YMB #27 Mere Motherhood: A Conversation with Cindy Rollins

We wrap this season of Your Morning Basket up with an interview with Cindy Rollins. Cindy has experienced the joy of Morning Time with all of her now grown children. In this interview, we talk a little bit about Morning Time, a little bit about Mere Motherhood, and a little bit about real family life. 

Cindy is no stranger to the messiness of homeschooling, and she shares some of what she has learned in a way that is both humble and encouraging for other moms to hear.

We delve into using your philosophy of education as a tool, the importance of appropriate education in the little years, and how a remembrance of the past is quite possibly the most important thing for your Morning Time.

If you need an encouraging look into what it looks like to be towards the end of the long haul of homeschooling or a refocusing on what is truly important in your family life, grab a hot beverage, breath deep and listen. Cindy’s warmth and frankness are sure to bless you.

A conversation with Cindy Rollins about her book Mere Motherhood and Morning Time in homeschooling.


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

Hi everyone, and welcome to episode 27 of the Your Morning Basket podcast. I’m Pam Barnhill, your host, and I am so happy that you are joining me here today. Well, I am super excited because I got to talk to one of my very favorite mentors on today’s show. Cindy Rollins from Your Morning Basket episode 1 is back with us to talk all about her book Mere Motherhood. I got to read this book this fall and it was such a blessing to me. So Cindy’s on the show today to talk about that – we dig pretty deeply into that book and then we also touched just a little bit on Cindy’s brand new Morning Time handbook which is coming out this month. It was a fun conversation. I think you are really going to enjoy it. So on with the podcast.

