YMB #4 Choosing What Is Best: A Conversation With Dr. Christopher Perrin

If you’ve been following along with the last couple of interviews here at Your Morning Basket, you know that Pam has been walking us through the “3Rs” that make up a rich Morning Time: recitation, reading aloud, and ritual. (And if you missed one and want to get caught up, be sure to check out episode 2 and episode 3.)

Now it’s time to tackle the third R, ritual.

So often I find myself wanting to slow down and give my children time in our day to think, explore, and reflect.

I want our Morning Time to be about more than checking off items from our list of things to do, but I’m not sure how to develop a meaningful liturgy that will help us begin our day. And then I find myself wondering if any ritual can really be restful and refreshing when energetic, chatty young children are involved.

Today’s episode addresses these issues and so much more. Pam talks with Dr. Christopher Perrin of Classical Academic Press, who introduces us to the concept of scholé, or restful learning.

Dr. Perrin encourages us to develop liturgical practices for Morning Time that can set the stage for scholé in our homes, and he provides us with examples of restful learning that can work in real life, even with wiggly, noisy kids like mine.

There is so much to take in from this interview; I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

The NEW Homeschool Solutions Show

Pam:

This is Your Morning Basket where we help you bring Truth, Goodness, and Beauty to your homeschool day.
Hi everyone, it’s Pam Barnhill, and welcome to episode 4 of the Your Morning Basket podcast. It’s really great to have you guys here with me today. Well, I hope your school year has gotten off to a great start and your Morning Time. And speaking of Morning Time’s because that’s what we talk about here, people have been sharing with me pictures of their Morning Times at #YourMorningBasket on Instagram and other social media. It’s been a lot of fun to go through there and see lots of cute baskets and lots of cute kids having a great time learning during Morning Time. So I just want to encourage you to do that: share your photos #YourMorningBasket on Instagram, Twitter, and other social media, and I’ll be checking that out to have a look and see what you guys are up to in Morning Time in your home.

Well, today I get to interview a favorite mentor of mine, this is Dr. Christopher Perrin from Classical Academic Press. I had a wonderful opportunity to take a class with Dr. Perrin this summer on scholè in your school and homeschool. And it was such a blessing to me, and I was really happy when he agreed to come on to the podcast and talk to us about that third R “ritual.” So this will tie up the Reading, Recitation, and Ritual podcast; breaking open those R’s of Morning Time, so sit back and enjoy the program.

Read Full Transcript

Dr. Christopher Perrin is the CEO of Classical Academic Press, Board Vice-President of the Society for Classical Learning, and the Director of the Alcuin Fellowship of Classical Educators. He is also the Latin Magister in our home through his wonderful Song School Latin and Latin for Children materials. Dr. Perrin has an extensive background in teaching and writing about classical education and he’s a strong advocate for the revival of some of the lost practices of a liberal arts education. His thoughts on a return to scholè learning or a more restful, contemplative style of education have been a breath of fresh air for many of us in the homeschool world. Dr. Perrin, welcome to today.

Dr. Perrin: Thank you very much, glad to be here, Pam.

Pam: I’m so happy you’re here. Could you start by telling us a little bit about what scholè is and how it might be an answer to the hectic and distracted nature of our lives?

