YMB #31 Dawn of the Digital Morning Time: A Conversation with Lynna Southerland

Sometimes I have a love/hate relationship with technology. Yes, I know there is bad in some, but also that the good in others parts far outweigh those bad things. I love the world that is opened to us because of the technology we have access to.

That is why I loved finding Lynna Sutherland. This mama has created a Morning Time that focuses on Truth, Goodness, and Beauty — and it’s almost completely digital. I think you’re going to get some great ideas from this one!


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

Hi everyone and welcome to episode 31 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, this is actually such a fun topic for me because, as most of you know, I am somewhat of a gadget geek. I love my technology for better or for worse and today I am chatting with Miss Lynna Sutherland who also uses quite a bit of technology in her Morning Time. She has what we call, kind of, a digital Morning Time. Now Lynna and I are going to talk about what she does and I want you to take away from this what might work for your family. It might not work for you to do a completely digital Morning Time like Lynna does but on the other hand there might be some other really great little tips that you could take away that you would enjoy that adding one or two technological elements might make your Morning Time just run a little smoother, so take what you will and enjoy the conversation. We’ll get right onto it after this word from our sponsor.

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Lynna Sutherland is a homeschooling mom of seven and self-proclaimed computer geek. She writes about homeschooling, faith, parenting in the digital age, and more at her blog Homeschooling without Training Wheels. Through her blog Lynna is also the host of the bike shed, an online resource where she shares some of her ideas with other homeschool moms. Morning Time at Lynna’s house is high tech and she joins us on this episode to discuss the benefits and practical how-to’s of using technology as a Morning Time tool. Lynna, welcome to the program.
L: Thanks. Thanks for having me.
P: Well, let’s start off by talking just a little bit about your Morning Time and what it currently looks like.
L: Well, I’m glad you asked me about that because what our Morning Time currently looks is somewhere in the middle between the high-tech that we’ve had previous and the non-tech that we started out with and a lot of that has to do with the fact that we currently have a toddler. We’ve nicknamed him our ninja toddler. And he is very active as I’m sure many people’s toddlers are. And so right now we’ve, kind of, switched things up as I know homeschool moms have to do. So right now, in the morning, our Morning Time is very brief. It’s basically prayer, Bible reading, we sing a few hymns and we maybe have one picture book or something like that we’re able to fit in and we’ve swapped a lot of our digital activities to the afternoons. And I’ll be happy to tell you more about what our Morning Time looks like at various stages but I just wanted to throw that out there because even when you find a system that is fantastic and it works, life happens, and as a homeschool mom we know that our families go through seasons and we have to flex, so I just thought as I’m coming on here as this technology geek and proclaiming the benefits of technology, I wanted to start out by saying even when you find a workable solution you have to adapt to the various seasons of life.
P: Oh definitely you have to roll with those seasons. So, essentially, you’re kind of doing two Morning Times. You’re doing what we would call our standard Morning Time in the morning and then you’re waiting for that toddler to hopefully go down for a nap and …
L: Exactly.
P: … doing the more robust one in the afternoon?
L: Exactly.
P: Awesome. And I love the way you’re making that work for your family. Well, let’s talk a little bit about how your Morning Time has looked in the past when it was a little more technology-heavy and not so toddler plagued.
L: Right, exactly. So, this journey actually began when the children were much younger and, I think, many moms I’ve talked to have gone through that phase of ‘you know that eventually you’re planning to homeschool but maybe all of your children are preschool age and you’re, kind of, trying to figure out what am I supposed to be doing during the day with all the children’ and we started out (before I even knew the term ‘Morning Time’ or ‘Morning Basket’ or any of that) we would just start out with a little story in the morning and we would sing some songs; just as, kind of, something to do after breakfast. And then we eventually began discovering that there was so much out there that could be learned through singing and we started incorporating different CDs that we could sing along to and learn all kinds of various things as we were singing and one of our very favorite things that we sang was a series of songs by Veritas Press about events in five different eras of history and they go through, there are five different songs and each song covers 32 events from an era of history. We loved those songs. And a few years ago we discovered that Veritas Press had developed an online history program to go along with that breakdown of the five eras of history and the 32 events in each era and so we were very excited to give that a try but my children at that point were really too young for an online program where you just send them over there