes and these little bowls in a plastic bin and when it was time to read aloud we would take the kids out to the porch and I would read to them out on the porch and the babies would paint the deck with water. And they can do that for so long, I mean, it’s ridiculous. They have so much fun. Because when you paint a brown deck with water it gets dark, so it’s very satisfying for a toddler to paint the deck. And our deck is pretty big.
Pam: And it cleans the deck!
Sarah: Or earlier this year I went out and bought some brand new Melissa and Doug chunky wooden puzzles that only came out at this time of day, so they were just special toys. So that’s my first preference, is to have a special toy or activity that only comes out at this time so that it’s special. Even so, I only feel like that buys me about 15 minutes so we still have to keep our Morning Time really short. And then, in a pinch, and I’m going to whisper this so that your podcast listeners don’t hear me but we will turn on the tv and go into the other room and let them watch A Signing Time or an episode of Caillou or something so we can get a good half an hour of Morning Time in.
Pam: I’m shocked! Shocked, I tell you! No homeschool mother has ever done that before.
Sarah: Exactly, certainly not talked about it on Pam Barnhill’s podcast.
Pam: Oh goodness. OK, what about food? Do you ever use food?
Sarah: Oh yes! We do use food! In the summer my very, very favorite strategy is to put them in a high chair with popsicles, because they take, literally, a hundred years for a toddler to eat. They’re a complete mess so by the time we’d get done with Morning Time I’d have to spray everything down but it was completely worth it. They were happy, they were busy, they were a complete sticky mess but it got us a whole Morning Time.
Pam: Right. And you’re not necessarily, unless people think that you’re toddlers are eating popsicles at 7:30 in the morning, you don’t necessarily do Morning Time in the morning all the time.
Sarah: No, we don’t. Right now, we are. So I always forget that we shift seasons so often, you know how it is with toddlers, things change so quickly based on naptimes and whatever. So over this last summer we were doing Morning Time in the afternoon, then we started calling it Symposium because I have a daughter who could not stand calling something “Morning Time” that was not done in the morning. But no, right now, lately we have been doing it in the morning, so no, I wouldn’t give my kids popsicles at eight in the morning. Well, I don’t know, I wouldn’t probably be against it if it gave me a good 30 minutes of Morning Time.
Pam: I don’t know that I would mark that box off either. I think I would keep that trick up my sleeve. It’s fruit and water.
Sarah: Depending on whether I bought them or my husband did.
Pam: True. True. Well, let’s talk a little bit about teaching from rest. How did the concept of teaching from rest come to be significant for you personally?
Sarah: Really, the whole idea of teaching from rest kind of took over my brain and the way I was thinking about education when I was pregnant with the twins, I was sort of overwhelmed by homeschooling in general, feeling like I was, kind of, a failure, possibly ruining my kids, feeling like I was really behind at the very least, and I remember the specific day that I had this big paradigm shift. I was cleaning my son’s closet (he was eight at the time) pregnant with twins. As you’re cleaning your eight year old’s son’s closet, you’re probably in some amount of despair, so I’m totally overwhelmed, but just by all the burdens on the life of a homeschooling mother in general. And I hear Andrew Kern, from the Circe Institute tell Mary Jo Tate that the number one thing, if he could say anything to homeschooling moms, the number one thing he would say is that she should teach from a state of rest. And at the time, I thought that was just this laughable concept. This man has no idea what my life is like, because what does that even mean, and what does that look like in my home where I’m pregnant and I have four children and everybody needs more than I could give? But I was intrigued enough that I wanted to set out on this journey to figure out what that might look like, if it was possible what would it look like? And so, I began writing and thinking about teaching from rest, and that’s where the book came from. And really, what I found is that one of the most important tools for me to be able to teach from rest or to teach without anxiety, to teach without the constant worry that everything is slipping through the cracks and that the success of whether or not my children turn out to be capable, competent human beings completely rests on my ability to homeschool them well, one of the tools that has been most effective in order for me to let go of that stress and take on more peace and calm in my homeschool is Morning Time because it gives a form and a structure, an ability for me to prioritize truth, and goodness, and beauty, these things that are so, so critically important for me to be able to immerse my children in every day. It gives a place in the schedule, it gives it a structure so it doesn’t feel like this big elusive goal that I’m trying to do some, I don’t know, esoteric philosophical thing like infuse my children with truth, and goodness, and beauty. What does that even mean?
Pam: Right.