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Pam: Cindy Rollins has been equipping families to do Morning Time for years through blog posts, interviews, and conference presentations. She is the co-host of the Mason Jar podcast from the Circe Institute, where she explores the ideas of a Charlotte Mason education. Cindy is a veteran homeschool mom to nine (mostly grown) children and in her new book Mere Motherhood: Morning Times, Nursery Rhymes, and My Journey Towards Sanctification, she chronicles her own experiences as she grew in her understanding of both motherhood and what educations really is. She joins us on this episode of the podcast to share a little more about her book. Cindy, welcome to the show.
Cindy: Well thank you for having me, I am excited to be here.
Pam: I am always excited to get a chance to chat with you, so I’m just really happy you are here.
Cindy: Me too.
Pam: Let’s talk a little bit about the message of your book. Why is it a message that today’s homeschooling moms need to hear?
Cindy: That’s a really good question I am not prepared for, but I will just answeroff the top of my head. I think there was a homeschooling movement (I guess if you want to call it a movement) that has grown and changed and morphed over the years, but some of us have been through some of the ups and downs, I would say, of the whole movement, and I guess the book is my perspective on living through some of the good things and some of the bad things from really the whole history of modern day homeschooling. So I think the book offers new moms the perspective that, “Oh here’s the things that really did matter,” amongst the whole mess of things that didn’t matter. And here’s the things I kind of regret you know, in case you are tempted to try those things.
Pam: Right. I think it is so hard because even where I am not just a few years down the road, and I am looking back on preschool and everything I did wrong. But nobody could have ever told me then and convinced me, even though people tried. And so, I think it is important for us to repeat those messages, like you’re saying here, to give that advice over and over again, because I think we just have to keep, or you, people like you, not me, just have to keep saying that over and over again so maybe a little bit of it can get in there and take seed.
Cindy: Well I find myself in conversations with moms all the time and I have said this before, so people who have heard me have probably heard me say this but, they will ask me a question and I will be going full speed ahead and maybe they will ask me about Latin or Reading or when to teach this or that, and then I will stop and say, “Now, how old are your children?” and they will say, “5 or 4 or 3,” and then I will be like, “Oh wait, none of that applies. None of what I just said applies to that age. Just go have fun. Read a book and enjoy yourself and just have a jolly time with those little guys.”
Pam: I think that is an important message to keep repeating. Well, tell me about the title of the book.
Cindy: The title was stressful. I had had an old blogpost that I had titled “Mere Motherhood,” and it was when I talked about being an older mother and how it feels being around younger mothers at church. And I had titled it Mere Motherhood for some reason and it always stuck, so when I went to put Scribner file where I was writing the book, I used that as a title for the book and as we went along, David Kern and I, we started wrestling with what are we really going to title this book? And we went on and on and on looking for a title. I think at one point we had talked about doing The Long Haul, which when I took that, because I speak about that a lot, how our rewards are in the future, we have a long haul ahead of us. But when I took that to some young moms that I knew, they were all, “That just sounds terrible.” It kind of put a negative spin on the book. In the end, we were a little worried that it would be a little uppity, like I think I’m the next C.S. Lewis or something. So that was our main worry about the title, but we thought everybody could handle that and really, who would think that I would think I’m going to be the next C.S. Lewis. So we pretty much were able to shelf that negative and we just kept the title from not being able to come up with something better.
Pam: But it is great.
Cindy: In the end I really liked it. In the end I thought, ‘Well, we have not come up with a better title than that.’
Pam: I love it. I really do. Because you touch on so much of the importance of what we do as mothers and yet it is such a humble position that we have. You know?
Cindy: We really are in a humble position, because I think one of the things as mothers, we are put in a position of authority an control and yet, the rest of our time as mothers we’re learning how little we do control. So it is a very precarious situation.
Pam: Very much so. Well, I am going to say that one of my favorite parts – I am just going to jump into some deep stuff here – one of my favorite parts of the book is where you talk about, you say, “I didn’t start homeschooling out of fear and I’m happy about that now because fear does damage wherever it appears.” And you said, “Later I would fill my mind with fearful thoughts about the culture, I would listen fear mongers and gurus I would make bad decisions about parenting and homeschooling because of fear. But I can truthfully say that my original plan for homeschooling came entirely from a sense of excitement and joy. Knowing I could give my children what I had missed.” All over the country right now, there are mothers everywhere going, “Oh crap, I’ve been homeschooling out of fear.” So what can we say? What can you say to those mothers to help them turn that “Oh crap I’ve been homeschooling out of fear” to like homeschooling from a place of joy and excitement.?
Cindy: I was thinking about this today because I had actually reread that passage today when I was going over some things, and one of the things I thought is it particularly pertinent to Christianity because if we are afraid that our children are not going to be Christians and we’re wringing our hands and we’re worrying, and in the same way we’re afraid they’re not going to be educated, we’re really giving them the message that our faith isn’t very strong. That what we are placing our faith in isn’t big enough and it’s causing us a lot of fear and worry. That’s one reason that I think Charlotte Mason was so good about talking about giving our children the basics of Christianity and some of our distinctives but not pounding it into them so that it is almost like we are afraid that it doesn’t work so we are just going to over-teach it. And I think that applies to both our Christianity and our educational methods. If we trust that what we’re teaching is right, then we need to step back, stop over-teaching and trust the process a little more.
Pam: Right, because you were giving examples of the lists your kids work from, and what really struck me about these lists, is that it was morning time obviously, and then a few basic things and then two hours of reading in the afternoon.
Cindy: Yeah, I used reading to cover a lot. Morning time covered a lot of those things that for years were frustrating me. So, like music and art when into Morning Time. But then reading was on the other end of the spectrum of our school day, whatever else I wasn’t covering was going into the reading lists. I put a lot of time in figuring out what the kids’ reading lists were going to be. I used that to cover a multitude of sins. Two to three hours of reading a day really did cover and make up for a lot that I wasn’t able to do as a mother juggling, at one point, seven students. The reading list was extremely important at that point.
Pam: Right.
And so, that was really you having faith in what you had chosen to do. The educational method that you had chosen.
Cindy: Right. I didn’t always have great faith. I worried just like all mom’s worry. But I did have faith in reading that I had so much good input from people and programs that were promoting reading, that when I really couldn’t keep up, we always had the reading list.
Pam: You said in the book that you thought it was important to have an educational philosophy. And sometimes I think as I look across different homeschooling sites these days and looking at different things that are going on in the homeschooling world, there’s almost a backing off of that, like, “Oh, you need to do what works for your family and not be a slave to a philosophy” and you’re kind of saying, “Wait a second, let’s do the philosophy. Let’s have this and understand the philosophy and use the philosophy as a tool.” So, you want to speak to that for a few minutes, why you think it’s important?
Cindy: I do think it’s important. Because just like you said, there are so many winds and waves of doctrine of how to homeschool out there, if you are not grounded in your own philosophy, you will be whipped around wildly in the hurricane of thoughts and ideas. If you can nail down what you believe about education, and then work that through your school planning and the way you go about your school, you’re going to be much safer and much less confused all the time if you’ve gotten that philosophy nailed down first. Almost any real education, anything true about education, is always going to start with philosophy. Of course, you want to do what’s right for your family, but how do you know what that is if you don’t know what your philosophy of education is.
Pam: I love that. You describe your own experience of having your imagination stirred and finally waking up to truth, beauty, and goodness as a young adult and you mention a number of times in the book how you felt your own education growing up was lacking. I know a lot of moms are out there and they are faced with these kids who they are waiting for them to stir and wake up. How can we walk a line between diligently offering truth, beauty, and goodness through practices like Morning Time and then being patient and waiting for our kids to stir and wake up and maybe not be quite so resistant?
Cindy: It is a long game for some kids. Especially when you take a child out of maybe a public school situation or let’s say a traditional school situation and you bring them home and you start reading all these wonderful, wonderful books to them and maybe you’re excited because those books are hitting you right where you want to be and right where you are as a thinking person, but your kids are just sitting there like lumps on a log and they’re not responding. I would say that’s another area where we have to have faith. We want to keep the lessons short. We might want to do more with kids like that. In other words, more with them, but we’re going to do shorter lessons. So, we might read five books instead of two books to a child who is not awake yet, because we’re going to have to cut our reading short before the child loses interest or gets bored. And that’ll happen a lot more with kids who are just coming out of a situation where they haven’t been listening, they haven’t been processing, and they haven’t been thinking. And that is exactly what is happening to the kids in our school systems. They are systematically trained not to think for themselves. So, it’s a long process redoing that for them. But it does happen. I have seen it happen over and over again, even working with kids who are not in my own family. The first day you work with them you just think, ‘Oh they are not getting this. This isn’t going to work.’ But you just plow through and you shorten up the readings, you add a few more books but you shorten them up, and by the end of the school year you are going to be amazed by how the child has responded to these things. So, it is once again, we are talking about trusting the system, trusting that this is going to work, that this truly is what is good for the child. And some children are late bloomers. They are going to take a while to wake up. And sometimes we don’t always succeed at seeing them wake up when they’ree in home, but later, now looking at my adult children, I can see kids that I really struggled with when they were at home, but I gave them the books and we were doing the reading and maybe they even said, “Id don’t like reading. I am not a reader.” But later you see the fruit of that and they do become readers and they do blossom. And when they blossom, they have this treasury of ideas to pull from that they wouldn’t have had if they had been in a stifling situation where they hadn’t been filling their minds with these good and beautiful thoughts.
Pam: And so, when you are talking about bringing these kids to life, either kids who have been in some kind of formal school setting where they have been fed these facts and not really got to feast on any of the ideas, or even maybe we are moving from a different method of homeschooling. You kind of jokingly talk about the year that you did the workbooks and had everybody go through workbooks. So maybe there is a family out there that has been doing workbooks for a few years, and they are coming around to this idea of doing things differently. You are really talkingabout simply reading to these children and then doing narrations with these children. That is mostly what the process is right there, right?