with the laptop and have them do an online-something by themselves. So what we did was we just incorporated it into our Morning Time and it was really simple, actually. All I did was, my rocking chair where I sit for Morning Time is right beside a television in our school room and all I did was I pulled the HDMI cable out of the back of the DVD player and I plugged it into the side of my laptop and that way I could watch (on the laptop screen) and I could control from my laptop the activities in the course but then the children could see on the television as they’re sitting on the floor facing me they could just watch on the television what was happening. And the Veritas Press history courses are very interactive so there might be a small segment of maybe 3-5 minute video but it’s interspersed with a lot of say, drag and drop math skills, or clicking to identify famous paintings or famous people, so there’s a lot of interaction happening and so we began using that just like you might use any other resource in your Morning Time- just like you might have a book in your basket and every day you pull it out and you read the next chapter and you as a mom might be experiencing that for the first time as you’re reading aloud and so you just discuss it as you go. So we did very much the same thing with the Veritas History. We would watch it together. We would pause, talk about what was happening; the children would take turns answering the questions and that sort of thing, and once we got going with that it just helped me to see, first of all, how many things are available online to use in that way but also how well it fit with my personality and my personal preference. I’m really not the kind of mom that’s just going to have everything all organized weeks in advance and I’m going to have requested all the materials from the library and I’m going to have collected all the supplies for these grand craft projects. I’m doing well if I can keep track of my Bible from day to day to know where it is and what chapter we’re supposed to be in next. So to have everything right on my laptop and eventually we got to the point, really, where I just had a folder on my desktop and I would pull open that folder and it had a combination of things and some of those things were links to some of the Veritas Press history course or other things that we were working through. Some of them were mp3 files of songs that we were singing or audio things that we were listening to, so it was as if I had a Basket, it was just in a file folder on my desktop and we could go through and pick different things and we did a little bit of informal looping. There was no way to get to all the things that we were going to do in one day so we might do a few one day and a few the next day and that has been a really great system for us, and we still, like I said, I would still see that, for me, personality-wise, an ideal way to organize the things that I want to share with the children; YouTube videos and all kinds of things like that.
P: I love this. I love the idea of the digital basket and some of us are procrastinators (I’m not going to say who, here!) and then there are people like you who have seven children and so you’re juggling a lot of responsibilities and it’s not always easy to get out to the library and it’s expensive to try to order everything on Amazon (though I will say the two-day shipping has saved me often!) but just the idea that you could be sitting there at night vegging out a little bit and clicking and dragging some things that you find that look really cool and interesting, throw them into your digital basket and then the next morning get up and have a myriad of things to choose from to share with your children- that’s just kind of awesome.
L: Yes, we’ve just really enjoyed that.
P: I love that, I love that a lot.
Another thing is displaying things like this on the big screen – you know, a lot of times, for example Emily Kiser was on talking about doing picture study with the kids and each child having their own copy of the picture to study but sometimes that’s not feasible for families and so being able to take a piece of artwork and putting it up on a big screen, like that, and have everyone look at it at the same time there are some benefits there as well.
L: Exactly. We have done that with things like, for example, we want everybody to sing a hymn and previous to more of a digital Morning Time I would be typing up all the lyrics and printing out a copy for everybody to have their own copy which would then be shredded and eaten by the end of the week and then somebody else needed a new copy or lost theirs, and so this way I have links to sites where you can see the lyrics to a hymn or even have a midi file that will play the tune in case you forgot what the tune is and everybody can see the lyrics up there on the screen or even some hymns you can find interspersed in amongst the music so you can see the notes that go along with them and all I have to do is display it on the screen and everybody essentially has their own copy without having to do any copying and pasting and printing and keeping track of sheets or anything like that.
P: Oh, that’s awesome. It’s not so much that you were trying to solve a problem by doing your Morning Time this way, this was just really what fit with your personality and your family’s personality.
L: That’s exactly right. Some people grow up with horses or they grow up with a mom who gardens. My dad is a computer programmer. This is what I grew up with. It feels very comfortable to me. I do my menu planning with a spreadsheet and a Google calendar so this is how I roll. This is what just feels natural to me and has worked well for us.
