Your Morning Basket

By Pam Barnhill

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Join us as we delve into the principles and practices of homeschool Morning Time aka Morning Basket or Circle Time. With both experts in their fields and mentor-moms, we will discuss everything from how to choose the right books for a wide age range, to how to memorize a poem, to how to get the kids to sit still. All your burning Morning Time questions answered right here -- every other Tuesday.

Episode Date
YMB #77 Awaking Wonder: A Conversation with Sally Clarkson

On today's episode of the podcast I welcome Sally Clarkson, author and homeschool mom, to chat about her soon-to-be-released book Awaken Wonder

Education does not have to be difficult or stifling. Find out how homeschool families can create delightful learning based on good books and beautiful experiences.

For show notes and episode downloads, visit:

Aug 11, 2020
YMB #76 Homeschooling Kindergarten: A Conversation with Rebecca Zipp

Nothing strikes fear in the homeschool mom more than starting kindergarten with that first child. I remember wondering how I was ever really going to make this work. (Pssst -- it has!) 

I am joined on the podcast today by Rebecca Zipp, a homeschooling mom who has put much thought into a gentle kindergarten. 

We have a message for the new homeschooling moms out there. It is going to be ok.

Of course, we also spend quite a bit of time talking about how Morning Time fits into the homeschool kindergarten (hint: they are a match made in heaven), how much time you should spend doing kindergarten, and what are the goals of a kindergarten education. Listen, mama, and be encouraged!

For the show notes and episode downloads visit:

Jul 28, 2020
YMB #75 Teaching History through Story: A Conversation with Rea Berg

Rea Berg loves books and stories. She has become quite the collector of them through the years as she homeschooled her six children and then later went on to found Beautiful Feet Books.

On today's show Rea joins me to chat about how we can use literature to teach history from story. We will be chatting about some of the challenges homeschool families face in the teaching of history, why stories and living books make an effective approach to history study, and how to pivot from using textbooks to using living books instead -- even in middle and high school. Enjoy!

Jul 14, 2020
YMB #74 Celebrate Books: A Conversation with Mary Wilson

I am joined today on the podcast by Mary Wilson, a homeschool mom and book lover who believes that fun should be an integral part of the homeschool day. In this episode Mary and I discuss the idea of celebrating books in big and small ways. We chat about some of Mary's past book celebrations, how she got started, and why she thinks this is a unique and important way to introduce your kids to literature.

We also chat about how you can make book celebrations doable and bring a little bit of this kind of practice into a weekly Morning Time setting. Don't miss this one!

For more information and a downloadable transcript and time stamps visit

May 26, 2020
YMB #73 Finding Truth in Every Subject: A Conversation with Brandy Vencel
On today's episode of the podcast I am chatting with a good friend Brandy Vencel all about which subjects in our homeschools are appropriate for Morning Time. Are some activities and subjects holier than others? Are there any subjects that do not pertain to God?
These are all fascinating questions. While we do not claim to have a definitive answer we welcome you to join us as we begin the discussion. Let us know what you think in the comments.
For the downloads including transcript and time stamps or to leave a comment, visit
May 12, 2020
YMB #72 Help! My Kid Hates Morning Time
What do you do when you have a kid (or two or more) who do not like Morning Time? As much as we want to think that our kids will be as enamored with the idea of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty as we are, sometimes that just isn't the case -- especially when we start building a Morning Time habit after our homeschools are already established.
Today I am joined by Dawn Garrett, Community Manager here at Your Morning Basket, and we chat about solutions to this very problem. We talk about flexing schedules, honoring your kids' time, age-appropriate activities, and yes, when it is okay to require them to stay and have a decent attitude.
All of that wrapped up in one (hopefully) helpful show.
For podcast downloads and resources be sure to visit
Apr 28, 2020
YMB #71 Nature Study Hacking: A Conversation with Joy Cherrick

Today on the podcast I am joined by Joy Cherrick, homeschooling mom of six and author of Nature Study Hacking. This series of lesson plans boils down nature journaling to a do-able list that moms everywhere can actually use.

On the show Joy and I chat about the value of studying nature, the four parts of nature study, and ideas for how to make nature journaling a habit that your kids want to do on their own. Enjoy!