Cindy: Exactly. That is the process. That trains their minds for so many things in the future. That is the very first thing that we want them to take out of their education ultimately at the end is that when they hear something they are able to think and process through that. That is why we go about this education the way we go about it. Yes, we want them to remember the knowledge in the books, which they will eventually do that, but we also want them to train their minds to be able to handle information and to be able to think for themselves and like Charlotte Mason says, “To accept or reject initial ideas,” which I forget which ancient philosopher that comes from. I am thinking Aristotle, but I might be wrong about that.
Pam: Yeah, I don’t know, so we’ll just go with him.
Cindy: Okay.
Pam: Let’s talk a little bit more about this idea of getting things into their minds, because you reference Stratford Caldecott’s book Beauty in the Word and I love that book and he describes the grammar stage of the Trivium as remembering. So, can you talk a little bit about that idea that Morning Time is about remembering? You have already hit on that a little bit, but can you expand on it a little more?
Cindy: When I read that, it was such a richer fuller way of looking at what in Classical Education they were calling the Grammar stage and most people were interpreting that because of Dorothy Sayers’ essay and because of the way her essay had been interpreted by many people, most people were saying this is the grammar stage, our children are small, let’s just cram in the facts during this stage. Whole homeschool programs have been built up around this idea that we are just going to smash everything into their heads during this grammar stage. And then Stratford Caldecott come along and said, “No, the grammar stage is really the stage of remembrance. Not memory, but remembrance.” Now memory is a part of remembrance and that is why Morning Time is so perfect, because in Morning Time you can concentrate on facts. At some point in Morning Time you can learn the planets or do your math facts if you want to during that time, but really it’s set up so that things that you are remembering are remembrances of things past. And that ‘s stories, poems, nursery rhymes. And when we read those things, even if you read nursery rhymes, you are getting a piece of culture from the past and it is going into your mind and you are holding on to it and you have a deep and wide picture of that culture just from that nursery rhyme that you wouldn’t have any other way. And you aren’t going to come away from memorizing the planets with anything but the names of the planets. So, to get away from Grammar as memorization and look at memorization as the tool of remembrance just to me turns the whole thing around and makes Morning Time the perfect time. Now remembrance to me, I like to think of it like a tether. We are here in the middle as parents. We come from the culture that our parents gave us and we are a little bit in a different place and our parents have given us a tether of remembrance and we’re passing that tether of remembrance on to our own children. So, anything we can do to tether the remembrance to the past is going to be carried into the future by our children. So, that is why Morning Time, I feel, is so deeply important to the culture, because it does give us a chance to step away from the curriculum and say, “What really is important? What am I really trying to pass along here?”
Pam: I’m just going to restate that. The thoughts that have been swirling around in my mind since you’ve been talking. So when we are talking about remembrance, we are not talking about the child remembering what they learned the day before, but we are talking about the remembrance of an entire culture. We are talking about remembering the beginnings of learning what you need to learn to be part of that Great Conversation later.
Cindy: That’s right. Remembrance is much deeper than just memory, and that’s the key right there. Yes, we want to have a memory of yesterday, but really, we want to have remembrance of all that went before, we want to carry with us into the future the cultural heritage of our families, of our Western culture, of whatever has come from the past that is good that we can carry with us into the future. Because if we don’t do that, if we don’t have that larger remembrance, then it’s like that tether is cut and our children are left to drift aimlessly. And, honestly, I see that now happening to children. I see them separated from the past, isolated even from their own immediate families when you have this breakdown of the family.But even in families that are still together, there is that generation gap. But these children are left without any remembrance of the past. They only know the Here-and-Now and the Here-and-Now is very short lived. You know Facebook is passé to our children. I was going to say they are already on to Snapchat, but that is probably already on its way out, and it is something new. These kids are living in a very swift current, let’s put it that way, and we want to make sure that they’ve been handed something solid from the past.
Pam: One of the things I like to talk about with Morning Time is that you’re building a shared family culture. So, everybody is getting that remembrance together and then they’re able to talk about it with one another as well. You have the same memories, so that is a much smaller part of what you’re talking about, but at least you have got other people who know what you are talking about.
Cindy: Absolutely! I think that is a huge part of it. I think that is extremely right up there as one of the top reasons to do Morning Time, the shared family culture.
Pam: I love this idea of remembrance, and I am going to have to ponder on this and think about this because I come from a liturgical tradition where remembrance is Christ says, “Do this in remembrance of me,” and we interpret as, “We are going to repeat this over and over again. We are going to repeat this act over and over again.” And so, that is just going to take some contemplation and some pondering to think about maybe where even the repetition of the act of doing this over and over again fits into the whole idea of remembrance in Morning Time.
Cindy: I talk about that in the book. Morning Time is a liturgy. And that is where the power lies in it. Every day you get up and you have Morning Time and you created a family liturgy and the things we do over and over again, even though we might have a different poem today than we had yesterday or last month, we’re still doing poetry. Those things do embed themselves in our lives in a way that I think the church liturgy is a good example for us of why we do Morning Time the way we do it.
Pam: Let’s talk about the long haul. Because, okay, we didn’t want to call the book that because we were afraid it might depress somebody, but I think there is a great reassurance in thinking about the long haul. And you talk about the tiny grains of sand. And that the little bitty things that I am doing now, all I have to do is focus on these little bitty things and I don’t have to worry about the future because it’s going to take care of itself. So, are there any help or inspiration you can give to encourage moms, other than the book, which is fabulous, about the long haul?
Cindy: Just that there is a long haul. That the fruit that we are seeking is in the future. For most moms, they’re not getting any gratification. I think that is why we cling to those things that are very mechanical in our home schools, because we feel like that’s fruit. If our child can rattle off something then we feel like that’s fruit and it makes us feel better about how dismal or how unfruitful our lives might seem or how little the kids are remembering or how little they’re learning. But when we think about it as, ‘Well today we are going to do as much as we can. We are going to get up in the morning and we are going to have a vibrant, happy home where we learn,’ the fruit of that is not going to happen tonight when we go to bed. That fruit is way in the future. If we look for the fruit too soon we will get discouraged because we won’t see it, it won’t be there. But we’re going for lasting fruit. We’re going for the things that will be with our children long after we’re gone. I like to say that we are doing it for the time when they are sitting in their rocking chairs and they are still holding on to these songs, these stories, and these poems, and these truths from the past that they’re carrying with them still into the future. It is discouraging that we don’t get that feedback. But when we aren’t getting the feedback, it can be encouraging to know that it is not a long slug, but it is a long haul. We have to be faithful, we have to keep at it. And we have to see that the outcome is later.
Pam: Right. One of the things I just loved in the book was you basically say, “Just do it.” If there is something that you are not happy about that’s going on in your homeschool you need to just drop everything and do that thing. So I was just wanting to know if I could get you to email me a couple times a week and say, “Pam, you just need to do it.”
Cindy: That was the most successful thing I did in my home, was when I was feeling discouraged and when I was beating myself up, “Oh we haven’t been reading aloud. Oh, no, no.” I would just go get a book and I would start doing that. When you find yourself frustrated about one of those areas where you’re weak in, one of the main areas I think is when mom’s say is that they don’t do their devotions, they don’t read their Bible, I think sometimes people make Bible study into such a complicated process that people don’t think about, ‘Hey I can just pick up my Bible right now and read a bible verse.’ That’s the kind of thing I am talking about. Not putting off things, but if you’re frustrated and you’re worried, just do that thing.
Pam: And that’s a good message, because a lot of homeschool moms are perfectionists, and I may speak from a little bit of self-knowledge here, and you know they want to wait until Monday when they can get note bookingpages printed out and go buy spiral notebooks and new colored pencils and all of that stuff before they begin and then they end up (I end up) never doing the thing anyway.
Cindy: Our plans are always so much more elaborate that what we actually get done, so there is that frustration. I’m all for planning, because I do believe that you do get more done when you plan, but there is a time to just say, “OK, I don’t need a plan to read aloud to my children. I don’t need a plan to ask my child to write a narration. Or to ask them, “What did you read in your book? What happened in that story today?” There doesn’t always have to be a plan. We can go ahead and do those things. We can get up and go outside and take a nature walk. That’s a big one for families who want to get nature study in and they just aren’t doing it. The key is just get out the door. Just walk outside and don’t make a plan to walk outside. Just walk out. The plans can come later. I think that comes down to that Ordo Amoris, the ordering of our affections. But once you get outside, and you have alittle bit of success, then you come back and start planning for the future because now it’s grabbed onto your heart a little bit.
Pam: Sometimes you have to start with wonder. You have to start with delight and loving it and then … I think sometimes may be that should be the first step in our plan. If you are going to plan nature study, the first step should be, do it until you love it and then you can move on to the second step, whatever that might be.
Cindy: There you go. That would be great. I like that plan.
Pam: In the book, you describe these joyous picturesque moments from your homeschooling. But you’re also pretty clear about saying that we need to debunk the myth of the perfect family. So why do you think your readers need to hear, both about the joy and the messiness?