P: OK, so other than some of the benefits we’ve already talked about like not having paper to end up in the recycle bin and things of that nature what are some of the other benefits of using technology in Morning Time?
L: One of the things that I’ve liked about it is just that it’s a great way to familiarize my children with what’s available out there, how to use it responsibly. Occasionally I will have a kid, “OK, you come sit here and take over with history for a moment while I change the baby’s diaper…” or whatever. So for several of my children that was really their introduction, even in just a very bare bones way to “Here’s how to move the mouse, click on things, navigate with the computer” and then also demonstrating things like how to use YouTube carefully because you want to see a video but who knows what’s going to show up on the sidebar and just introduction to wise, safe computer use; use of technology in a careful way.
P: And also just the idea that there’s so much good online.
L: True.
P: There’s a lot of bad online and so the idea that we can balance that message with there’s a lot of good online, too, maybe we’ll keep people going towards the good as they get older as opposed towards the bad.
L: Very true.
P: Well, what about some drawbacks? Can you think of any drawbacks to using technology in your Morning Time?
L: Sure. Well, one of the things that we’ve had to play around with a little bit is all my older children have Nooks, e-Readers, and at certain points they’ve used those for, example, if we’re going to read together something from the Bible then maybe they’ll all pull up the verses on their Nooks and in one sense it’s very handy, they’re very slim, easy to keep track of, easy to use, but it’s also very easy for them to be distracted when they’re using something like a Nook and then there’s other stuff to do and pull up other things and look at other things. So like with anything else it’s one of the primary qualifications of being a good homeschool mom is just knowing your children and knowing when a tool is going to be helpful for them and when it might be a hindrance. So we’ve had to say, “OK, we’re going to use just paper hymnals and Bibles right now…” or “this one and this one are ready to use a Nook, I don’t think you’re quite ready for that yet…” or “You’re ready to read along but I don’t think the note taking is going to be as helpful as much as it’s going to be a distraction…” So, as with anything else there - just what you said a moment ago - there are good things, there are things to be careful of, and it’s really just a day-by-day evaluation, knowing of your children, and knowing what’s helpful for them. We have found, one of the things that’s helpful about, for example with the hymnal or the Bible reading is that some of my struggling readers really need to be able to follow along with their finger as they’re reading and so that’s difficult to do when it’s something that’s up on a big screen. So, again, it’s not necessarily something bad about the technology, it’s more just a matter of knowing your tools and knowing where they’re useful.
P: Awesome. Kids can be distracted by a bug crawling across the floor …
L: Exactly.
P: … it’s just another layer on a problem that we already have.
L: Right.
P: Well, what are some subjects that lend themselves well to the use of technology?
L: Well, for our homeschool I really can’t think of a subject that we haven’t done in a digital way. As I said a moment ago, perhaps the reading especially for those who are learning to read or struggling with reading might be better done with something in hand, a piece of paper or a book, physically in front of you but we have done all kinds of things online. Similar to my inability to collect materials for craft supplies I’m also really bad about getting to experiments, science experiments and things like that, and definitely there’s value to kids getting to participate in hands-on experiments and that sort of thing, but I would say if you know you’re not going to get to an experiment on a particular topic then being able to watch a video of it on YouTube or what a visual demonstration on YouTube is a great supplement to just reading something from a textbook about it, or even a living book about it. And so we’ve done plenty of that and oftentimes one of the advantages to watching a YouTube video that we actually couldn’t get from a hands-on experiment is that with all the development in digital and graphics they’re able to do so much. We might be able to do an experiment and observe what’s happening but then in a YouTube video they might be able to intersperse it with this zoom-in slow-motion demonstration of what’s happening with the molecules or some kind of computer graphic animation that’s demonstrating what’s happening. We’ve experienced the same thing with math. We’ve watched quite a number of videos from both Kahn Academy and Math Antics and, of course, I can sit down with a white board and explain concepts or demonstrate things, we can use manipulatives; those are all great things to do but sometimes with the computer graphics they’re really able to demonstrate things. I remember watching a video by Math Antics about perimeter and what perimeter meant and they actually had a little man walking around the edge of the shape to very visually demonstrate exactly what perimeter was measuring and that was really helpful for my children. I don’t know, Pam, I can’t think of any subjects where I would say there is nothing to be gained from using digital, especially in supplement to other things that you’re doing.