Sarah: You know, it means showing them beautiful things, like beautiful pictures and beautiful music, and reading really wonderful stories, that’s what it means, and so Morning Time gave that legs. It gave it an ability to be lived out in my very ordinary homeschool day, my very ordinary home. It’s not anything that would look like the front of a Sonlight Magazine or catalog. My actual day to day life doesn’t look anything like this picturesque view that I may have thought one day it would be. So in my very ordinary home with my very ordinary kids and I’m a very ordinary homeschool mom, not very impressive as far as what I do with my kids on a day to day basis, how do I make these big ideals fit into our ordinary life? And that Morning Time, I think, is how that’s happened.
Pam: It’s like it’s a place to put those practices because we talk about truth, goodness, and beauty in this, really kind of, lofty way, and find it’s something that’s kind of difficult to define, but when you get right down to how are we going to make this happen? The practices that we use are what ends up going in your Morning Time.
Sarah: Exactly, exactly.
Pam: So that’s good. How are the principles, or why are the principles of teaching from rest such an important message for our homeschooling families?
Sarah: Well, I think for so many of us we have this tendency to slide in one of two directions. I see rest as the virtue between two vices. So we have these tendencies to slide toward either negligence or anxiety, and I can slide toward either end of that spectrum. I think most of us tend to slide toward one or the other more often. So, what that looks like for me, if I’m sliding toward anxiety I’m starting to be a drill sergeant. I’m starting to freak out when my child is not making progress at a pace that I have decided they probably should. I’ve started to worry when I hear my fellow homeschooling mom friends talk about what their kids are doing and that they’re reading a certain book or at a certain math level and my child’s not there yet. And I start putting these undue pressures on my child and myself and my homeschool in general, to perform at a certain bar that doesn’t meet them where they are or doesn’t treat my kids as the images of God that they are. So it just sort of treats them as the, it’s like the factory model. You know, I want you to be able to hit these certain benchmarks at these certain timeframes in order to be successful. And when I slip into that mentality, which happens regularly, I begin to teach from anxiety. I begin to make my homeschool decisions based on fear. So, the other end of that is when I slip toward negligence, which is the opposite end of the spectrum, I start to feel like “my kids are going to learn no matter what I do, so probably the importance of me setting out a curriculum or path for my children to follow is not that important.” And I might just, kind of, letting things slide, and not be diligent about having them do their work consistently and lacking in discipline myself in order to do things like Morning Time or supervise their math or just get to those things when you don’t feel like it. And I really see rest as the virtue between these two vices, or the way that we hold our self in balance between feeling like we’re just throwing everything to the wind and hoping things come out OK or that we are really holding tight our illusion of control and that we have the power to make this all work or not.
Pam: OK, and so, for you, Morning Time is kind of a place that helps you maintain that balance between those two vices?
Sarah: It does. And the other thing it does, I think a huge piece of what it does is that it simplifies what could otherwise become very complicated. So, in my mind when I think ‘what is the most important thing for us to get to on any given day?’ For us, in our homeschool, it’s math and time for everybody to read, and then Morning Time, because in the context of Morning Time I can infuse my children with all of these beautiful ideas. You know, Scripture and poetry and Shakespeare, or reading Life of Fred and getting a little bit more conceptual or playful in our math learning, or fun poetry, or just more delightful things. Where those might slip off the radar, or lose their place in a schedule when things get kind of busy and chaotic, Morning Time holds them in a place, you know, it holds a place for that in our day and helps us remember that homeschooling is more than just getting proficient in math and reading and writing. It’s so much more than that. So I think it kind of helps us make learning a life.
Pam: You said something in the book. You said that “passing on the faith to my kids arguably the entire reason I educate my children at home in the first place gets squeezed out of the schedule.” So you were talking about, kind of, the daily grind. And you were talking about “those experiences that shape my children’s souls and order their affections gets set aside. What do I do about it? Two words: Morning Time.” So, this is really where that ordering of affections and the transferring of the faith to your children, that’s where that happens as well?
Sarah: Yes. I really think of Morning Time in our home as a place where first things come first. So, Cindy Rollins has talked about Morning Time as a liturgy of love, and I think it’s a place where I try to order my children’s affections; it’s where we read fairy tales, it’s where we sing hymns or songs of our faith, it’s where we memorize Scripture and all those things that I know that 20 years down the road I would look back and go, “Why didn’t we do more of that while we had the opportunity?” Well, you don’t do more of that when you have the opportunity because there’s also laundry, and dinner, and kids that are two grades behind in math, and it’s all kind of stressful. And so, having Morning Time as a place where you put those first things first, no matter what the state of the laundry or the math or the crying baby, is really, really helpful from a practical perspective.