Cindy: That’s a real fine line because I didn’t want to be discouraging, oh here is a depressing book about a horrible family, but I also wanted to be truthful and say, we weren’t a perfect family. We were very imperfect. I always say this and it has been so true, but when you have eleven sinners in one house, there’s going to be some pain involved. When you make nine of them men, or boys, then you’re going to add a different level of pain, at least for the girls involved in the family. So families are messy. It’s just the way it is. We want to think that tea parties cure, that we can make everything true and good and beautiful in our homes, but that beauty and that truth is going to have to be based on the reality of each of us as a person capable of sinning and capable of causing problems in our families. So I do think that it’s hard to communicate. For one thing, I wasn’t too specific in the book, and some people have said, “I wish you had been more specific,” but I can’t tell other people’s stories. I can’t say, “Well here is my son’s sin. Here is what he did wrong.” That is not place to tell that. But we all struggle in our families with different things. At the same time, therein lies the beauty of the Gospel. Because we are sinners and because we have access to forgiveness and to Christ, we get a chance in our families to see that work itself out. We get a chance to see the Gospel come into this really bad situation sometimes and work. When one person forgives another, to me, there is nothing quite like that in all the world.
Pam: In sharing the joy, you share the beautiful wonderful thing. But also in sharing the messiness you’re able to share a beautiful, wonderful thing because you bring it back to the Gospel always. And I think homeschool moms need to hear that, because I know I’m sitting here looking at sin and brokenness in my family. Whether it’s just a child talking back to me. Or the one who never quite can seem to tell the truth or something like that. Or my own sin and brokenness when I yell at my kids for doing something. Or I loved the part where you talked about the sanctification of sitting there listening to the child learning to read. And that you were finally able to do it on the ninth child without losing your patience and that was sanctification. And I was like, “I have only got three, I am never going to get there.” And then I’m like, “Oh, I only have three… “ No, I’m just kidding! But I think that homeschool moms need to hear that because they’re facing these kinds of things themselves, and if they only hear the perfect stuff…
Cindy: I think what happens, especially when you have a child learning to read or especially when you have your first couple children, many families have that child where things just come easy for them and they do well in school and then you have the child who struggles with maybe learning to read. And for the young mom, it really feels like it’s her failure. It’s her reputation on the line. And so then you have that whole struggle, ‘This child isn’t learning to read. I am doing something wrong.’ And you kind of take it out on the child and you get mad at the child. At least that is what I did with some of my early readers. And I think that as you get older you start to realize, that as Charlotte Mason said once again, “Children are born persons,” these are persons made in God’s own image just like you are and you’re helping them to learn to read, and of course it is your job to teach them to read, but it’s not you that is on the line. As you get older, I think you kind of step back a little bit and you see the child more as a person and you’re able to pull your own ego out of the process maybe.
Pam: I think that’s good. It’s such a weird dance being a homeschool mother. Because in some ways, you are striving to be, as Andrew Kern says, “worthy of imitation”, and then in other ways, you’ve got to take yourself out of the whole thing. And so you’re always doing this dance between those two sides of the coin in order …
Cindy: Absolutely.
Pam: … to maybe try and get it right.
Cindy: I always like to say that it always seemed like school was a place where everything wasn’t your fault as a mom. If I sent them to school, I will have put them in this magical place where every wrong thing in the family is not my fault as a mother. And I do think we take a lot on as mothers. We feel responsible, and of course we should feel responsible on some level, but there is also a freedom in knowing that we’re going to do our best, we’re going to be faithful, we’re going to get up today, and as much joy … I really wish I had had more joy in certain periods of my life than I did. I mean, I loved what I was doing, and I never for a minute didn’t love homeschooling, I loved it all the way up one side and down the other, but I did feel the burden of it and I wish that I hadn’t. I think the burden kept me from being a better homeschooler.
Pam: Is there anything that you could speak to moms to help them with that? Any advice you could give?
Cindy: That’s a good question. Basically, I would say, number one, you want to be, I say this a lot, maybe people take it the wrong way, I don’t know, but you want to be in close communion with the Lord. You want to have a personal relationship with Christ. You want to be reading your Bible and getting strength from the Lord. And I don’t mean to put a burden on someone, because I know mothers feel burdened down, but if that would be the first thing that you felt burdened down about, ‘If nothing else gets done today, I’m going to read my Bible.’ I know people keep their Bibles open all over the house and that helps. There are all kinds of different things. But the other thing is, like you said about my list, how minimal it was, if you’re reading aloud, if you’re writing, if you’re doing some math, and your children have a reading list, that’s quite a bit of education. Especially if they’re doing that written narration every day. I wouldn’t leave that out, but the reading can cover so much. That’s a way we can take burdens off of ourselves, is trust the reading.
Pam: In the book, you share a lot about your experiences from being a brand-new homeschooler to a veteran homeschooler, what do you see as your role in the homeschooling community moving forward?
Cindy: Well that is a really good question, because at first I thought, last year when we decided to put our son in school and my career was coming to an end and I thought, ‘Well, that’s that.’ And I got rid of everything. I was moving to a smaller house and I got baskets and baskets and baskets of curriculum. I finally sold it all as a unit to a lady. I had sold here and there but finally I was like, ‘I have got to get rid of this,’ and I just got rid of all of it. And I thought, ‘That’s it. I’m done homeschooling. I am not going to be homeschooling anymore.’ I thought, ‘I’ll probably tell Circe I’m not even going to speak anymore because I’m done.’ And then, someone got in touch with me and through a long series of events, now this year I have four homeschooling students. I am not homeschooling every subject for them, and that’s a lot of fun and I don’t feel that heavy burden. This may be a help. I feel the joy of teaching these kids, but it is kind of like being a grandparent. I don’t feel the burden. I know that what I am teaching them is good, but I don’t have the total responsibility to make sure these kids turn out perfectly that I did with my own children. So, I am finding great joy in teaching these four kids. They’re wonderful kids, they’re just delightful. I haven’t started the year. I only taught one student last year and this year I am going to be teaching four. Two of them will just be only, for the most part, language arts and nature study, and then two more I will have a few more subjects for. Anyway, suddenly I am still homeschooling. I am just loving it. My tables all covered with books piled high right now as I’m planning out the school year and next Monday we start for real. I thought, ‘I am really excited about Monday!’ So now, I’m still speaking, I’m still talking, I’m still writing books. I don’t know what God has, but apparently, he has something, so I’m just going to go with it. My main philosophy in life is, “Never break a door down, but if a door opens in front of you, walk through it.”
Pam: So this is fun because this is the grandparent version of homeschooling.
Cindy: Yes it is.
Pam: You just get to give them back when you are done with your part, so it is absolutely awesome.
Cindy: That’s right.
Pam: So it is absolutely awesome. I know I was reading in the book and you were talking about how you still go to the library sales, and now you just stand there and make recommendations. And I’m like, “She should charge for that! There are a lot of people who would pay a lot of money for Cindy Rollins stand there and make recommendations.” I would.
Cindy: My friend Janette actually did that this year. She knows more about books than I do. People paid her to go and get them books at the book sale.
Pam: That’s a fun job!
Cindy: Oh yeah, that’s a great job.
Pam: So much fun. Well Cindy, we’ve had a great time talking about your Mere Motherhood book, but you have something else really exciting coming out and it is a handbook to Morning Time. I know that my listeners are going to be really interested in this one. So share with us a little bit about what’s in this book.
Cindy: This book was just something that, after I wrote Mere Motherhood, some of the things that were left out of it were the practical things. It was very philosophical. And David and I started talking and I said, “Well, I have these old blog posts that could be cleaned up and made into a handbook.” Plus, I like to give people lists. I think we all enjoy lists. And so I just pulled together and complete reworked, but I tried to do it in a way that was very attractive to look at; just a handbook of all the different things that our family did in Morning Time and that’s what it is. It’s a handbook. It has lots of lists, lots of practical Morning Time ideas, so that it’s not quite as philosophical as my book Mere Motherhood. One of the things I really like about it, years ago, I don’t know if you have this problem too, but when homeschooling first started and somebody would put out a really good idea and everybody would be like, “That is a really good idea!” And then you do it for two weeks and then you would just burn and it would just be terrible. And then you would go back to the person who gave it to you and they would say the same thing. The would say, “Oh yeah, that didn’t work for me either. I thought it was a great idea and I put it out there.” But now that we’ve all been around a lot longer we can sift through all of that and get to the point: What did work? What are the ideas that have lasted? And that is why I really am excited about this booklet, this handbook, because it is something that I feel good about that, yes I did do this and it did work in our family and it did over a long period of time (at least 28 years) so it’s not just something to throw out there and add burdens onto mothers.
Pam: So these are all the tried and true, all the tested things that really stood the test of time in your morning time?
Cindy: Absolutely. And I will say this, if you are a young mother and you’re starting out with something like this. You don’t need to feel the pressure to go full speed ahead, ‘Oh every one of these ideas right here, right now.’ I think it is better to let Morning Time grow organically in families, but if you’re wanting some things to get you started, I think the handbook will be helpful. And it will give people a further glimpse into how I went about things, although, these are things different people are going to approach in different ways.
Pam: That’s great. And that’s one thing, and we got this from you, and we repeat it over and over again here on Your Morning Basket, is if you’re starting Morning Time, start small. Start with one thing and let it grow from there. But I know everybody is going to be really excited to have this handbook to go to and look for all of these time-tested ideas that really, really work. And I know I for one am really excited to get the chance to read it when it comes out. Cindy, thank you very much for joining us today. And could you tell everybody where they can find you online?
Cindy: You can find me at the Circe Institute, you can often find me blogging there. But you can also find me at Meremotherhood.com, and if you are looking for my book Mere Motherhood and probably, eventually this Morning Time Handbook will be on there too, and that just links you back to the Circe Institute. It’s meremotherhood.com.
Pam: Alright, and we’ll include a link to that in the Show Notes. Thanks very much!
Cindy: Thank you!
Pam: And there you have it, episode 27 of the Your Morning Basket podcast. If you would like links or information to any of the books or resources that Cindy and I chatted about today, including to her own books, you can find them on the Show Notes for this episode at PamBarnhill.com/YMB27. And this is the final episode of this season of the Your Morning Basket podcast. We’re going to take a short hiatus over the winter break to enjoy the holidays with our family, but never fear, we will be back in January with some more Your Morning Basket podcasts. We’ve got some awesome interviews lined up and I think you’re really going to enjoy them. So check us back on iTunes or on the website in January. Until then, you guys have the very happiest of holidays and a wonderful New Year. And keep seeking Truth, Goodness, and Beauty in your homeschool day.