P: And just the fact that they’re not going to put up the YouTube video unless the science experiment actually works is a [**inaudible**].
L: That is a great point.
P: I cannot tell you …
L: We’ve definitely had fails.
P: … how many times I’ve stood in the kitchen and I’m like, ‘Well, it’s supposed to be doing [this] but it’s not!”
L: Yes, we have had that experience too.
P: Exactly. OK, well, let’s talk about where do we find good stuff for, and I’m kind of throwing you on the spot here because you mentioned Math Antics and that made me think, ‘Oh, we need to come up with some places where we can find some really good math or science” so how do I know where to go on YouTube to find the right videos or to find the quality things to use in my Morning Time?
L: That is a great question. I’ll be real honest. From my perspective, I’m coming at this from the other angle, which is that there’s so much good stuff out there that I’m really more in the place of having to say, “OK, there’s no way we can do all of this and I’m going to have to eliminate and I’m going to have to narrow it down to… We can’t do all five of these things for history. We’re going to have pick one or we’re going to have to have this as our main one and supplement here and there with that” because at this point wherever I go: Facebook, Pinterest, just other mom’s blogs and things that homeschool moms have shared, everywhere… there’s a list of a hundred great YouTube channels to teach science or five great apps that help you practice your math. So my problem isn’t so much finding them but it is what you mention, which is kind of evaluating and narrowing it down. And I don’t know that there’s one sure-fire answer to that question other than maybe just read up a little bit, check out some of the videos yourself. Sometimes in the end there’s just no substitute for a little bit of trial and error. Just like you would with paperbooks, you’d read about the curriculum, or you’d read about a book, and maybe you’d try to see if you could get it from the library for free before you paid money for it but in the end even other people’s opinions don’t always give you what you need because your family is unique and your needs are unique. And so sometimes it’s just going to come down to you’re just going to have to give it a try, maybe on your own, or maybe incorporate it with the children and see how it goes and one of the benefits of digital is that there doesn’t seem to be such a high front-end investment necessarily so that if you buy a curriculum and then it turns out to not work you feel a little more pressure, “Oh maybe we should stick with this because we’ve already, kind of, signed up for it…” or paid for it, but with finding a new YouTube channel to see if it’s going to be helpful and it turns out to be a dud, no big deal, move on, find another one, or just replace it with something else.
P: It sounds like this is a two-step process: step one is to Google and step two is to preview.
L: Yes, that sounds right.
P: Awesome. Do you have any personal favorite apps or programs other than you mentioned Khan Academy, Math Antics, the Veritas Press history, anything else you would like to recommend that people could start their journey with checking out?
L: Hands down, my number one favorite place to send people is Beth Napoli’s, her online name is the techie homeschool mom and she’s been a great resource for me personally for all kinds of online resources, digital tools, all kinds of things like that, and she has a website called Online Unit Studies. She’s been doing unit studies, interest led types of activities with her children for years. She’s a mom of five girls. And within the past several years she began developing online unit studies. So all the resources that she’s pulling are websites and YouTube videos and online activities, a lot of the projects that go along with the unit studies are actually digital projects where you’re using online slideshow creators and graphics design programs and things like that to actually produce your project or your product at the end of the lesson, and so she’s been making these unit studies available for other homeschool moms to use and they’re on a wide variety of topics and she’s always adding to them so I have a post on my blog, for example, where we started using her famous artist online unit study, it’s great; it has a lesson about each famous artist from a particular art movement, so you’re not only learning the biography of the artist but also some great facts about the movement that they represent and then projects to do to go along with what you’re learning and it was exactly suited for our digital Morning Time because we could sit there together, we could look at it together, watch a video. We looked at, for example, lots of pictures- you were talking earlier about art study – we looked at lots of pictures of Audubon’s birds and did activities with that, and just lots of great exposure to things that, I don’t know that I would have known how to present or what order to put them in or what kinds of things would be important to point out about them, but you can read more on the blog about that project and how we worked through that unit study. And also, I’m going to be offering a free lesson from one of the online unit studies for my readers, so you may want to check that out as well.