More information, downloads, and show notes at

Apr 14, 2020
YMB #70 The Magic of Folk Music: A Conversation with Professor Carol

Dr. Carol Reynolds joins me on today's show to give a delightful lesson about folk music. In this episode Prof. Carol enthusiastically shares about the value of folk music for our kids, what exactly a folk song is anyway, and how to get started studying them in your Morning Time.

Full of wonderful stories and great resources, I think this is an episode you will really enjoy.

Don't forget to grab your episode downloads at

Mar 31, 2020
YMB #69 Morning Time and the Bilingual Homeschool: A Conversation with Lauren Stengele
I am joined on the podcast today by Lauren Stengele, a non-native Spanish speaker who is passionate about raising bilingual kids. Lauren is teaching her kids Spanish in order to reclaim her own Mexican heritage and she is using Morning Time to make this a reality in her homeschool.
In this episode of the podcast Lauren and I chat about how she incorporates two languages intro her school day, what makes Morning Time such a great vehicle for second language learning and also about the two biggest indicators for success in raising bilingual kids. It was a fun episode.
Don't forget to grab your episode downloads including your Basket Bonus Spanish memory work for your Morning Time at
Mar 17, 2020
YMB #68 Choosing Books for Your Morning Time: A Conversation with Jessica Lawton
On today's episode of the podcast I am chatting with a good friend and author of the Morning Time plans at Jessica Lawton is a bibliophile and owner of a library of over 3000 books. She is also great a choosing just the right books to use in Morning Time.
On today's podcast Jessica and I chat about how to choose the best books about a topic, which books she thinks are worth owning versus merely borrowing, and how to use different kinds of books for different purposes.
Mar 03, 2020
YMB #67 Lenten Practices for Everyone

Today's episode of the Your Morning Basket podcast has not one, but two great interviews. First up on the show is my good friend Fr. Doug Martin who is here to talk about the spiritual observation of Lent and how all Christians can practice this in their families.

As we were preparing that interview we were approached by author Asheritah Ciuciu, an evangelical author who has her own Lenten devotional recently published by Moody Publishers. We decided to have Ahseritah on the show as well to talk about her new book and the practice of Lent from her perspective.

A wonderful benefit is that both guests focus on how we can observe Lent within our families and use it to join our sufferings with Christ, slow down and grieve our sins, and experience the joy of the Resurrection more fully. I hope you enjoy this episode.

Feb 18, 2020
YMB #66 Art Appreciation for Your Ears: A Conversation with Alisha and Olivia Gratehouse

Today on the podcast I am joined by Alisha Gratehouse and her daughter Olivia from Masterpiece Society. As fans of art, Alisha and Olivia have started a new art appreciation podcast that takes a fun and "cheeky" look at artists and their work. In fact, it is quickly becoming a favorite of the teens and tweens in my house.

In this episode of the show discover what is unique about the Masterpiece Maker's approach to studying the artists, why it is far from boring, and how you can use this free resource in your own homeschool Morning Time to study the great masters.

Feb 03, 2020
YMB #65 Remembrance and Grammar: A Conversation with Cindy Rollins
Cindy Rollins, mom of nine and “Mama of Morning Time” (so-named by me!), is back on the podcast this week to chat about Stratford Caldecott’s Beauty in the Word — specifically the portion on grammar, or what Caldecott calls “remembering.” Join us as we chat about anamnesis, what it is and how it is alike and different what we already associate with memory. Listen for:
  1. The idea of anchoring or tethering our children to a cultural heritage.
  2. What are some Morning Time elements that help to convey this cultural heritage.
  3. How Cindy handles the aspects of our heritage that are not positive or admirable.
  4. The connection between language and memory and how language helps form relationships with ideas.
  5. How technology is both a blessing and a curse when it comes to our efforts to be people who practice Remembering.

Read the show notes at

Jan 21, 2020
YMB #64 Memory Work from a Mom’s Perspective: A Conversation with Amy Sloan

Today on the podcast I am joined by Amy Sloan from and mom of five kids ages 4 to 14. For about the past five years Amy has made memory work a central part of her homeschool day.