Pam: Now, I just want to point out we talked a little bit about what your Morning Time looks like now and how super simple and streamlined it is, mostly because of the toddlers, but in the past you’ve had, I don’t want to say a wider feast because you’re still spreading a wide feast for your kids, but you had, I guess, a Morning Time with more moving parts.
Sarah: More moving parts and a lot longer. We would actually, at one point when it was just the three older kids, I think I was pregnant with Clara [**Claire?** 24:26] at the time so we didn’t have any toddlers running about, we would start our day with Morning Time, before we had breakfast. Everybody would, kind of, stumble out to the living room, in our pajamas (myself included!) and we’d all get coffee or hot chocolate or whatever, and sit down, and I’d start with our read aloud. And for the next two hours, and breakfast would kind of get woven into that, for the next two hours or so we would read aloud from a very wide variety. So we’d read 20 minutes from our liturgy book and we’d also do some memory work, we’d also do some Shakespeare, we’d also do some geography, and we would do a lot more because we had a lot more time; it just ended up being a bigger place holder in our day. And I do miss that. I loved doing that. I know that is not my season right now, so we’re making Morning Time work in a way that fits with our family season now. But, I loved that, and it still had the same function of being the place holder for those things that are so important that I don’t want to slip through the cracks and a place to put first things first.
Pam: I think an important point is either version of Morning Time can be a way to teach from rest, even though doing the short version is restful, but doing the long version can be just as restful as well.
Sarah: Exactly. In a lot of ways I think a longer version can be more restful because you don’t feel like ‘we only have 20 minutes before everybody breaks down so we’ve got to get it in!’ but a short version can be restful insofar as you feel like, ‘I know I’m getting to the most important things’ so I don’t know, I know I’ve talked to so many homeschooling moms who are done with homeschooling or have gotten a few of their kids have graduated, so they’ve got this perspective that the rest of us don’t have yet, and I just know that the things they wished they had gotten to, if they could tell themselves 20 years back, “spend more time reading aloud,” “spend more time doing poetry,” “spend more time having your kids narrate back to you,” things like that, those are the things that fit so naturally into Morning Time and Cindy Rollins has been a huge encouragement to me in saying that was the most important thing she did in her homeschool, and so that’s been really, really helpful to me to remember.
Pam: OK, now I know, we’re going to take reading aloud off the table because we’re going to talk about that in just a few minutes, but, are there any other specific Morning Time practices that you have found really can be useful to restful teaching?
Sarah: OK, so the other things that I think fit really, really well, I almost always do our religious education during Morning Time. My kids do very little religious education outside of what we do in Morning Time, outside of just living out our faith. You know, going to Mass, and all the normal things we do to live out our faith, but Morning Time is where we get our religion in; that’s where we read about it and learn about it and talk about it in a more schoolish way, I guess, or in a more organized way. So that’s one of the things I would say is a big, big piece of our Morning Time always. And then my very favorite thing to put into Morning Time is Shakespeare because I just love, love Shakespeare, so that’s another no-brainer for me. We always have to do some Shakespeare every year and Morning Time is the very natural place to put that.
Pam: Let’s talk a little about reading aloud and how that looks in Morning Time, because I know reading aloud is your big pet project. How does reading aloud in Morning Time look different than other parts of the day for you, or does it even look different?
Sarah: It doesn’t look all that different. Reading aloud is a huge, huge piece of our family life so we are always reading from some kind of literature. And it doesn’t need to be classic literature, I just mean some kind of fiction that our family is enjoying together. Right now, we are reading what we’ve been reading forever, we just keep reading so many different things that we can’t quite finish this book, it’s so good though, On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, which is Wingfeather Saga number one by Andrew Peterson, completely delightful. So we’ll read a little bit of that everyday and sometimes we fit that into our Morning Time reading and sometimes we fit it into our other time of day read aloud. Sometimes, Morning Time read alouds I ask them to narrate back to me but that is not actually something I have made a regular part of our Morning Time, so it’s kind of, sometimes we do it and sometimes we don’t. We talk about books all the time in our family in a really organic, conversational way throughout the day so structured narrations haven’t been something that we’ve made a big, big piece. If I was going to do a structured narration or if I am going to do one, I generally put it in with our Morning Time read aloud. But honestly, the read alouds we do for Morning Time and the rest of the day, just kind of looks very similar.