P: We will definitely link to that one where you write about Beth’s studies in the Show Notes for this episode so everyone will be able to go over and find it. And I’m excited because that sounds like something that would be right up my alley.
L: We really enjoyed that one, it was great.
P: OK, so let’s talk a little bit, because there may be some moms out there who are listening to this and they’re thinking, ‘OK, this sounds kind of cool, I might want to try this. If for nothing else then just the ease of putting things together at the last minute.’ But they’re wondering what kind of equipment do I need in order to incorporate some technology into my Morning Time? So, what would you recommend for most people?
L: You know, I really don’t have anything fancy to share at this point. I would say, at its bare minimum you really could do a Digital Morning just sitting on the sofa with your laptop on your lap and your kids around you. We have enough children now where that was going to be logistically a little bit difficult and so, as I said earlier, we just had the kids sitting on the floor or chairs facing the television and I was able to connect my laptop to the television with a HDMI cable (many people may already have one- it probably came with your DVD player and it’s connecting your DVD player to your television) but if you don’t have one they’re only about $5.00 on Amazon so they’re really not hard to pick up. Another ‘fancier’ way to go is that there are some options like Chromecast, or things like that, where you can broadcast what’s on your computer to your television; if you have a SmartTV you might be able to broadcast you may be able to look up a YouTube video on your phone and then have it play on your television, so there are lots of options but it really doesn’t have to be a big learning curve to getting started. Like I said, you could just start by sitting on the sofa or laying down on the floor and looking at what’s on the screen of the laptop.
P: Right. Now, we have an Apple TV so we’re actually able to project our (we don’t really have an iPad anymore, ours is so old and we’ve never replaced it, but we used to be able to project our iPad to the TV or the computer) so that’s kind of like the Chromecast thing that you were talking about…
L: Exactly.
P:… and the HDMI cable – and if you don’t know how to do that your teen probably could figure that out for you.
L: It’s really just unplug and plug into – just like you’d plug in any kind of a USB device or anything like that.
P: You’re going to find a hole somewhere on the side of your computer or your laptop where that cable will plug into.
L: Exactly.
P: OK, so let’s say we’re sitting here one morning and we’re ready to try this and we have everything set up, we’re ready to do Morning Time and our technology fails; maybe our WiFi isn’t working that morning. Do you have any tips for me?
L: This happens, yes! So probably about the same thing you would do if you were sitting down to do your Morning Basket and you couldn’t locate one of your resources, you would just improvise or say, “Well, I guess we’ll just skip that for today.” Now, obviously if you’re entire Morning Time is on your laptop and you have no WiFi then that’s a problem but our Morning Time is always a varied combination. So, for example, even if we were going to do hymns and Bible readings on the laptop we could just shift to doing that with paper. If you don’t have WiFi and you can’t get to your YouTube videos but you can still listen to the digital MP3s that you ripped of learning songs onto your laptop so there might be parts of that you could do and save another piece until later. In my home it never happens that we need one more thing to do to fill up a slot of time. More often happens that we just can’t get to all of it, so I have never had the circumstance where we’re all just sitting around with our mouths gaping open and we have nothing else that we could fill that slot with because we don’t have WiFi. So that’s not a difficulty that we’ve run into, although I can see how a mom looking into planning this way might have that concern so I would say if that’s a concern have something in your back pocket, have a great read aloud to pull out.
P: Just be flexible with what you have going on. And I love the thing you’re talking about you’ve downloaded, you’ve ripped some of these CDs, you have the paper Bible handy, you have the paper hymnal ready, so you can just punt if you need to, if you’re faced with some kind of challenge.
L: Exactly. If you’re a homeschool mom you know how to be flexible.
P: Isn’t that the truth? Alright, do you think there are any subjects or situations where technology is not the way to go in Morning Time?
L: Nope, nope. As I said before, it’s not so much that I think there’s a subject where that wouldn’t apply, more circumstantially figuring out what you’re going to learn or your particular student, what you’re going to work on, perhaps if you’re something where you’re going to want to have hands on manipulation, math manipulatives, rearranging letter tiles, or a new reader who’s going to want to be able to follow along with a finger as they’re reading. Obviously learning to play a musical instrument. I don’t think they’re the kind of thing where a mom would get herself set up with some digital learning and then just realize it’s a really bad idea, I think they’re the kind of circumstances where commonsense would dictate that technology might not be the way to go for that particular learning subject.