In this episode Amy and I discuss how to be consistent with memory work, how you find great pieces to memorize, and practical ways you can make this happen in your home.

We also chat about the debate between memorizing facts versus spending your time memorizing other worthy passages, how to make it work for multiple ages, and even how to deal with attitudes if they arise.

Jan 07, 2020
YMB #63 Transitioning to Morning Time with Older Kids with Cindy West

What happens to your morning time as your kids get older? Does it change or do we stop requiring them to attend? Can your teen outgrow Morning Time? These are the questions that Cindy West from Our Journey Westward joins me to answer today.

In this episode of the podcast we talk about how the tone of Morning Time changes as your kids get older, how to get their buy in with what you are doing, and what a Morning Time with older kids can look like. Enjoy!

Show notes at

Dec 24, 2019
YMB #62 Personal and Communal Prayer: A Conversation with Christopher and Christine Perrin
Today we welcome Christopher and Christine Perrin to the podcast to chat about prayer in your homeschool, Morning Time, and personal time. It is a fascinating conversation. Join us as we discuss:
  • How prayer can be both personal discipline and corporate practice.
  • What are the best ways to teach and model the practice of prayer?
  • Tips for modeling something when we are just learning it ourselves.
  • Different types of prayer and the value of each.
  • Tips for praying the Scriptures.
  • And recommendations of prayers and more to read for moms.
This was a helpful and fascinating conversation I think you will enjoy!
Show notes at
Dec 10, 2019
YMB #61 Morning Time with Teens: A Conversation with Heather Woodie

Today we are joined on the podcast by Heather Woodie of Blog She Wrote, mom of four young adults. Heather has been practicing Morning Time in her family for a number of years, and has seen a shift in the practice as she has graduated two kids and is now left home with two more teens to go.

In this episode of the podcast we chat about:

  • how Heather's Morning Time changed has changed over the years.
  • why is Morning Time still a valuable practice in the teen years.
  • what kind of adjustments and challenges a teen-only Morning Time brings.
  • how Heather's role at Morning Time changed as the kids have gotten older.
  • and how Heather has been able to use topics from Morning Time as coursework and credits for the purposes of high school transcripts
  • plus so much more.

Sit back and enjoy as we dive into Morning Time with the teen set.

Download the Christmas Morning Time Plans.

Nov 27, 2019
YMB #60 The Truth About Myth: A Conversation with Angelina Stanford
She's back! One of my favorite guests ever is back again on the Your Morning Basket podcast. Last fall when we had Angelina Stanford on the show to talk to us about why fairy tales are important reading for your kids, you let us know how much you loved the episode and Angelina's enthusiasm for the topic.
Today she is no less enthusiastic as we dive into what exactly myth is (surprised me), Justin Martyr and his "seeds of truth," why medieval Christians fought Viking invaders to preserve myths, and what we as modern Christians can learn from these stories.
It is a fabulous episode of the podcast. We hope you enjoy.
Dec 04, 2018
YMB #59 The Abolition of Man and Education: A Conversation with Dr. Jason Jewell

The Abolition of Man by C.S. Lewis is a series of essays on the state of education and truth in the 21st Century. A slim volume, yet dense with ideas, it is a worthy read for any parent dedicated to the education of their child in Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.

Today we have special guest Dr. Jason Jewell with us to help us unpack and understand Lewis's work and begin to learn how it applies to the education of our children.

Nov 20, 2018
YMB #58 Singing in Morning Time: Yes, you can! A Conversation with Heather Bunting

Heather Bunting is passionate about helping families learn to sing -- even if mom doesn't think she can carry a tune at all. Through her free YouTube channel, Children of the Open Air, Heather helps make solfege lessons, hymns, and folks songs accessible for homeschool families everywhere.

In this episode of the podcast, Heather talks about the skill of learning to sing, how we can incorporate singing lessons into our Morning Time, and what to do about those who feel they lack the talent to succeed. I invite you to listen and be inspired to bring singing to your own Morning Time.

Nov 06, 2018
YMB #57 Morning Time on the Go

If you ever need to take Morning Time on the road then this episode is for you. Dawn Garrett joins me to chat about why and how we can pack up our Morning Times and take them with us -- getting homeschooling done even when we can't be at home. If you are out of the house a day or more each week then this episode is for you.