Dr. Perrin: Sure. You know, the word scholè when I hear it connotes now after several years of thinking about it reflecting on it, studying it, some rich ideas of a restful, thoughtful, more contemplative life, pursued with friends who are studying the things that are truly worthwhile without distraction. Put another way: studying and seeking after that which is true, good, and beautiful with friends often in a beautiful place with good food and drink. That’s the idea behind this Greek word scholè, and scholè is a Greek word. It comes to us from Plato and Aristotle. Aristotle and his nichomachean ethics and his politics talks about this ideal of a scholè life in which friends are together seeking the true, the good, and the beautiful. Scholè is sometimes translated as leisure and that’s not a bad translation but leisure is not sufficient because when we think of leisure in an American context, often we think of vacation and amusement and entertainment and that’s not what was meant by scholè. It did mean free time. It did mean undistracted time again to be with friends to reflect and discuss things that are most important to us. That, therefore, is an important component to becoming a well-educated person, to actually have time to consider deeply the things that are most important. And sometimes in American education we move through things so fast, covering materials, checking off boxes, and moving through chapters, that we find it very difficult to slow down and actually possess something in an intellectual way. I think we all understand that. So there’s a slow food movement out there. I’ve had a chance to go to Italy once or twice and the Italians take their time when they have dinner. If you go out to dinner in Italy and get a table you will be there for three or four hours and good luck trying to speed the process along, they just won’t do it. And they take breaks during the day, in the middle of the day to be with their family- have lunch and close down shops, and so on. And this kind of way of living in America seems alien to us but applied to an academic life it means that we dig some deep wells and take time to truly master and study things that are worthwhile. And I’ll give you just one illustration or application, Pam, and then you can feel free to ask some follow up questions because I’m just really trying to introduce the concept. If you’re studying literature and upper school, say in high school, how many novels should one read? If you take AP Lit. in a typical American high school you might move through 18 or 22 novels in a year; you cover them, you read them, and the idea is to be exposed to them but not really to drink deeply from any one author. So, just about the time you’re starting to digest for Whom The Bell Tolls you’re onto Cry The Beloved Country and you’re beginning to see that this book is profound and could really change you the way you think about life in Africa and your own life and the life of ministry and family life and then you’re onto yet the next book. Sometimes we know things through a slow and deep study better. It’s not to say there isn’t a place for doing a survey and covering some things quickly, getting the lay of the land. Not to say there isn’t a place for doing research and there isn’t a place for doing some hard work, but there’s also a need for a place in our lives where we slow down and learn how to ponder, wander, gaze, and linger, and savor, and contemplate. I’m trying to paint a picture, if you will, of what’s behind this concept, this idea that is contained in the great Greek word scholè. So usually when I talk about this people sense, especially if they’re in the Christian tradition, they say, “Oh, I know something about this” because it’s in our Scriptures, those of us who are Christians. Psalm 27 David says one thing he desires of the Lord that he might dwell in the temple of the Lord and gaze upon His beauty all the days of his life. There’s that episode in Luke where Jesus speaks to Mary and Martha in their home when Martha is busy working on dinner preparations and so forth and Mary is sitting with Jesus having a great conversation and Martha gets irritated and says to Christ, “Don’t you care about me?” It’s an interesting way to open that conversation, “don’t you care? Tell my sister to help me. She’s not doing anything.” And Jesus says, “Martha, Martha, you’re busy, you’re anxious about many things, but Mary has chosen what is best, and it won’t be taken from her.” I think that sometimes we have not chosen what is best, and it’s not altogether clear what this means for say, a homeschooling curriculum and lifestyle, but if we think deeply about this is an ideal that we need to learn how to teach restfully and to flee from worry and anxiety. We know in the Christian tradition that worry and anxiety actually can be characterized as sin. So sometime when we are teaching out of worry and anxiety we’re not at a state of trust in God and His good providence, and our reputations are on the line as homeschooling families, our identities are too wrapped up in being a homeschooling mom or dad or family, and we want to justify and validate our decisions before our watching relatives and friends and neighbors, and so we will work hard like Martha to prove that we have made a good decision and that our kids will be fine and better prepared than any of the students going to public school; all kinds of pride can slip in, there’s kinds of worry ‘will my children be properly prepared if I don’t get to this entire book of mathematics this year, if I don’t get to Math 4 what will happen because they’ll fall behind, they won’t get into college.’ So many things can weigh upon us that can create worry and scholè is a tradition within the larger classical tradition that says one of the most important things, not the only thing, but one of the most important things is learn how to restfully seek after the true, good, and beautiful. That was a really long introduction to the concept of scholè and to an opening question. I’m sorry, but there you have it.

Pam: You brought in a lot of really great points. I’m sitting over here nodding because I think that a lot of times the thing that drive us away from this restful kind of learning are those very real concerns that we have, even when we want to have more of a scholè kind of learning in our home, what draws us away are these very real concerns and the watching relatives and things of that nature so I don’t think those things can be discounted and I like the fact that you brought them up because I can say, “Yeah, I can see how these are the things that are pulling me away from sitting and contemplating, doing the best things.” I want to ask you what scholè might look like in a real life Morning Time with wriggly and energetic kids. On one hand you’re telling me this is contemplation, this is restful learning, and on the other hand I’ve got a 10 year old, an 8 year old, and a 5 year old. Sometimes it seems like contemplation and rest are just not in their vocabulary. So is scholè possible with a group like that?

Dr. Perrin: I think it is, but of course, scholè or restful approach to learning will adapt to changing situations, to a changing family dynamic and to the development of our children, and to our own life circumstances. But we do know, and again, I’m appealing to those in your audience who are of the Christian tradition, we do know that we are to rest one day in seven. And it comes to us in a command. So, resting is really not an option. We have to learn how to do this. And rest doesn’t mean cessation of activity, it means activity of a different sort, activity that is refreshing, and calming, and very much enjoyable and delightful, a kin to hopefully what we experience when we worship, a kin to what we experience when we have dinners together, a kin to a really good conversation at Starbucks with a friend where you’re talking about something that’s really important where it be hubbub all around you and yet you’re having a really meaningful conversation that refreshes you and even energizes you, that can be scholè. A good Socratic discussion in a school setting with older students talking about a novel or a book of history or some concept can also be restful and energizing. You’ve had those conversations, haven’t you, when time kind of changes and you slip into a different realm and you forget that time is passing and after the conversation you realize 45 minutes has gone by and you’ve been in a different place? Some of us who have heard really great sermons have had that happen to us, where, boy, you’ve felt as if you were being directly addressed and you were in some way transported, you transcended the kind of normal life that we experience. Those would be signals that something restful has really happened, and not that we’re looking for ecstatic moments and so not everything will be that dramatic, but Josef Peiper in his book, Leisure, The Basis of Culture referring to Thomas Aquinas says that there’s something about this life of intellectual vision where you’re seeing things in your mind and experiencing them receptively as a gift rather than going out and grasping for them, Aquinas says that that’s actually a super human activity, that there’s a part of what we enjoy as creatures made in the image of God that animals don’t enjoy but that angels do and that this is one way in which occasionally we know truth in an intellectual vision contemplative vision that’s a kin to the way angels know all the time, that’s Aquinas speaking. So, isn’t that interesting? I’m thinking of Paul in first Corinthians 13, “though I speak with the tongue of angels but have not love I am nothing,” so there is something about contemplating something and going deep with something that’s true, good, and beautiful that heals us and knows we are to be in communion with God. Now you’ve asked the question, what does this look like in a family where you have two or three kids under 10 years old and so on, I think it could look in different ways, but let tease out a couple of examples. I think it means some simple things maybe some of your listeners are already doing, and maybe that will comfort them and encouragement them: reading to your children, children love to be read to, put a child on your lap and read the right book and they will slow down and they will go into an imaginative place and if it’s a good story that teaches virtue and holiness their moral imagination will be piqued and they will start to think about what it means to be a courageous person, or what it means to be a sacrificial person, what it means to truly love in the midst of the face of adversity and so on. This is what the great stories do, the great poems, what Scriptures do, and there’s something in us that’s calling out for this and wants to be cultivated by it, so literature, good literature is a way of cultivating the soul. And how many times have we plopped one of our toddlers on our lap or even read to our 8 year olds or 9 year olds or 10 year olds they just want to continue to read, that’s scholè, an encounter through the imagination of something true, good, and beautiful, so the right literature of course is important.