P: You know, one of the things that I let my kids do is play with playdo or put together puzzles or play with pattern blocks or something like that while they’re listening to me read or while they’re reciting their memory work. Does that work when you’re using this more digital technology or do you find that they’re more looking at the screen?
L: Just like I would do with any other subject I have to think about whether it’s something that I need to look at or not. So, even when we’re doing activities that aren’t digital my decisions about whether, for example, let them paint or let them draw, or my daughter likes to knit, so there are times where I say, “Yeah, if you want to grab something to draw, you want to grab your knitting, go right ahead” and there are other times when I say, “OK, I need your hands free because I need you to be able to look at what I’m showing you” like maybe a math skills activities where I need them to look at the math rather than at their knitting or at their drawing or whatever. So I think the same has proved to be true with the technology- if I’m playing an audio book obviously that’s a great opportunity for them to draw or knit or paint or do playdo, whatever they’re doing keeping their hands busy with and if it’s something with the online history where they’re learning map skills well, that’d be a time they’d need their hands free so they can have their eyes on what’s on the screen.
P: Right, right. Well, what about the debate about the impact of technology on kids and how much is too much? What’s your take on this issue and how does it fit in with using technology so heavily in your homeschool?
L: I was thinking about that as I prepared for our conversation and I just … don’t hear me say that there are no dangers to technology because I think that we’ve definitely had a healthy conversation about (in the broader homeschool community online) how to use technology carefully but as I was considering it related to Morning Time I think, perhaps, the things that people are concerned about center more around independent use of technology and I could be wrong, maybe ask me further if there is anything particular you’re thinking about, but concerns about being too consumed with say, social media use opposed to real life relationships or spending too much time on video games or something like that where you’re not keeping up with your responsibilities, I had a hard time coming up with anything that would be a concern to me in the setting of Morning Time simply because it’s still pretty parent-directed. So, mom is choosing what we’re going to do next and how long we’re going to spend on it and we’re doing it all together so it’s actually still all quite a social fellowshipping event even though it may be a YouTube video we’re watching instead of a chapter book that we’re reading, we’re really still engaged with each other having conversation. I think maybe some of the things that people would be concerned about with relation to technology might even be aided by a technological Morning Time because, as we talked about earlier, just that modeling of how to make wise use of things and how to use technology as a tool but not let it master you.
P: I love that answer. And just the idea that you can open up the entire world to your kids through that screen in ways that you really can’t otherwise is good and so you’re not talking about completely and totally replacing the family read aloud or the book but supplementing it and providing alternatives sometimes and just looking at things in just ways that you can’t through the book on that video screen.
L: Absolutely. I think we just, as human beings, we have a little bit of fear of anything that’s new, anything that’s different, and you know, that’s not wholly bad, we should be cautious, we should be wise, use just commonsense but I don’t think we need to fear something just because it’s on a digital screen as opposed to a printed page.
P: And moderation, moderation always, with everything.
L: Exactly.
P: Too much chocolate cake – it’s a bad thing, sadly.
L: Right! And just like with anything else you don’t put the Halloween candy on the table and then tell your three old, “Use your best judgment, sweetie” the younger they are the more they need mommy saying, “This is enough. That’s too much.” And then you want to work your way out of a job. You don’t want to be calling your 24 year old and saying, “I hope you haven’t eaten more than two pieces of candy today” so it’s just know your child, understand not just their chronological age but their maturity, their particular strengths and weaknesses and give them guidance in that, which is what you’re doing when you have a digital Morning Time.
P: That’s great. Well, Lynna, this conversation has really excited me and I just want to thank you so much for coming here and joining us today to give us this fascinating glimpse into what you’re doing in your Morning Time.
L: Well, thank you so much for having me. It’s been my privilege.
P: And there you have it. Now, for the Basket Bonus for today’s podcast we have for you a list of resources that you might want to add to your own Morning Time to make it a little more digital. These digital Morning Time resources are from Lynna and they will help get you started adding a bit of technology to your day. You can find those along with links to all of the books and resources we spoke about on the podcast today at pambarnhill.com/ymb31. We’ll be back in a couple of weeks with another great Morning Time topic, until then, keep seeking Truth, Goodness, and Beauty in your homeschool day.