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Thanks for your reviews

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

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

  • Love the show!
    by Startup Travis from United States

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

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

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

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

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

  • Always insightful!!
    by method_money from Canada

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

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

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

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

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

  • Great!!!
    by Eloblah from United States

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

  • New home schooling mom
    by A prit from United States

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

  • Morning Time Magic!
    by DrewSteadman from United States

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

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

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

  • So excited for 2020!
    by JCrutchf from United States

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Super Helpful!
    by Jennlee C from United States

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

  • Practical Inspiration
    by Mamato3activeboys from Australia

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

  • So many great ideas!
    by Parent 98765 from Malaysia

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

  • Joy
    by Ancon76 from United States

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

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

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

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

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

  • Love it!
    by s chenvmv from United States

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

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

    Love this!

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

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

  • Wonderful resource!
    by honebubble from United States

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

  • A wonderful podcast!
    by NoName2018 from Canada

    Great ideas and interesting guests - thanks Pam!!

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

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

  • Such great choices of guests
    by andinic from United Kingdom

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

  • Great
    by WifeyKayla from United States

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

  • Interesting ideas
    by Lisa1932 from Canada

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

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

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

  • Excellent!
    by Jodylleigh from United States

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

  • Truly an inspiration!
    by Soaring2him from United States

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Thanks Pam!
    by BraveMomma from United States

    So many great ideas every single week! Thanks!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Hope for the weary
    by MomToTheMasses from United States

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

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

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

  • Mamma of Five
    by Mamma of Five from United States

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

  • Great Homeschool Resource
    by KS Becky R from United States

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

  • Really great!
    by BeeGerW from United States

    I love hearing all these ideas!

  • californiafamily
    by californiafamily from United States

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

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

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

  • First Things First
    by Lukenoah from United States

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

  • So helpful!
    by jofcrich from Australia

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

  • Great resource
    by Ejs0928 from United States

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

  • Amazing!
    by CDefnall from United States

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

  • Inspiring and enlightening
    by spycej from United States

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

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

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

  • One of my favorites
    by FaithAZ from United States

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

  • Great Ideas
    by Hiphooray from United States

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

  • TaraVos
    by TaraVos from United States

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

  • Lots of useful information
    by Kristizy from United States

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

  • <3!!!
    by Momo35556 from United States

    I love this podcast! So helpful and encouraging.

  • Lovely & Inspiring
    by kashley75 from United States

    Thank you so much for this podcast!

  • Such a wealth of information!
    by Jeaine6 from United States

    There is so much wonderful information to be found in these podcasts. I can go about my daily chores and fill my homeschool mom cup simultaneously! They allow me to look at areas of our hs that need improvement or just need new life and feel encouraged while I'm listening. Thank you!!

  • Encouraging & inspiring
    by God's Ranch Hand from United States

    So thankful for this podcast! I look forward to listening to each episode when it comes out.

  • Homeschool Professional Development!
    by Jo.W.17 from Canada

    As a new-ish homeschooling mama, I've found this podcast super encouraging and helpful. I would highly recommend it!

  • So Helpful!
    by KGMom2Four from United States

    I love the practical application that comes from this podcast! Thanks!

  • A Lovely Show!
    by Webseitler from United States

    This podcast has become my most favorite podcast on the subject of homeschooling. The topics discussed often go right to the heart of why I'm doing what I'm doing in our home--and God has really used the great advice shared in this show to help me be a more confident (and calmer!) teacher. Thank you, Pam, for creating such a great program! Already looking forward to next season.