Pam: Right.

Dr. Perrin: You don’t want to read twaddle as Charlotte Mason would say, you want to read really good stuff. That begs another question which is what should we read? Another example, I think where we find scholè with kids is to be out in nature walking and talking and exploring. We should be doing that in my view of far more or often than we do. And typical Americans schools we have kids in buildings that are basically designed in the pattern that looks more like a prison than anything else or a factory with fluorescent lights, tiled floors, and casement windows that you can’t open, and bells ringing and so on. We get to educate our children in our homes and a related concept to scholè is what Plato called education that was musical education. He actually calls education for young children mousike and it’s related to the Greek word mousa which meant muse from which we get our word music and museum but we also get our word amusement from these family of words. Amousa was that word for lacking inspiration. So our homes can be gardens that in out distinction, hopefully, if you live close to a park or have a yard or access to nature, it’s much easier to do when you’re raising your children at home. So I think our kids need to be outside a lot more and where they’re playing and imagining and even sometimes reimagining the stories that we’ve read to them as well as their more formal studies. Walking, talking, gathering, collecting, discussing, tasting, climbing, experiencing the beauty of nature more deeply and widely. That’s just a simple thing that’s diminished widely in our culture.

Pam: So, I think what I’m hearing you say is that scholè or restful learning is not necessarily everyone perfectly, peacefully quiet, listening with rapt attention to something that they’re then going to sit silently and think about for awhile but this could be the sharing of a story between mother and a child or getting out to walk in nature and behold what’s around them. Those are the kinds of things, the restfulness is energizing than it is being silent. I think there’s a place for some silent contemplation. There’s nothing at all wrong with that but often when restful learning is occurring, it’s occurring in a context where you’re not feeling that pressure to have to do something else right away. A kind of sense of obligation and for those of us that are adults, it’s the sense of always something else to do that’s not being done and I’m already behind and I’m not sure things are going to go well, those kinds of thoughts. And the sense that we can never be in one place and really be fully present, that would be a sign of anxiety rather than rest, and we’ve all seen that. We’ve been with people that are anxious and nervous, we’ve been this way ourselves, where we’re not really present in a conversation; we’re juggling, we’ve got plates spinning and we’re just trying to manage and get through something, and there’s nothing wrong with that. There are times when that’s actually just what we need to do. So it’s not saying that our entire life should be characterized by this kind of restful state where we’re engaging in truth, goodness, and beauty, but the trouble is, for so many Americans there’s virtually never a time when it’s happening at home.

Pam: Right.

Dr. Perrin: Some of your listeners may be thinking that I’m over-emphasizing this, well, that’s probably true we just don’t do it at all, or virtually ever. When’s the last time that you’ve picked up your violin and played it just for the sheer pleasure of it? Why don’t you play the piano anymore? Why don’t you do water colors anymore? You used to really enjoy gardening, you used to love to hike, you used to write your own poetry, you used to be a storywriter, you used to write songs and compose. Well I’ve got to educate my kids now so we’re not even modeling for them a life of engagement of restful learning or scholè because we think we have to be so busy about all this other stuff or it won’t be successful. So we’ve adopted some kind of view that is frankly non-sabbatical. If we’re to rest one day in seven, what if just as a thought experiment said to ourselves, “What if one hour in seven in my homeschooling experience with my children, I’m going to make sure one hour in seven is restful? What if in every lesson if I’m teaching mathematics I’m going to teach it for 35 minutes, I’m going to take 5 minutes of that time and just make sure it’s a restful engagement with mathematics? What would that look like? I have 35 minutes but the first five or the last five are truly going to be contemplative. We’re going to contemplate some aspect of math. We’re going to enjoy and delight in math in some way. We’re going to take our time.

Pam: So I think what I’m hearing you say here is that we’re going to have to be intentional about doing this kind of thing. We’re going to have to maybe take ourselves out of the moment, take ourselves away from some of the decision fatigue that we’re faced with a lot of the times as homeschool moms and maybe set up some practices ahead of time that are going to make us intentional about creating this atmosphere of scholè learning in our home, which kind of brings me to the idea of liturgical practices or ritual in our homeschools and in our Morning Time, and I know that James K Smith in Desiring the Kingdom talks about how we can use these liturgical practices to order our loves, so we can learn to love what is lovely, that by doing these daily actions we’re going to change what is important to us. Is it really that easy? Is it really so easy as to simply do something every day that it’s going to make us feel differently about things? It seems very simplistic.