Oct 23, 2018
YMB #56 A Morning Time Mentor: A Conversation with Heather Tully

Have you ever wanted another mom to come along beside you and show you exactly what Morning Time looks like? Maybe, you think, I could just stop by her home and be a fly on the wall and unpack the mysteries of this Morning Time thing? Heather Tully has done just that with other moms in her community and she has been doing it for years.

On this episode of the podcast Heather joins me to talk about what this kind of mentoring can look like and how we might reach out and help other moms learn about Morning Time. And since she is a mom of ten doing Morning Time with the toddler to the teenager, Heather also shares a ton of wisdom in this episode about how to make Morning Time work with a large age range. This one is not to be missed!

Oct 09, 2018
YMB #55 Story and the Redeemed Imagination: A Conversation with Andrew Peterson

Andrew Peterson knows a thing or two about a good story and creativity. He is on the show today to talk about sharing both with your kids, his work with the Rabbit Room as a place for children's authors to support one another and grow, and a little something he calls the redeemed imagination.

It's a fascinating conversation with topics as diverse as C.S. Lewis, Gerard Manley Hopkins, and Harry Potter. Enjoy!

Sep 25, 2018
YMB #54 Natural Foreign Language Learning: A Conversation with Adelaide Olguin

Mom's are natural teachers for a language -- after all moms teach their kids language all the time. Foreign language can work the same way as a first language -- simply start with words and phrases you use everyday and build on one or two at a time. Soon you will know more words in a new language than you ever imagined. Adelaide Olguin is on the show today to tell us about how this natural language learning works and how you can begin to implement this in your home to learn new languages with your kids. It's a fun and encouraging episode, so don't miss it!

Sep 11, 2018
YMB #53 Character education for families: A Conversation with Heather McMillan

Welcome to a brand new season of the Your Morning Basket Podcast. We are kicking off the year with an important but fun conversation with the creator of We Choose Virtues, Heather McMillian. I love Heather's enthusiasm for helping teach kids about virtues. Drawing on her years of experience as a teacher and children's pastor, Heather has created a system that opens a dialogue in families about good character and helps parents go beyond just securing good behavior and really reach the hearts of their kids.

Aug 28, 2018
YMB #52 Exploring Math Through Literature: A Conversation with Becky McIntosh

Becky McIntosh can see the beauty and joy in math. She says it comes from practice -- that she makes a special point to look for the beauty of mathematics everyone. Lucky for us, she is on a mission to help other homeschool moms find the same joy in math as well. She is here today on the podcast with an inspiring look at how we can use literature to connect our kids to cool, interesting mathematical concepts. This one is a lot of fun.

May 08, 2018
YMB #51 Studying Geography Through Literature: A Conversation with Sarita Holzmann

Sarita Holzmann was a reluctant homeschooler but soon came to love it. With a heart for missionaries serving overseas and the people they serve, Sarita has always had an eye towards bringing geography to life using literature. On this episode of the podcast she joins us to discuss why geography is important and why literature is the best way to experience that. Get your notebooks handy -- there is more than one great book recommendation in this episode.

Apr 24, 2018
YMB #50 Using the Liturgical Year as a Guide: A Conversation With Andrea Kirk Assaf

Andrea Kirk Assaf homeschools on three continents as her family splits their time between Michigan and Rome as well as spending part of the year visiting her husband's family in Lebanon. Today she joins Pam on this episode of the podcast to talk about Calendar School, her Morning Time variation that includes elements of the Church year and the seasonal cycles.

Andrea has a unique take on Morning Time planning that is fascinating and inspiring. We hope you enjoy!

Apr 10, 2018
YMB #49 The Read Aloud Family: A Conversation with Sarah Mackenzie

Sarah Mackenzie is on a mission -- a mission to help every family know that the importance of reading aloud goes beyond building bigger test scores and better vocabularies. The importance of reading aloud goes to the very heart of the relationships in your home.