Pam: OK, so there’s not like a special read aloud just for Morning Time? You’re likely to pick up anything that you’ve got going and read it at that time?
Sarah: Yes, except that our religious read alouds always happens during Morning Time. They pretty much never happen outside of Morning Time so. For example, during Advent we’ll read Jotham’s Journey or Bartholomew’s Passage, during Lent we’ll read Amon’s Adventure. We liked reading, Life of Our Lord for Children, which is stories of the life of Jesus. Earlier this year we read, My Path to Heaven, Saint Stories, things like that. Those always go in Morning Time, and so I guess I should amend that and say that literature read alouds happen all the time. They happen in Morning Time, they happen outside of Morning Time. But read alouds that are happening as part of our schoolish curriculum, like religious, or if I was going to read a book that correlated with something we were learning in science, or if I was going to read a biography of a mathematician (we have these great mathematician biographies that you turned me onto a while ago), we’ll read those during Morning Time.
Pam: And that’s … oh, now I can’t think of the name of them.
Sarah: Mathematicians Are People Too is the first one.
Pam: That’s it.
Sarah: I can’t remember the author.
Pam: We’ll link to them in the Show Notes. OK, so you do sometimes read some non-fiction and that would typically find its way into Morning Time?
Sarah: Yes, you’re right.
Pam: OK and then what about discussion of what you’re reading? So, you’re basically using your five questions that you have available, it’s the Quickstart Guide to Great Conversations with Your Kids About Books?
Sarah: Yep! The Quickstart Guide to Great Conversations with Your Kids About Books there are five questions I use, pretty much always to have good conversations with my kids about books, whether I’ve read that book or not, I’ve found just a couple of open-ended questions to be super effective to opening up great conversations with my kids. It can be about a picture book, it can be about Cat In The Hat or it can be about something my 14 year old’s reading, and I can use the same questions to think on my own about something I’m reading, Anna Karenina, or something, it’s just amazing, a really good open-ended question. Let me give you an example. So a question like, “Who was the most [blank] in this story?” And you can put any adjective there. So my son recently finished reading, My Side of the Mountain and so I asked him, “What was the most courageous thing? … Well, at first I said, “Who was the most courageous in this story?” but there’s only one character in this story so my son looked at me like I was crazy. So, I changed it. He said, “There’s only one character, mom.” “Oh right! What was the most courageous thing that Sam did in this story?” And whether or not I’ve read the book, sometimes I actually think the better conversations happen when I haven’t read the book, because then my child doesn’t feel like I’m drilling or grilling him to find out if he really read it, he thinks I’m asking because I’m interested, because I haven’t read it, so I am just really curious, “what was the most courageous thing that Sam did in that story? Tell me about it.” And when I’m asking questions it’s because I’m curious and I don’t already have preconceived answers that I want him to spit back to me. So it ends up being this really casual conversation. So, we will tend to do those at dinner, in the car, as we’re folding laundry, and occasionally we’ll do those in Morning Time, but sometimes when I open up a question like that, I don’t want to cut it off at 15 minutes, we want to just keep talking and everybody just wants to have a chance to say something, and so because our Morning Times are so short, I don’t do it all the time during Morning Time, actually I don’t do it very often, I should say, during Morning Time. It’s more often that we would ask those questions, kind of, in a context of just normal daily life.
Pam: Right, but a family who is able to do a longer Morning Time, like your older Morning Time used to be, that would be a good place to use those questions.
Sarah: Definitely! Yes, definitely! Especially if you end up timing your Morning Time with some kind of snack, or tea or something like that, or everyone’s just lounging round the couch and you can just ask an open-ended question, like “Who was the most courageous in this story?” “Who was the most wicked in story?” “Who was the most [use any adjective at all that you can think of] and ask that question and find out what everybody thinks, and then ask them to explain why they think that, and a longer Morning Time would be a fantastic place to put that.
Pam: Well, how can I avoid making Morning Time just one more item on my already long to do list?
Sarah: That’s so tempting, it’s defaulting that we fall into. I think make absolutely certain that you have things in Morning Time that light you on fire. So, don’t just put things in Morning Time that you think you should be doing, don’t just put things in Morning Time that you feel guilty that you’re not getting to, put those in there, that’s good, but also make sure that at least one thing every day is something that you’re doing just for the sheer joy of it.