Dr. Perrin: I think we have to be patient with ourselves because we’re not going to do this really well, especially alone. We know this is why Jamie Smith in his book says we need the church; we need these liturgies from the tradition to help us. It would be wrong for us to think that we should just create these day nova, “Pam, go out and create really great practices. Think them up yourself, why be restricted to anybody, you can do this on your own, just figure out how to be restful.” No, better for us to enter into a tradition and to walk a path that others have walked, especially when the others are walking with us, and walking that path is not always easy. There are times when it’s going to be challenging to be sure. We have become habituated ourselves, and that’s why I think you’re right to say it would be simplistic to think that it’s just going to be easy. Good night! Some of us would have trouble just not looking at our SmartPhones every morning when we wake up and every evening when we go to bed, instead of reading a Psalm. If we can’t even do that, if we can’t even read a Psalm when we go to bed rather than checking e-mail, then we’re right to say that it’s simplistic to think that we could make these liturgical changes in our home, but what it says is that we have been habituated ourselves. We have developed habits that are disordered the way we order time, space, and language has been conditioned by a life of Facebook and TV and our own educations and the mall and constant shopping and all the driving we have to do and the soccer mom lifestyle and so on and so forth, those are our practices. Those are what we do without thinking about it just like we brush our teeth (hopefully). So our characters have been shaped and formed already by liturgical practices, if you will, using liturgy loosely. So of course it’s hard and not easy because you’re already a liturgical creature you’ve just been patterned after different liturgies and you cannot change easily, that’s why the great educators of the past said it’s so important to help cultivate virtues in children when they’re young, when you can help cement them so they can become lifelong practices that have become as if it were second nature. Plato says that we should engage expose children to things that are true, good, and beautiful, such that they have a taste for that which is true, good, and beautiful even before they’re reasoning about it very much, even before they’re analyzing they’re learning to love the things that are lovely before they’ve even given it a lot of analytical thought, and in so doing their characters are being formed, already learning to praise that which is beautiful and criticize that which is ugly. So I think part of the problem is that we just have to be honest about is that we’ve already been trained.

Pam: Right, and so what we’re trying to do, Jennifer Dow often talks about recovering the tradition and so as we trying to recover these practices for our children, do you have a couple of maybe practical examples? You’ve given us a couple with your mathematics example earlier but maybe another example of a liturgy we could do as part of a Morning Time in our homeschool.

Dr. Perrin: Sure, I’ll just throw out again I think these are really important questions and we need to keep talking about them with one another. I wish I was stronger at coming up with a really great practices myself but let me just give you a few. We need to change the way we order time, space, and language, as a way of trying to order our own loves properly to cultivate our affections. (So, I hope this will be practical.) One way to do this to this five sense inventory where you might even get out a journal or something and walk around the house or maybe just sit down some place with a cup of coffee and think, ‘What would I like to see when I come into my home that would attract my children to a restful learning state? What would they see in all of these various rooms?’ And then maybe to do some thought experience and imagine, ‘In an ideal world what would I do to change the visual feel of my home? What do they see? What does my homeschooling space look like? What is my homeschooling space? Is it a kitchen table with all kinds of stuff on it?’ If you go into a really fine museum it’s designed to order your thoughts and to direct your attention with the way the lighting is and even the way the paintings are arranged are often thematic and they’re spaced apart a certain way, there’s an arrangement to it that’s been very intentional. And the same thing would be true of great architecture, a great church, and so on. So what about your home? Of course, we don’t have the budget to do everything we like to do but what could we do, what would we do if we could, and what can we do with what we have? And then I would go through all five senses- what do I hear throughout the day, and what might my children and I hear that would cultivate some rest? So I mentioned maybe playing music before mathematics starts. But again, Jamie Smith, you cited his book, Desiring the Kingdom, he says we can look to the ecclesial tradition for some help here, we don’t have to reinvent the Stay Novo, so even as you’re imagining things what you imagine is going to be, if you have a well-stocked imagination from the ecclesial tradition you’ll start imagining things that come from the church, what would it look like if there were an altar in my home that was set apart as a sacred place where we read Scripture together? What if there were a candle there, what if every time we studied Scripture we lit a candle and we taught our kids to talk about the Lord is my Light and my Salvation and memorize a verse about the illuminating power of the Holy Spirit, and what if you memorized some prayers together and what if every time you studied Scripture or read Scripture you lit a candle to symbolize your desire for the Spirit of God to be present to help you understand His work? What about music: Opportunities for great music to be playing around the household. I kick myself because we have a nice little stereo system set up in our house and all I need to do is plug in my SmartPhone and I can play some of the most beautiful music through the house and so many times I don’t do it.

Pam: Right.

S: I’m washing dishes or something and I don’t take advantage of filling the house, the whole first floor I could fill with beautiful music, and there’s nothing keeping me from doing it except my poor habits. So what could you do with music? What could you do with smell? Aromatic candles, churches have incense could you have incense? Just thinking about these traditional ways of ordering space that comes to us from the church tradition could help us creatively engage our own homes and own homeschool education but what we do, Pam, I know you know this very well, and this is why you’re right to point out that it sounds simplistic and easy, what we do when we think of education is our imagination has been stocked with ideas for what education should be, but they’re wrong ideas.