  • Awesome homeschooling resource!
    by Liddleladie81 from United States

    This podcast has absolutely changed my perspective on homeschooling, in a great way! All of the guests have been wonderful and I leave each episode feeling both sad that it is already over, and encouraged and excited to figure out how I can use what I’ve learned! It has a great flow to it, very light but meaningful, informative, encouraging….I could go on and on! Absolutely LOVE this podcast! Thanks to all involved!

  • Great hosts!
    by Homeschool_chat from United States

    I always look forward to this podcast!

  • Practical, helpful & concise tips
    by sproutnchic from United States

    This podcast continues to help. I appreciate the Pam Barnhill's professional, organized, yet warm interviewing style of some well-picked guests.

  • So refreshing and helpful
    by a. borealis from United States

    I've really appreciated the depth and breadth of Pam's look into Morning Time and also the practical ideas and tools to make it work. It is so inspiring! It helps me think through my own Circle Time, realizing what an opporunity I have. There are so many great ideas for additions and tweaking my approach. I am loving it.

  • Awesome!
    by Apples20091 from United States

    This podcast has been so helpful and packed full of practical ideas to use with my children!! Some of the episodes I have listened to more than once!!

  • Encouraging and Motivating!
    by Cat11223 from United States

    Pam makes this morning time concept so attainable! She gives great ideas but simple ways to begin. These tips and recommendations reach far beyond just morning time and are benefiting our entire homeschool and family life!

  • So many ideas!
    by Speterson781 from United States

    This podcast is full of amazing ideas to grab my kids attention first thing in the morning. I love listening to Pam and her guests. Pam asks such great questions of her guests!

  • A Favorite for Homeschool Encouragement!
    by JamesDWitmer from United States

    I have been so encouraged by Pam's podcasts on Morning Time. She walks you through many of the wonderful activities that you can choose to include in your homeschooling, and also the details about how to do it! It has truly been a blessing. Thanks Pam!

  • Perfect for the Homeschool Mom
    by JoshJamie from United States

    I just stumbled upon the "Your Morning Basket" podcast this weekend. I have already listened to 2 episodes, and they are wonderful - perfect for the homeschool mom. I am going to share this on my Periscope channel tomorrow. So great!! Jamie @OurLittleSchoolhouse.

  • SongsofJubilee
    by SongsofJubilee from United States

    I love the idea of a morning basket, and this podcast has helped me learn a lot about the different ways it can look! I love all the different subjects she discusses within it!

  • Love it!
    by Ekrasovec7 from United States

    This podcast has been such a blessing to me! Informational and insightful, it opens a window into how other families incorporate morning time into their day, as well as what they fill it with. This has completely changed the rhythm and content of our days for the better. Our whole family has fallen in love with morning time! Thank you!!

  • So encouraging!
    by A Merry Heart from United States

    I absolutely love this podcast! It has been so encouraging as I begin to implement Morning Time with my 5 girls. I have listened to them all & can't wait for more!

  • This podcast has changed our homeschool
    by Momof4athome from United States

    Pam has relieved some of the pressure to "get it all in". We now begin our day with the good true and beautiful in an almost effortless way and are all enjoying our time together before the "serious" subjects! Yay for the morning basket! Her guests are all lovely people you would want to have over for tea. I love this podcast.

  • Refreshing
    by Bless-Us-3 from Canada

    I am loving this podcast. I just stumbled across it after hearing the recommendation over at Read Aloud Revival. I have been wanting to start 'Morning Time' for a year now so this is giving me direction and so many wonderful and helpful tips and suggestions. I love Pam's enthusiasm and personality.

  • So helpful and inspiring!
    by KSR1 from United States

    I was lucky enough to find YMB and Pam’s other podcast, Homeschool Snapshots, when I started my first year of homeschool this year. These 2 podcasts have been SO helpful to me with getting ideas for morning time and the rest of our homeschool day. I am very grateful for the excellent work Pam has done on both of these podcasts, and I hope they continue for many more years!

  • Inspiring
    by Jaranda98 from United States

    This podcast was inspiring and encouraging. It was a good blend of practical and theoretical and exactly what this tired homeschool mom needed to hear today to rejuvenate.

  • An inspiring and encouraging podcast
    by Kellibird1111 from United States

    Very well done! I really enjoyed listening! Very practical and informative.

  • Honey for the Homeschooling Heart
    by SuperNOVAmom from United States

    Pam lays out a feast of homeschooling topics that are relevant, helpful, and validating. The show is well organized and her interviews are clearly well thought out. In addition, Ms. Barnhill's relaxed and warm personality puts one at ease. It's like going to your favorite homeschool conference without leaving home!

  • I love this podcast, great content!
    by Sara V from United States

    These podcasts helped transform our homeschooling!

  • Great parenting resource
    by sullivanjessicak from United States

    I absolutely love this podcast. The show is well organized with great guests and helpful information.

  • Thank you!
    by Nasiatel from United States

    I'm so happy that I found your podcast, it has truly blessed our homeschool life!

  • Wonderful help in my homeschool
    by BT and Jessica from United States

    This is a great resource for all homeschoolers (and I would say any educator). I am challenged to make sure I am giving my children truth, beauty and virtue through the morning ritual of our morning time. I’ve learned of new books to share with my children, how to incorporate fine arts, good habits for our day… I could go on and on. Pam asks great questions and has wonderful guests.

  • Top Notch
    by Wvshaddox from United States

    Excellent inspiration and tips for homeschoolers! I have learned so much from this podcast.

  • Great Morning Time tips!
    by redhedcatie from United States

    I have gotten SO many practical tips from this podcast! A must listen for homeschoolers!

  • So Inspiring!
    by Frau Linds from United States

    Another home-run podcast! Pam has a knack for inspiring great things in your homeschool! And the wonderful thing is she doesn't leave you with the "lofty ideal," but offers practical tips, aids, etc. all while encouraging you the whole way. Each interview is professionally done and such a joy to listen to! Thanks, Pam, for putting your heart into this! 🙂

  • Wonderful!
    by Kellybireta from United States

    Like having a cup of coffee with a friend. So helpful and informative.

  • Excellent practical advise!
    by Foxycook from United States

    Really enjoying this so far!

  • Very encouraging!
    by WMGardener from United States

    This was been a great podcast about Morning Time! How encouraging and informative to hear from other homeschool moms who are in the midst of it all!

  • A great resource!
    by gejake from United States

    Very inspiring and informative as I begin my homeschooling journey

  • Love This Podcast
    by Earthmuffins from United States

    I have finally had opportunity to listen to this podcast and regret not doing it sooner!!! Very informative and encouraging.

  • Full of Goodness, Truth and Beauty
    by CJMance from United States

    This is such an inspiration to get the beautiful ritual of morning time established. Thank you Pam!