Pam: And you know, I don’t know that a mom needs to necessarily, if she really doesn’t like, let’s say, classical music for whatever reason, you know you just come across somebody ‘I just don’t care for that’ I don’t see any reason in the world why you wouldn’t leave it out and at some point down the line find somebody else who could meet that need for your children.
Sarah: Exactly! One of the things that I’ve really realized lately is that my job as a homeschooling mom is not to teach my kids everything, but it is to help them keep their wonder or inspire wonder and awe, and I can’t always do that, and a good example of this in our home right now is math. I have realized I have not done a very good job of inspiring wonder in my children in math. And instead of beating myself up over it, or feeling like ‘we’re going to do living math in our Morning Time because I need to be inspiring wonder in my children in math’ I hired a math tutor who comes and does that for me. And instead, I can use Morning Time … we don’t even do any of that during Morning Time, we don’t do any math during Morning Time, we don’t drill facts or read living math books for the most part, none of that during Morning Time, I do things that kind of light me on fire, other things that are really important to me, and then we off load math in another way; my husband could do it, or anyway, there’s lots of different ways to tackle things, but I do think that idea that we have to do everything ourselves, even things that don’t light us on fire, there’s a difference between saying, “Now, I know this is important. My child should get this somehow” versus “I have to do it myself and I had better love it all along the way.”
Pam: We need to make a t-shirt that says: Don’t Be a Morning Time Martyr, you know.
Sarah: Exactly!
Pam: I’m loving this. Do the things that light you on fire so it doesn’t become something on your to do list, you know, because then you’re going to really inspire that wonder in your kids and they’re going to get onboard with it. And then, the rest of it just find a way to outsource it later. You know? I’m sure there’ll be a classical library or documentary they can watch that’s well done, or somebody you meet along in life or something who can work on that with them.
Sarah: Exactly. And it’s tempting to use Morning Time as a way to fit in all the things that you’re feeling guilty that you don’t get to, I would just say that’s not a bad thing, it’s just making sure that you’re keeping it so it’s actually something you look forward to. Our kids pick up on our attitudes so much. You know? I can fake it all I want, my kids are totally onto me. And so, I have to be really careful to make sure that I’m at least infusing our school day with something that really, honestly, authentically delights me so that they see me getting excited about life and learning.
Pam: And I think we’re constantly sending messages to our kids. And so, we want to send the right messages about Morning Time, read aloud time, whatever the case may be, and enjoying it, I think, is the way to do that.
Sarah: I think so too.
Pam: Well, Sarah, tell everybody where they can find you online.
Sarah: The best place to find me is at sarahmackenzie.me, that’s where you’ll find my blog and you can get to the Read Aloud Revival podcast, which is my big project there. And, of course, on Facebook, I’m Read Aloud Revival there.
Pam: And we’ll put a link to the wonderful Teaching From Rest in the Show Notes of this so everybody can go check that out, and I just thank you so much for joining me today.
Sarah: Well, thanks for having me.
Pam: For today’s Basket Bonus, we have a couple of great little things for you. First of all, we have a printable list of some of Sarah’s favorite Morning Time books. You can get that by heading on over to the Show Notes at EDsnapshots.com/YMB12 and as a special second bonus for you today, the wonderful folks at Classical Academic Press, the publisher of Teaching From Rest have given us a special discount code, so if you don’t have your own copy of the book, now is the time to get it. You can use the code SarahYMB20 to get your very own copy of Teaching From Rest or Teaching From Rest along with the companion journal. You can also use the code on all products at Classical Academic Press with very few exceptions. This includes their wonderful Latin programs and writing programs and other curriculum that you might be looking to buy for next school year. So, if you head on over to the show notes, that’s EDsnapshots.com/YMB12 you can get the discount code, all the details about the discount code and links to Teaching From Rest and other great things at Classical Academic Press. But hurry, because the code is only good through February 29, 2016. And there you have it, another fun show in the books. Thank you so much guys for joining me here today to chat a little bit about Morning Time. And hey, for all of you guys who have taken the time to go over to iTunes and leave a rating or review for the Your Morning Basket podcast, a big special thank you for you too. I really appreciate you taking the time to do that, the more positive ratings and reviews we have over there the more people that iTunes will show the podcast to. It helps us get the word out and helps other people teach using Truth, Goodness, and Beauty in their homeschool day. I’ll see you next time.