Pam: Right.

Dr. Perrin: We’re back to the long halls and the casement windows and the fluorescent lights and the bells ringing and the anxious teachers and the huge back packs and the eight classes a day because, I know you’ve heard me say this before, Luke 6, when a student’s been fully trained he’ll be like his teacher, so we’ve become like our teachers therefore it is not easy to turn this around, so practically I would do the five sense inventory and start there and I would talk with other homeschooling moms and dads and say what could we do here, what are you doing? And with Morning Time what routines and rituals could you begin to create and I would look to your own church tradition first.

Pam: I love that advice. I love the advice of looking to the church. We have a book that we’ve used for the past two or three years called Children’s Daily Prayer and it’s very much modeled after a liturgy of the hours, morning prayer it starts with a brief reading, then we do a Psalm and we go into a Gospel reading of the day so a very brief portion of Scripture and then it deviates a little bit in that we list intentions that we’re praying for, and then finish with Thee our Father. It’s the same set pattern every day, the Psalm changes through the liturgical season and the Gospel, of course, changes for each day, but it’s patterned after the church but it’s a great way for us to begin prayer in our home each morning.

Dr. Perrin: That’s excellent.

Pam: And so I think that borrowing those ideas from your own church, that’s a really great place to start, to bring those liturgical practices home.

Dr. Perrin: They can also be informal the way you actually teach a mathematic class or lesson, maybe you wouldn’t do this every lesson but maybe at least once a week you’d say, “Let’s stop and give thanks to God for mathematics because it reflects his mind, and it’ a part of being like God. And when we come to know a mathematical truth we’re coming to know something about God who is the truth because all truth comes from Him and again, because of our own poor education we sometimes feel handicapped and that can create some stress, I understand that, but think about this for a moment- when you come to know a mathematical proof you’re coming to know something that is unchangeable immaterial and eternal, isn’t that lovely?

Pam: That is.

Dr. Perrin: So when someone says, “Is there anything else besides God that is immaterial?” Well, mathematical proofs, logical proofs, these are ways the laws of logic. These are part of God, they eminent God who is the Logos. I wasn’t taught math that way. So what is there to praise about math? What is there to admire? I became like my teachers, so to some degree we have to unlearn and we’re trying to change a number of things in our own selves in how we teach and recover this classical tradition of liberal arts learning including scholè this ability to rest and contemplate, so it’s hard.
Pam: A couple of weeks ago you said that you thought that Morning Time put children into a disposition for learning. Could you kind of unpack that a little bit and then talk about what you mean by that?

Dr. Perrin: That’s a great question and the way I’d like to answer that is again, do an appeal to the liturgical tradition of the church as an analogy. Imagining going to your church, say it starts at 10am, and you come in at 10:00, and at 10:00 sharp your pastor begins to preach a stem winding sermon, with no preparation, welcome, and starts to read a Scripture passage and then he’s off and going preaching. When we come into the presence of God we prepare ourselves. We God appeared to Moses He said “take off your sandals.” There’s a kind of preparation. There’s the need to be cleansed before a Holy God, so it’s natural before one of the first things we do is we confess our sin when we come into the presence of God, it’s normal that we also give gratitude for the forgiveness of sins so a hymn of praise is often appropriate, and of course, there is sometimes a recitation of a creed where we’re together confessing what we believe as the church, together, that’s a part of the traditional liturgy, and then there’s a sermon where the Word of God is opened and preached before us, and then there’s celebration of the sacrament of the Lord’s supper or communion, and this is a time when all five senses are employed to engage just in the reality of the Gospel. If you will, the Lord’s supper itself or communion is an extended period of contemplation of the Gospel. Some theologians have called the visible Word, the Word preached are words that hang in the air, the Word of God, the communion is visible, the five senses where contemplating the same Gospel that perhaps we’ve heard about. So, by extension, in a Morning Time or a class, we could think through those elements of liturgy; is there a prelude, what would your prelude be that would prepare for you what’s going to come, so if you’re going to study some aspect of creation or truth, goodness, and beauty, it might be good to say, what is there to confess, what petition is there to ask for, what do I seek? It’s common in homeschools and Christian schools to have a brief prayer before we begin, but often it’s kind of perfunctory and it’s not very thoughtful, so a good church service that’s thought out will prepare you well for the sermon, for the songs that you’re going to sing. So there’s a rhetorical analysis here as well. It flows, it moves somewhere and then it properly leaves as well with a processional and a benediction. So I have found it helpful and Jenny Rallens is one who some folks have heard about and thought a lot about liturgical learning and tried to implement it in a classical Christian school setting. I’ve found it helpful to use those liturgical movements in a worship service cultivating my imagination or spur my imagination to think how I would actually teach. So, I’m sorry, Pam, that I’m not as clear sometimes at giving really good practical examples but I think when your listeners hear that because they’re intelligent teachers and parents they start thinking about teaching math or history or literature, they start really deeply contemplating even the forms of liturgy and applying it to a class or a Morning Time they will properly dispose their children to enter into encountering truth, goodness, and beauty, God Himself, and the various parts that they’re studying.