Key Ideas about Digital Morning Time

  • Technology is a tool that can be used to enhance and enrich Morning Time. The options available to us today are virtually limitless: audiobooks, online courses, videos, digital music, artwork and more.
  • As with any other tool, we should choose how much technology to incorporate into our own Morning Times based on our own personalities, circumstances, and personal preferences.
  • Often the best way to add digital resources to Morning Time is through trial and error. Find an interesting resource, preview it, and evaluate whether or not it is in line with your vision for your family’s Morning Time. If it is, then give it a try and see what happens.

Find what you want to hear:

  • [3:54] Lynna’s Morning Time
  • [5:41] how Lynna got started using music and technology in MT
  • [9:10] creating a “digital basket” (desktop folder)
  • [11:00] picture study, hymns
  • [12:50] familiarizing kids with technology and internet safety
  • [14:03] distractibility
  • [15:55] science experiments
  • [18:50] gathering resources
  • [21:08] Techie Homeschool Mom unit studies
  • [24:09] equipment options
  • [26:17] when technology fails
  • [29:11] deciding whether it’s something kids need to be looking at on the screen
  • [30:16] How much technology is too much?

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Thanks for your reviews

  • Always a favorite!
    by Lizzie O' from United States

    Pam continues to do an amazing job with this podcast. She is a wonderful host, never hurried, asks great questions and really lets her guest share his/her experience fully. The variety of experience & wisdom here is fruit for the homeschooling community at large. I’ve been listening from day one and this podcast continues to be a top favorite. Thank you Pam!

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

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

  • Life Affirming
    by Logandinco66 from United States

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

  • Life giving!
    by lapatita5 from United States

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

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

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

  • Love the show!
    by Startup Travis from United States

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

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

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

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

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

  • Always insightful!!
    by method_money from Canada

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

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

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

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

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

  • Great!!!
    by Eloblah from United States

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

  • New home schooling mom
    by A prit from United States

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

  • Morning Time Magic!
    by DrewSteadman from United States

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

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

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

  • So excited for 2020!
    by JCrutchf from United States

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Super Helpful!
    by Jennlee C from United States

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

  • Practical Inspiration
    by Mamato3activeboys from Australia

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

  • So many great ideas!
    by Parent 98765 from Malaysia

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

  • Joy
    by Ancon76 from United States

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

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

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

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

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

  • Love it!
    by s chenvmv from United States

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

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

    Love this!

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

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

  • Wonderful resource!
    by honebubble from United States

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

  • A wonderful podcast!
    by NoName2018 from Canada

    Great ideas and interesting guests - thanks Pam!!