  • Great Podcast!
    by Greggtrisha from United States

    I'm so excited about this podcast! My kids range from ages 4 - 11, and I've been needing to reduce my workload a bit. I'm using the fantastic things I'm learning here to combine all my kids together for read-alouds, Bible time, memorization, and some other fun things. Thanks so much, Pam! I love your other podcast as well!

  • Treasure
    by TasmanianBec from Australia

    I am so glad I found this podcast. Morning Basket / Circle Time / Morning Time - lots of interviews with families who make this part of their day a treasure for years to come. Just getting started homeschooling, and this is going to help shape our days. Thanks Pam.

  • Jeannie in Ohio
    by Jeannie in Ohio from United States

    Loving learning about how so many families are using Morning Time in their homes!

  • Wonderful ideas for creating your best morning time.
    by Flowerpetal2 from Australia

    The ideas presented here are wonderful, it's great to hear how different families put together their morning time and how we can all make this a rich but simple time of beauty in our schooling days.

  • Excellent Host
    by meghanlou from United States

    Pam Barnhill is a truly excellent host and producer of podcasts. They are a pleasure to listen to, full of applicable and inspirational content. Unlike other podcasts in this genre, which are produced at home, Pam's podcasts never make me cringe because of awkward pauses or bad sound quality. Another of Pam's strengths is her ability to reflectively listen and summarize what she's heard from her guests in a way that wraps up the different segments of her interviews. Well done, Pam!

  • Helpful and fun!
    by HornGal88 from United States

    We’re just starting out with morning time and this podcast has been an invaluable source of inspiration and ideas. Keep up the good work!

  • LOVE IT!
    by sassercj from United States

    I’m always counting down the days until the next podcast…one of the best homeschooling podcasts out there!

  • Among the Best I’ve Heard
    by More Like Mary from United States

    I’m a bit of a podcast junkie so when I say that this is among the best, that’s really a compliment! Pam is an excellent interviewer. She re-states main ideas and summarizes information in a way that is helpful and not condescending. She asked poignant questions and stays on topic. Her guests are phenomenal and I’ve learned so much from each episode. So far, this podcast is “big picture” homeschooling talk with lots of tips for implementing lofty ideals into daily life. The perfect combination. I will be looking forward to many more of these!

  • Gave me the tools I needed!
    by Momofmany:) from United States

    This podcast is amazing. (I am spoiled now; the quality alone is superb!) I have listened to the four current episodes several times and now understand "morning time" in a way I never have before-- in particular, the schole part. I've longed for restful learning for ten years, and now I have tools to actually do it. Our whole family has benefitted so much. Thank you, Pam!!

  • What’s important
    by sncstraub from United States

    Pam Barnhill’s new podcast on Morning Time is a great help to those of us who are homeschooling. I’ve only listened to the first episode so far, but it’s wonderfully encouraging to hear Cindy Rollins’ talking through her own experiences with Morning Time. I’m looking forward to listening to more episodes with others who are focusing their schools on the important things - the true, good, and beautiful.

  • New listener and hooked!
    by Bytesofmemory from United States

    I just started listening to the first podcast this morning and I am completely hooked on this podcast. I took the advice in the first podcast and just started with morning time. Instead of trying to “give birth to an adult” morning time I just started doing something and will add things in as this becomes a habit. Thanks for the wonderful tool!! I am now off to listen to episode 2!!

  • Great!
    by Wvshaddox from United States

    Encouragement for homeschool.

  • A Gift to the Homeschool Community
    by HGPII from United States

    This podcast is so well done, informative, and just what the homeschooling moms needs. It includes achievable, sound suggestions as well as an abundant dose of inspiration. I can’t wait to revamp my Morning Time and watch the results!

  • Encouraging and informative!
    by sarahdempsen from United States

    I have enjoyed Your Morning Basket from its first episode! I am a second generation homeschooler and just started our own family's homeschooling journey. Thanks to YMB, I implemented our "circle time" starting our second week of school and it has been such a blessing to me already even its very simple form of prayer, Psalm, Mother Goose, and then read-aloud time with my kindergartner. My 2 and 4 year olds also love it and it encourages me to include things in our day that might get left out, like nursery rhymes and simple children's songs! Thanks to Pam and YMB I feel like I am starting out with a great centering tool and routine that can be expanded and adapted as we grow!

  • A great resource!
    by Bookgirl630 from United States

    Your Morning Basket Podcast is a great resource for to help implement morning time into your homeschool day. I have enjoyed every episode so far.

  • Thank you for wonderful bonus at the end!
    by Caj312 from United States

    I just discovered this show and listened to the first 4 episodes. All were inspiring and I loved the useful links at the end of the show that help me improve my homeschool days! Well done and I look forward to the next episode.

  • One of my VERY favorites
    by Dianna @ The Kennedy Adventure from United States

    I’m a bit of a podcast junkie, but YMB ranks among my very, very favorites. If you’re a homeschooling mother, or a mom who wants to connect with your children and show them truth, goodness and beauty, this is a must listen. Kudos, Pam, on a another amazing podcast series.

  • Timely
    by AggieRudy3 from United States

    I’ve been trying to figure out morning time on my own, but Pam with this podcast has figuratively sat down with me and explained how to get things going. I’m so glad to have this resource at the beginning of my family's homeschool journey! The Basket Bonuses have also been so helpful.

  • Thanks!
    by heyh2 from United States

    Thanks for the new podcast. Loving it!

  • Wonderful podcast with practical advice
    by Victorzvaliant from United States

    Thank you Pam for a great podcast, I am really enjoying it. I always come away inspired and with ideas I can use!

  • Changed our Homeschool Morning routine
    by HeatherinSC from United States

    I have been listening to the Your Morning Basket podcasts recently and Pam's blog writings about creating morning time traditions with your children and I feel like it has made a huge positive difference in our homeschool. I love Pam's ideas for creating a restful learning environment and focusing on truth, goodness, and beauty as we begin our day together. I listen to these podcasts over and over and take notes!

  • Excellent for homeschooling veterans and newbies
    by ASnow512 from United States

    I'm very new to homeschooling and I'm still deciding if our family will pursue that path. This podcast has been such a wealth of information and a wonderful encouragement!

  • Inspiring and Uplifting
    by vabjohnson from United States

    I was immediately inspired to create a more cohesive structure to our homeschool mornings. This podcast is full of helpful suggestions to make morning time meaninful for every type of homeschooling family. I've already implemented many of the wonderful suggestions and I can already see the benefits! An absoulte must for the homeschooling family!

  • Bringing Joy
    by Louisiana Mommy T from United States

    What an amazing podcast! This podcast has wonderful suggestions for bringing joy to (or back to) your homeschool. Everything is doable and enjoyable for the children and parents alike. Keep up the wonderful work!

  • Great podcast!
    by corew50 from United States

    This is our first year of homeschooling and I am really enjoying the concept of morning time. It is a sweet way to start our day together and this podcast has been amazing! Enjoyable, super practical, and filled with lots of creative ideas. Thanks for creating it.