Pam: And that’s something I have not really thought about myself and now it will be churning over in my mind throughout the rest of the evening, I’m sure, thinking about those ideas of modeling Morning Time after the liturgical practices that go on in a church service and so I think that’s great advice, and I think you’re right, the listeners will be able to take that and maybe in ways that they’ve never done before, look at their own church services and kind of pick them apart a little bit, it’s not something we want to do often to a church service, we really just want to go and experience it but if you’re thoughtfully trying to order a Morning Time in your home that’s going to put children in a disposition for learning, I don’t think you could have a better model than that, taking that and pulling it apart a little bit and looking at the different practices and then using it as a model I think is going to be very helpful to a lot of people. If we wanted to know more about scholè practices or some of these ritual practices that we’ve been talking about, what would you recommend for further study?

Dr. Perrin: Three books come to mind. One book is a more general book that addresses the recovery of liberal arts learning and that’s The Liberal Arts Tradition, A Philosophy of Christian Classical Education by Kevin Clark and Ravi Jain, they have some chapters in their book on piety and on gymnastic and musical education that are relevant to this idea, particularly musical education as a cultivation of wonder or an education in wonder. They excel at that. That’s one book. Another book is The Intellectual Life, It’s Spirit, Conditions, Methods by A. G. Sertillanges, he’s a French monk. It’s a classic work, it’s a little bit challenging to read in some respects, it’s written in the French, translated into English, but he recovers this idea that to be a student (and that’s what he means by intellectuals, to be a student not necessarily to be a really smart person) our souls must be cultivated in some important virtues like constancy, perseverance, temperance, courage, humility, and love. And this is so important to be able to be at rest we have to have cultivated virtues; these virtues have to be cultivated in a student. Another book that addresses this directly is a book by Josef Peiper, a German writing in the 1990’s, a German theologian and philosopher, called Leisure: the Basis of Culture or Scholè: the Basis of Culture. It’s also a challenging read because of it’s translated from German into English but it recovers scholè very, very well, so I would just caution your readers that The Liberal Arts Tradition will be the easiest read of these three. The Intellectual Life isn’t that challenging actually, but the Peiper’s book will be a challenge. Peiper also, on kindle, you can get his collected essays, and there’s some wonderful essays collected by Josef Peiper on the subject of scholè. And then finally, I would just mention that book 7 and 8 of Aristotle’s politics and I think Chapter 8 is a pretty quick chapter so the reading isn’t as long as you think in those chapters he talks about scholè from the ancient Greek perspective.

Pam: And as somebody who’s recently had a little bit of experience with Aristotle he’s not as daunting as some of us might feel.

Dr. Perrin: That’s right.

Pam: I found him a little more approachable than I expected him to be, definitely something work looking into.

Dr. Perrin: It depends on what you read of his, if you read metaphysics you might find that challenging but his politics and his ethics are very accessible.

Pam: Yes. Yes. Well, Dr. Perrin, thank you so much for coming on and chatting with us today about this idea of restful learning and also these liturgical practices and how we can use them in our Morning Time to bring that restful learning to our homeschools.

Dr. Perrin: You’re very welcome, thank you for having me Pam , and all the best to you as you help other homeschooling parents to recover some of these great ideas and traditions.

Pam: For today’s Basket Bonus we have for you guys a worksheet and the worksheet is broken into two parts. The first part of the worksheet are a few leading questions to walk you through doing one of those five senses surveys that Dr. Perrin talked about in the podcast. So, the upper section is about that and then on the bottom section we have a few questions that are going to help you evaluate some of the traditions of your own faith practice and how you might bring those into your morning time to create some ritual. So we hope you find this worksheet really helpful to you as you start thinking about scholè and ritual in your Morning Time and in your homeschool. You can download your Basket Bonus by heading on over to the Show Notes for this episode and that would be EDSnapshots.com/YMB4. We hope you enjoy.
And there you have it, another episode of Your Morning Basket. Now if you would like to get links to all of Dr. Perrin’s book recommendations or any of the other things we talked about on the show today you can find those in the Show Notes for this particular episode and that is at EDSnapshots.com/YMB4. We link everything up there for you to make it easy to find along with the Basket Bonus worksheet for this episode. And I just want to thank you guys for all of your wonderful comments and encouragement on the podcast, it’s been really great, and for those of you who have left ratings and reviews in iTunes we really appreciate those too. That’s it for now, we’ll be back in a couple of weeks with another episode and until then we encourage you to keep pursuing Truth, Goodness, and Beauty in your homeschool.

Key Ideas about Choosing What is Best for Morning Time

The ancient concept of scholé is a potential antidote to the worries, distractions, and busyness of contemporary life. Scholé is restful learning that allows us time to contemplate truth, beauty, and goodness.