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

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

  • Such great choices of guests
    by andinic from United Kingdom

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

  • Great
    by WifeyKayla from United States

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

  • Interesting ideas
    by Lisa1932 from Canada

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

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

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

  • Excellent!
    by Jodylleigh from United States

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

  • Truly an inspiration!
    by Soaring2him from United States

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Thanks Pam!
    by BraveMomma from United States

    So many great ideas every single week! Thanks!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Hope for the weary
    by MomToTheMasses from United States

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

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

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

  • Mamma of Five
    by Mamma of Five from United States

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

  • Great Homeschool Resource
    by KS Becky R from United States

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

  • Really great!
    by BeeGerW from United States

    I love hearing all these ideas!

  • californiafamily
    by californiafamily from United States

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

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

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

  • First Things First
    by Lukenoah from United States

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

  • So helpful!
    by jofcrich from Australia

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

  • Great resource
    by Ejs0928 from United States

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

  • Amazing!
    by CDefnall from United States

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

  • Inspiring and enlightening
    by spycej from United States

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

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

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

  • One of my favorites
    by FaithAZ from United States

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

  • Great Ideas
    by Hiphooray from United States

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

  • TaraVos
    by TaraVos from United States

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

  • Lots of useful information
    by Kristizy from United States

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

  • 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!

  • 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!



  • Lindsay says:

    I liked this a lot and can relate to many of the strategies. I think one concern of “overusing” technology that was not mentioned is that some people feel that technology is addicting (because of chemicals set off in the brain during technology use) and overstimulating (even good technology). I agree that many of the activities that Dawn spoke of can assist group interaction as a opposed to hindering it. Thanks for this podcast. Curious if you, Dawn, have ever taken the Myers Briggs test? Your personality seems a lot like mine but I have trouble settling into a “type.”

  • Andrea Kirk says:

    This was really helpful. Even though I don’t enjoy using technology and prefer to use books whenever possible, I have a whole homeschool on my smartphone via apps, audiobooks, websites, playlists, etc. The digital resources available now are so numerous it’s overwhelming!

  • Elli says:

    Hi! Where is the basket bonus for this episode? It’s not on the page with all the other basket bonuses. Excited about checking it out! Thanks!

    • Dawn Garrett says:

      Hi Elli, The Basket Bonuses are now on each page. There’s a graphic just below the links where you can enter your email address and it will magically appear. Hope that helps! Dawn Garrett Community Care Coordinator

      • Elli says:

        Got it, thank you!
        (I must not have seen that–maybe because I tried it first on my phone? Then I got the email asking me to confirm so I could have access to the basket bonus page. Anyway, got it now. Thank you!)

  • Rebecca says:

    Can Lynna please offer a little more guidance on how she uses the veritas press course as a whole group? I asked about the course on another forum and the responses I got indicated that that would be much to challenging especially because of the games and each child wanting to play the games. I would love to here some more details about how she makes it work for her. The grading portion of the program does not matter at all to me, I just want to know about using it as a group all at once. Thanks!

  • Sarah says:

    I can’t seem to get the link to the basket bonus to work, is the link still active? Thanks!

  • Sarah says:

    Never mind, I just got it to work, sorry and thank you so much for all the awesome podcasts and resources!

  • Jennifer Drury says:

    I love that there are other moms using tech as a morning time tool! A couple of resources we love:
    1. Classics for Kids podcast, short (6 minute) bios of composers, explanations of terms (what is a concerto?), and samples of great works.
    2. Storynory, for readalouds in the car or when my voice is tired. We love the poetry and Aesop’s fables.
    3. Classical Conversations app. We don’t do CC as it doesn’t fit our family’s schedule, but after a decade teaching in a classical school, I love much of what they do. The app has all of the memory work, complete with songs and pictures. I also buy the Acts and Facts Science cards from CC, and the questions and answers are reviewed here. It was so much easier to have all of this in the app rather than on paper.
    4. New City Catechism app. This catechism was adapted from the Heidelberg and Westminster Catechisms. The free app also includes suggested Scripture readings, short prayers, and devotional commentary, as well as kid-friendly songs designed to help children memorize each question and answer. The songs are really catchy and well done.

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