  • Inspiring, yet practical
    by mamato3cs from United States

    Pam's Your Morning Basket podcast is one not to be missed! She and her guests inspire and spur me on to do great things in our homeschool, but it's not just adding more to my to-do list. There are practical suggestions for how to make morning time a refreshing and vital part of our day.

  • Super Helpful & Encouraging
    by Sanibel4ever from United States

    I have been homeschooling for a many years. I like that I can count on Pam to make to make it worth my while (and my short amount of time!) for a listen. As always, practical info I can start using right away.

  • Great Poscast
    by Sarah B R from United States

    Love Pam's interviews. I learn much from each poscast!

  • A Joy to Listen to!
    by Cude 🙂 from United States

    I am thoroughly enjoying this new podcast! I love to listen to people who encourage me on my homeschooling journey and I have added Your Morning Basket to my list.

  • JUST what I needed!!!
    by Foodie in Training from United States

    This is our first year homeschooling (Kinder) and this podcast has been INCREDIBLY helpful and a GREAT source of information!!! I cannot wait for more to come! <3 THANK YOU!!!!

  • Practical - worth a listen!
    by Bloggerific! from United States

    As a homeschooling mom of 6, my free time is limited. But I always come away with some practical, useful tips from Pam Barnhill. I love to listen if I’m alone in the car (rare these days!).

  • Well done [FIRST NAME]
    by MattMcWilliams from United States

    WOW… Your Morning Basket Podcast is flat out awesome. Good production quality. Easy to listen. Very impressed Pam. Keep bringing it.

  • Inspiring and refreshing!
    by BugTurner from United States

    What a great podcast. At first I was dubious whether you could have an entire podcast series about homeschooling using morning time, but now that I have listened to two of them, I see where Pam is going with this. It is affirming for me in what I am trying to do in our homeschool, and at the same time inspires me in ways to improve and refine our time together as a homeschooling family. I would recommend this to anyone who is looking to simplify their homeschool efforts while simultaneously enriching their family's experience!

  • Brilliant
    by SHTirm from United Kingdom

    I absolutely love it. Ever since I read about morning time, I wanted to know more. This podcast clearly explains what to do and how to do it. Episode with Cindy Rollins was brilliant. It gives you the overall idea of morning time practice, as she is doing it for 27 years. Andrew Pudewa in second episodes shared some insights about memorisation, which really makes so much sense. Pam asks clear questions and then repeats the main points in answer, which is very helpful, especially for new homeschooling mums. Overall this programme has everything one can ask for to get inspired and motivated. Thanks very much for putting so much effort. Well done.

  • Excellent!
    by RC5476 from United States

    I have really appreciated everything Pam Barnhill puts out. I have been introduced to so many great homeschoolers and their resources through The Homeschool Snapshots podcast, and I love that she is digging deeper into a great homeschooling practice on her new show, Morning Basket. It is definitely on my Must Listen list each week!

  • Bring the best you to your homeschool
    by mystiewinckler from United States

    Our Morning Time is the best part of our homeschool, and Pam’s podcast helps us learn how to make it even better and encourages us to pursue the true, good, and beautiful still more. So helpful!

  • Inspiring!
    by Mamato8 from United States

    I've only recently found out about Morning Baskets, after 14 years of homeschooling. What a find! And now to have these podcasts to help guide me along on my new journey! I've been sharing this like crazy, and my morning routine is fabulous now! Thank You!

  • Education to Educate
    by Isaac in St Louis from United States

    I have gained so much from these first two early podcasts. I am grateful to you, Pam. Thank you for offering this as we strive to fulfill our sacred duty and privilege to give our children an education. Please continue. I see such great things coming from this. I rank this up their with Circe’s offerings.

  • Wonderful
    by BGTwinsMom from United States

    When you're on the homeschool "circuit" it's easy to become one of Andrew Pudewa's groupies. So the excitement level for Pam's newest podcast doubled when I opened it on my iPhone and saw Andrew's name. I was remiss in not reviewing her first segment. Pam is a wonderful interviewer and has the ability to make conversation with her guests based on their answers and move seamlessly to her following questions. That is not easy to do. Highly recommend this to parents who Homeschool. Encouraging, motivating, and validating.

  • So Inspiring!
    by bethenyn from United States

    So inspiring! This podcast is what I needed to get our homeschool off to a great start this year. I will not miss an episode.

  • Inspiring and thought provoking!
    by Pascualamb from United States

    I've always thought memory work was so important in my 8 years as a teacher in a high school setting. I often required memorization and was criticized for this requirement. I recently decided to homeschool my children and this podcast was so affirming to me. I am glad to be able to follow my instincts as a teacher and give my kids what they deserve! Thank you for this wonderful podcast that inspired me to make memory work an important part of my homeschool.

  • Affirming & helpful
    by BOLDturquoise from United States

    I knew I would enjoy this podcast but I didn't know that I would LOVE it! As our family has moved more and more towards a simplified homeschool method, this podcast is just the thing to reaffirm our choices and continuously inspire us with new ideas. I can't wait for each new episode!

  • Inspiring
    by Amongst Lovely Things from United States

    This is just the kind of podcast I need to breathe life into my homeschool year. I’m so grateful for this new show, and Pam is a talented host. I won’t miss an episode!

  • Delightful...a Must Listen
    by 1coltsfamily from United States

    While I have heard Cindy Rollins speak about morning time before, I was pleasantly surprised to glean many new nuggets of wisdom that I can incorporate right away into our morning time. I always enjoy listening to Pam and find her questions spot on! The podcast is a wonderful balance of inspiration and practical tips. Can't wait for the next one!

  • Your Morning Basket
    by inakamama from Australia

    So lovely and inspiring! Looking forward to more...

  • Helpful & inspiring!
    by starlingsfive from United States

    A great resource for homeschool moms and so well put-together. Full of useful information, not fluff. Pam has a wonderful conversation style that keeps the show moving at a steady pace. I wish I didn't have to wait so long for the next one!



  • Pam A says:

    Pam, I love what you said about “remembering” and the liturgy. Right before I listened to the rest of this podcast I read this in “I Believe in Love: A personal retreat based on the teaching of St. Thérèse of Lisieux” by Fr. D’elbée: “Love to recite the Rosary, meditating on its mysteries. Little Thérèse said that each Hail Mary goes up toward having like incense who smoking spirals are all alike, although it is always new incense which burns. Love always says the same things, yet never repeats itself. “

    • Pam Barnhill says:

      Oh I love that. “Love always says the same things, yet never repeats itself.” I’m going to have to look up that book. Thank you. – Pam

  • rebecca says:

    This podcast was incredible. Thank you. Because of it, my word for 2017 is “remembrance”. I feel that both my home school and my spiritual life will be better because of it.

  • Lauren says:

    Why have I waited so long to listen to this episode?! So timely! Thank you very much ☺️

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