Scholé need not mean sitting quietly and doing nothing. When we engage in activities that are life- giving and delightful, we are practicing scholé. Morning Time is an opportunity to point our children and ourselves toward truth, beauty, and goodness. Morning Time can put us all into a disposition for learning and help us let go of restrictive ideas about what education does and does not look like. Your own religious tradition is the best place to look for liturgical practices to adopt for the home

Find what you want to hear:

  • [2:40] overview of scholé
  • [7:02] how scholé can counteract homeschool worry
  • [9:55] the active nature of scholé
  • [13:27] scholé with real kids
  • [21:10] drawing from religious tradition when adopting liturgical practices for the home
  • [21:52] disordered habits
  • [24:49] 5-senses inventory
  • [26:33] more ideas for simple liturgical practices
  • [29:32] how Pam uses Children’s Daily Prayer
  • [30:29] truth in mathematics
  • [31:54] Morning Time putting children into a disposition for learning
  • [36:34] resources for further study on scholé

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Thanks for your reviews

  • Great!!!
    by Eloblah from United States

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

  • New home schooling mom
    by A prit from United States

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

  • Morning Time Magic!
    by DrewSteadman from United States

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

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

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

  • So excited for 2020!
    by JCrutchf from United States

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Super Helpful!
    by Jennlee C from United States

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

  • Practical Inspiration
    by Mamato3activeboys from Australia

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

  • So many great ideas!
    by Parent 98765 from Malaysia

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

  • Joy
    by Ancon76 from United States

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

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

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

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

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

  • Love it!
    by s chenvmv from United States

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

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

    Love this!

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

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

  • Wonderful resource!
    by honebubble from United States

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

  • A wonderful podcast!
    by NoName2018 from Canada

    Great ideas and interesting guests - thanks Pam!!

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

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

  • Such great choices of guests
    by andinic from United Kingdom

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

  • Great
    by WifeyKayla from United States

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

  • Interesting ideas
    by Lisa1932 from Canada

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

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

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

  • Excellent!
    by Jodylleigh from United States

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

  • Truly an inspiration!
    by Soaring2him from United States

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Thanks Pam!
    by BraveMomma from United States

    So many great ideas every single week! Thanks!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Hope for the weary
    by MomToTheMasses from United States

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

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

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

  • Mamma of Five
    by Mamma of Five from United States

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

  • Great Homeschool Resource
    by KS Becky R from United States

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

  • Really great!
    by BeeGerW from United States

    I love hearing all these ideas!

  • californiafamily
    by californiafamily from United States

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

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

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

  • First Things First
    by Lukenoah from United States

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

  • So helpful!
    by jofcrich from Australia

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

  • Great resource
    by Ejs0928 from United States

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

  • Amazing!
    by CDefnall from United States

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

  • Inspiring and enlightening
    by spycej from United States

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

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

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

  • One of my favorites
    by FaithAZ from United States

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

  • Great Ideas
    by Hiphooray from United States

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

  • TaraVos
    by TaraVos from United States

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

  • Lots of useful information
    by Kristizy from United States

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

  • <3!!!
    by Momo35556 from United States

    I love this podcast! So helpful and encouraging.

  • Lovely & Inspiring
    by kashley75 from United States

    Thank you so much for this podcast!

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • So Helpful!
    by KGMom2Four from United States

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

  • A Lovely Show!
    by Webseitler from United States

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

  • Awesome homeschooling resource!
    by Liddleladie81 from United States

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

  • Great hosts!
    by Homeschool_chat from United States

    I always look forward to this podcast!

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

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

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

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

  • Awesome!
    by Apples20091 from United States

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

  • Encouraging and Motivating!
    by Cat11223 from United States

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

  • So many ideas!
    by Speterson781 from United States

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

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

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

  • Perfect for the Homeschool Mom
    by JoshJamie from United States

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

  • SongsofJubilee
    by SongsofJubilee from United States

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

  • Love it!
    by Ekrasovec7 from United States

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

  • So encouraging!
    by A Merry Heart from United States

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

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

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

  • Refreshing
    by Bless-Us-3 from Canada

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

  • So helpful and inspiring!
    by KSR1 from United States

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

  • Inspiring
    by Jaranda98 from United States

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

  • An inspiring and encouraging podcast
    by Kellibird1111 from United States

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

  • Honey for the Homeschooling Heart
    by SuperNOVAmom from United States

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

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

    These podcasts helped transform our homeschooling!

  • Great parenting resource
    by sullivanjessicak from United States

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

  • Thank you!
    by Nasiatel from United States

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

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

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

  • Top Notch
    by Wvshaddox from United States

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

  • Great Morning Time tips!
    by redhedcatie from United States

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

  • So Inspiring!
    by Frau Linds from United States

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

  • Wonderful!
    by Kellybireta from United States

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

  • Excellent practical advise!
    by Foxycook from United States

    Really enjoying this so far!

  • Very encouraging!
    by WMGardener from United States

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

  • A great resource!
    by gejake from United States

    Very inspiring and informative as I begin my homeschooling journey

  • Love This Podcast
    by Earthmuffins from United States

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

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

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

  • Great Podcast!
    by Greggtrisha from United States

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

  • Treasure
    by TasmanianBec from Australia

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

  • Jeannie in Ohio
    by Jeannie in Ohio from United States

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

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

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

  • Excellent Host
    by meghanlou from United States

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

  • Helpful and fun!
    by HornGal88 from United States

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

  • LOVE IT!
    by sassercj from United States

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

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

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

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

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

  • What’s important
    by sncstraub from United States

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

  • New listener and hooked!
    by Bytesofmemory from United States

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

  • Great!
    by Wvshaddox from United States

    Encouragement for homeschool.

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

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

  • Encouraging and informative!
    by sarahdempsen from United States

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

  • A great resource!
    by Bookgirl630 from United States

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

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

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

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

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

  • Timely
    by AggieRudy3 from United States

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

  • Thanks!
    by heyh2 from United States

    Thanks for the new podcast. Loving it!