Join Pam and Sarah on the podcast as they chat why this is even more relevant to our culture today than it was 20 years ago, practical tips on how to get it done (even with a bunch) of kids, and the books that Sarah and Pam can never agree to like. The gloves are coming off on this episode -- don't miss it.

Mar 27, 2018
YMB 48 Better Together: A New Book

This week Dawn Garrett and I are on the show with a very special announcement! Better Together is a new book all about Morning Time and it is hitting the bookstores today.

Dawn and I dish about the book, other Morning Time resources, and how Morning Time is a great fit for every kind of homeschooler. Check it out!

Mar 14, 2018
YMB #47 Morning Time and the Only Child: A Conversation with Tina Roman

It's a question we get asked often and it is a good one: How do I do Morning Time when I have just one child? How do I keep it from looking like the rest of my school day?

Today Tina Roman, mom of one, is here on the show to talk to us about what Morning Time looks like in her home. Hint: It's not as quiet as you might think it would be. Enjoy!

Feb 27, 2018
YMB #46 A Morning Time Variation: A Conversation with Mystie Winckler

In addition to your more traditional Morning Time we are hearing from moms more and more about Morning Time variations that they are using to enhance their homeschools. Today on the podcast Mystie Winckler is back talking about her Elementary Lessons. These are a separate, mini-co-op style session her family does with another family a couple of times each week. But it also looks suspiciously like Morning Time. Check it out.

Feb 13, 2018
YMB #45 The Importance of Story: A Conversation with S. D. Smith
We are kicking off the new season of the Your Morning Basket podcast with a conversation about story. And there is no one better equipped to talk to us about a good story and the impact it can have on our kids than master-story teller S.D. Smith.
Author of the enthralling Green Ember series of books, Sam is here today to chat with us about what makes a good story and how these tales shape our kids. Pulling from his own childhood and what stories have meant to him, this is an episode you won't want to miss.
Jan 30, 2018
YMB #44 Catechism and Memory: A Conversation with Geoffrey Reiter

What is a catechism and why is it important to teach to our children? In this episode of the podcast Dr. Geoffrey Reiter joins me to talk about how catechism and memory shape us along with some practical tips for implementing catechism memorization into our Morning Time.

It's a fascinating conversation full of practical advice (including which catechisms to use) and things to ponder.

Dec 05, 2017
YMB #43 Subjects and Virtue in Morning Time: A Conversation with Cindy Rollins

Listener favorite Cindy Rollins is back on the podcast in this special cross-over episode between Your Morning Basket and the Mason Jar Podcast. Drawing on Cindy's vast experience, we chat about which subjects are best for Morning Time plus a whole lot more.

Listen in and then search out The Mason Jar on your favorite podcast app to get the rest of the story.

Nov 21, 2017
YMB SP2: Ack! It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas

The Advent and Christmas seasons are almost upon us and homeschool moms are looking for ways to change their pace and do something special for the holiday seasons. Today Pam and Dawn Garrett discuss options for celebrating while still learning until your holiday break. Tons of good ideas in this one!

Find links and resources at

Nov 16, 2017
YMB #42 Seeking Truth: A Conversation with Ashley Woleben

What is lectio divina and how can we use this ancient monastic practice in leading our students to truth. Ashley Woleben is on the show today to answer that question and so much more.

Nov 07, 2017
YMB #41 Why Fairy Tales are Not Optional: A Conversation with Angelina Stanford

Angelina Stanford and I started our conversation with a show down.

"I'm going to have to limit you to an hour," I told her.

"You're going to have a hard time with that," was her reply.

Boy was she ever right! I just wanted this conversation about fairy tales to go on and on and on. Fairy tales are a staple of many a childhood -- I know I spent hours as a kid reading from Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson. Thanks to the influence of people like Andrew Pudewa I have been sharing original versions of fairy tales with my own kids for years.

But I have never dug this deep or looked at fairy tales in quite this way before -- Angelina and I dig deep into the history, the objections, the importance and so much more. I have a new favorite episode of the podcast. You might too! Enjoy.

You can find the show notes for this episode at

Oct 24, 2017
YMB #40 A Mother's Morning Basket: A Conversation with Jennifer Mackintosh

All home education begins with self-education -- for mom. In our efforts to learn and grow as the teachers of our children one tool we can use is our own morning basket -- a Mother's Morning Basket.