Key Ideas about Teaching from Rest with Morning Time

Rest can be seen as a median, or mid-point, between two vices: anxiety and negligence. When we ground ourselves in a state of rest, we are avoiding the state of frenzy that comes from worry over not “doing enough,” and also the state of complacency that comes from not being diligent and self- disciplined.

Morning Time is a key practice than can allow us to teach from rest. During Morning Time, we have an opportunity to set the tone for the day, put first things first, and help our children rightly order their affections.

Morning Time can (and should) take different forms during different seasons of family life

Find what you want to hear:

  • [3:50] how Sarah got started with Morning Time
  • [6:51] a description of Sarah’s current Morning Time
  • [8:00] going deep with one subject rather than rotating subjects
  • [9:27] Sarah’s simple strategy for memory work
  • [12:20] what to do with toddlers
  • [15:10] Morning Time at other times of day
  • [15:57] an overview of teaching from rest
  • [17:21] Morning Time as a key tool for teaching from rest
  • [19:30] rest as the virtue between two vices
  • [21:43] Morning Time as a simple way to put first things first
  • [24:08] a longer version of Morning Time
  • [26:30] specific Morning Time practices that are conducive to teaching from rest
  • [27:21] reading aloud in Morning Time
  • [30:05] discussion questions for read alouds
  • [32:58] putting at least one thing in Morning Time just because you love and enjoy it

Leave a rating or review

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

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

Thanks for your reviews

  • 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!

Previous

Next

  • dawn says:

    In the summer, we love yogurt parfait popsicles (http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-yogurt-breakfast-popsicles-recipes-from-the-kitchn-205988). A good breakfast ❤

  • Becky Pedersen says:

    I loved these simple ideas!

  • Jessica Burke says:

    This was fantastic. I think it was my favorite episode yet. I just started reading her book and am even more excited about it.

  • Molly says:

    I really enjoyed this. I am thinking through the practical issues for my family. Like Sarah, we have a big gap in our family. We have 5 kids still at home ranging from age 3 to 16. Would you do two separate “morning time” read aloud books and religious instruction times, or just do it with the younger kids (or older ones?)? This is always our struggle. Our evening family devotion time is usually geared toward older kids so I do something simpler with the younger ones in the morning (older kids are not part of that, they do a personal quiet time). I usually do read aloud with just our elementary age kids (age 5 and 11) because the teens are quite busy with a heavier workload–but if part of the purpose is building family culture then it would be great to all be reading together–though if we did that I would need to give some thought to what we would all enjoy that the older ones haven’t already read. In the past I have done two read aloud times and two devotional times with different groups of kids and that became too time consuming. Would love some ideas on making this work for a wide age range. I have been homeschooling for 15 years and was able to do a lot of this with my older kids. I still have 15 years to go and I don’t want my younger kids to miss out but time is much harder to come by right now since I have many kids with a wide variety of instructional needs.

    • Pam Barnhill says:

      Molly – The beauty of Morning Time is in its flexibility. Mystie Winckler does a brief family MT, then reading with her littles, then a longer session with her older kids in the afternoon. It works for her. Angela Boord from episode 5 just does everyone together, aims high, and lets the littles get what they will. Either way works.

  • Jennifer says:

    I have to agree with previous commenters – this is my favorite YMB episode! I really loved when you and Sarah were talking about rest falling between vices – I seem to vacillate between anxiety and laziness, but it’s hard for me to put into words the way you ladies did! This was such an encouragement!

  • Lindsay says:

    I loved this one! Its great to hear the “experts” share how very real and normal they are ?! And I loved the very practical tips on how to do morning time (I’m new to this) and hearing “keep it simple”. What a relief! Thanks, Pam and Sarah!

  • Kafi says:

    What doxology do you sing? I’m unfamiliar with the term.

  • >