  • Wonderful podcast with practical advice
    by Victorzvaliant from United States

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

  • Changed our Homeschool Morning routine
    by HeatherinSC from United States

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

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

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

  • Inspiring and Uplifting
    by vabjohnson from United States

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

  • Bringing Joy
    by Louisiana Mommy T from United States

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

  • Great podcast!
    by corew50 from United States

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

  • Inspiring, yet practical
    by mamato3cs from United States

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

  • Super Helpful & Encouraging
    by Sanibel4ever from United States

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

  • Great Poscast
    by Sarah B R from United States

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Inspiring and refreshing!
    by BugTurner from United States

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

  • Brilliant
    by SHTirm from United Kingdom

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

  • Excellent!
    by RC5476 from United States

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

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

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

  • Inspiring!
    by Mamato8 from United States

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

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

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

  • Wonderful
    by BGTwinsMom from United States

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

  • So Inspiring!
    by bethenyn from United States

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

  • Inspiring and thought provoking!
    by Pascualamb from United States

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

  • Affirming & helpful
    by BOLDturquoise from United States

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

  • Inspiring
    by Amongst Lovely Things from United States

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

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

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

  • Your Morning Basket
    by inakamama from Australia

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

  • Helpful & inspiring!
    by starlingsfive from United States

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

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  • dawn says:

    Dr. Perrin could talk at me all day. I really like what he says about teaching math from a foundation of it’s pointing us toward God’s characteristics …immutability, infinity, etc. (I wish I could find the spot, I’d like to note it down.) I did find this part, too: “take 5 minutes of that time to … contemplate some aspect of math we’re going to enjoy and delight in math in some way and take our time.” That may make some changes in our school.

    • Pam Barnhill says:

      Dawn – We will be working on a listener’s guide for the first season but it won’t be out until December at least.

  • Kellylynn says:

    This was fantastic. Thank you!

    • Kellylynn says:

      Also, thank you so much for the Five Senses Survey worksheet 🙂 I’m so excited to get starting!

  • KarenC says:

    Pam, I can’t even believe how timely this podcast was for me. It was just what I needed to hear. Thank you so much for answering the call and supporting us who are in the trenches trying to find our way! May God bless you abundantly!!

  • Ashley says:

    What a fabulous talk! I’m so stuck in the interior of my mind that I completely forget to give priority towards the senses. One of my goals is to order our day in the liturgical hours, so I taught the kids the common invitatory psalm, 95. It’s a start, right?!?

    Dr. Perrin just fills my heart and mind with so much to ponder. I love that. Thank you for such a wonderful podcast!

  • I really appreciate this podcast and it was very timely too. I have been wanting to incorporate more liturgy into our everyday life. And what a neat idea to see morning time as a liturgical time. Thanks for this podcast!

  • Debbie says:

    My son chooses a candle to light each morning before we settle down to work. This has become part of our ritual. Now I am thinking about other ways to enhance our work space. Thank you for this encouraging podcast.

  • Stacey says:

    I was thinking about the 5 senses some more (and thanks for the printable!) — we were already doing some of this, but I like the idea of thinking it through more. I would love to hear from some others any ideas they might have for a few of the senses though — feel and taste, in particular. Looking to the church, I don’t see those elements, unless you count taking the sacrament…or maybe a potluck kind of thing. In our home, a younger child might work with playdough or kinetic sand perhaps for “feeling” whilst listening to a read aloud and there could always be a snack, I guess, for “taste” but aside from those ideas, I’m kinda stumped. Any thoughts?

    • Becky says:

      In our routine, for smell I usually have an essential oil going in the room and for taste I make vanilla milk because the word of The Lord is sweet as honey! For sight we light a candle and we feel the rosary beads and bow our heads or bodies at the name of Jesus and the Glory be and we hear the scripture and hymns. For the little ones I have coloring pages and my warning is that if we can do it well and cheerfully we can just do one scriptural decade but if we argue we will do the whole thing. They all seem to love it and many times ask to do more. And when I’m too busy… The rest of the day is aweful! So I’ve learned it’s worth all the extra effort.

    • Pam Barnhill says:

      In winter you could do Morning Time with a fire burning in the fireplace. On the couch, snuggled under blankets might be good for some families — ours does better at the table, alas. As for taste popcorn is a regular treat at our MT. We put a big communal bowl in the middle of the table. Hot chocolate is also a favorite. Allowing those little touches I don’t let them fool with during table work helps set MT apart a bit.

  • Gabbi says:

    This is awesome. I am so glad I found you via Contemplative Homeschool. Thank you for compiling all of this. I don’t homeschool due to having to work outside the home, but I try to incorporate such ideas with my four boys and even try to produce some helpful items.

  • Heidi Jones says:

    Pam-do you know when the Children’s Daily Prayer starts? They already have the 2016-2017 one up on the website. I don’t know if I should purchase that one now or wait till closer to summer/fall.

  • Jenny says:

    Ah, this made me think of the blessing to begin Mass and to end Mass. What a wonderful way to begin? end? both? our morning time. I think we typically hear of blessing our children before bed, but now I’m thinking of blessing them to start their day.

    • Pam Barnhill says:

      Yes Jenny! I agree. We use “The Lord be with you” at the beginning and end of MT. It is a wonderful way to remember His presence in our lives.

  • Danielle says:

    What is the Latin curriculum that you said you use that Dr. Perrin teaches?

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