In this episode Jen Mackintosh is back on the program to tell us all about her own Mother's Morning Basket. We discuss how she plans it, what's inside, and the keys to making it an enjoyable practice.

Oct 10, 2017
YMB #39 Building Relationships with Circle Time: A Conversation with Kendra Fletcher

One of the earliest books I purchased on homeschooling -- way back when my oldest was only four-years-old -- was Kendra Fletcher's Circle Time: Plan the Best Part of Your Day. It was my first introduction to what I would later call Morning TIme. That inspiration is why I wanted to have Kendra on the show today to tell her Circle Time story. I think you will be inspired.

Sep 26, 2017
YMB #38 Morning Time with Middle Grades: A Conversation with Kim Devers

We all know that Morning Time works great when you have younger kids in the house, but what does it look like for middle school? Is it even possible?

The answer is "Yes!" Middle schoolers can thrive in Morning Time and Kim Devers is here today to tell us about how it works with the middle grade kids in her family.

Sep 12, 2017
YMB #37: Loops, Blocks, and Other Schedule Options Morning Time

Learning about loop scheduling five years ago was one of the best things that ever happened to my homeschool. Suddenly I was able to schedule my day in such a way that I never stressed about missing a day in the schedule. Other times, I have used block schedules with much success in my Morning Time to be able to enjoy more subjects in a year.

Both types of scheduling are handy and have benefits. Both types also inspire tons of questions from listeners. So today Dawn and I are happy to bring you a podcast all about blocks, loops, and other schedule options for your Morning Time. Enjoy!

Aug 29, 2017
YMB #36 Invited to Imagine: A Conversation with Sheila Carroll

We all know that we should read to our children, but there are also benefits to the practice of telling our children stories.

On this episode of the podcast Charlotte Mason educator and master storyteller Sheila Carroll is here to talk about the benefits of sharing stories, some techniques to use, and how to enchant your children with wonderful tales.

May 16, 2017
YMB #35 Special Needs and Morning Time: A Conversation with Meghan Dempster

We love to say that Morning Time is for everyone from toddler to mom. No matter what your age, you can always take something from the subjects in Morning Time. This week Meghan Dempster is here to emphasize that message and add to it. Morning Time is beneficial to everyone no matter their abilities and needs as well.

Meghan and I chat about how Morning Time can help kids with special needs as well as how to meet some of the unique challenges that come with doing Morning Time with special needs kids. It's a lovely episode.

May 02, 2017
YMB #34 A More Organic Morning Time: A Conversation with Hayley Beck

Sometimes as much as we want to create an ideal Morning Time habit in our home, something stands in our way. That doesn't mean we have to give up.

Our guest today, Hayley Beck found that by putting aside the idea of an ideal Morning Time she was able to create something that works very well for her family. Hear all about how it works for them in this episode.

Apr 18, 2017
YMB #33 Hymns in Morning Time: A Conversation with Kari Bass

Hymn study has long been a staple of many homeschool Morning Times. One of the greatest gifts you can give your non-readers is the ability to sing along during worship. This week we are chatting with Kari Bass of Hymns at Home about the benefits of studying hymns and some of the resources she has available to make it easier on homeschool families.

Apr 04, 2017
YMB #32 Socratic Discussion and Leading to Truth: A Conversation with Matt Bianco

Over 2000 years ago Socrates used questioning techniques with his students to help lead them to truth. Today, homeschoolers are interested in using the same techniques for the same purpose -- but they wonder how exactly to do it.

This week on the podcast Matt Bianco, Classical homeschooling dad and director of the Lost Tools of Writing for the Circe Institute joins us to explain what Socratic questioning is, why we would want to use it, and how to implement it in our Morning Time.

Mar 21, 2017
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 Southerland. 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!

That is why I loved finding Lynna Southerland. 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!

Mar 07, 2017
YMB #30 Tension in Morning Time: A Conversation with Jennifer Dow

You know you love Morning Time but there is something that pulls at you each time you sit down to do it -- especially if your time is short or your day hasn't gone exactly according to plan. We are often faced with the temptation to skip the true, good, and beautiful so we can get on with the "real" learning -- the math, handwriting, and science. But why?


Join Jennifer Dow and me as we talk about this tension that so many of us feel. In this conversation we discuss that and the meaning of real education.

Feb 21, 2017
YMB #29 Building Family Culture: A Conversation with Audrey Wilkerson

Just over a year-and-a-half ago Audrey Wilkerson and her husband welcomed three little girls into their home through overseas adoption. Facing three children who didn't speak English and had never even been inside a classroom, Audrey used Morning Time to help build relationships in this burgeoning family and the academic and English skills these girls so desperately needed.

This is the story of how Morning Time built a family. Enjoy.

Feb 07, 2017
YMB #28 Morning Time with Boys: A Conversation with Kathy Weitz

One of the struggles we hear about often here at the Your Morning Basket podcast is how do you do Morning Time with boys -- especially resistant boys.

To answer that question we brought in an expert. Kathy Weitz has five boys all of whom are in their teens or older. She knows what it is like to do Shakespeare, poetry, and literature with a passel of males and come out on the other side able to tell the tales.

We are fortunate that she is sharing those stories and tips with us today.

Jan 24, 2017
YMB Special Edition: Planning and Plans for Your Morning Time

Morning Time planning. I bet there is a good chance you either love it or hate it. Or even if you love it, you might also be one of those people at a season in life -- newborn, toddlers, new to Morning Time, BUSY -- that still doesn't want to spend much time actually doing it. You know, though, it is important.

In this special episode Dawn, Jessica, and I chat about Morning Time planning -- why it is important, ways to make it happen, and how we can help you out with a special new product if it isn't something you want to do. Enjoy!

Jan 04, 2017
YMB #27 Mere Motherhood: A Conversation with Cindy Rollins

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

Cindy is no stranger to the messiness of homeschooling, and she shares some of what she has learned in a way that is both humble and encouraging for other moms to hear. We delve into using your philosophy of education as a tool, the importance of appropriate education in the little years, and how a remembrance of the past is quite possible the most important thing for your Morning Time.

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

Dec 13, 2016
YMB #26 Integrating Subjects: A Conversation with Carol Reynolds

It is a question English Moms and Math Moms both dread, "What about the arts?" How am I going to help my child appreciate and love beautiful art, music, and dance? Why should I even bother? Why is this so important when the crowd is clamoring STEM?

Prof. Carol Reynolds is here to answer your questions and more. She is passionate about art, music and how it defines a culture. We are reminded that our children are very expressive beings who naturally find joy in creativity and admire beautiful things. She encourages us with practical advice on how to help our children keep their natural tendency for creative arts, how to integrate the arts into our

She encourages us with practical advice on how to help our children keep their natural tendency for creative arts, how to integrate the arts into our everyday lives, into every subject we teach, and how to do this all without a strong arts background ourselves.

With a gentle reminder that the goal is not to produce an artistic prodigy, but someone who appreciates and can discern the beauty in the arts. She also assures us that this can be done without spending gobs of money on lessons or resources but simply by asking the question, "Why is this beautiful, or ugly." With humor and warmth, Prof. Carol makes the arts sound not only doable for the average homeschool mom but absolutely essential.

Nov 29, 2016
YMB #25 Teaching with Ideas: A Conversation with Brandy Vencel

Your loving your Morning Time with your kids. You have gathered a feast for their minds with living books, poetry, scripture, and Shakespeare, but something is missing. Where are all the deep meaningful conversations you had hoped to have with your children about the big ideas of life?

In this episode, Brandy Vencel joins us to talk about the marriage between facts and ideas, how to draw out big ideas from your living book read alouds using good questions. She encourages us to be patient as we introduce the ideas of virtue to our children.

She also talks about more practical issues such as how to introduce virtues without moralizing, how and why to choose the best literature when introducing big ideas, and which ideas might be more accessible for different ages.

Join us as Brandy helps us tackle the idea of ideas in our Morning Time.

Nov 15, 2016
YMB #24 A New/Old Look at Memory Work: A Conversation with Kevin Vost

In this episode of Your Morning Basket we talk with Dr. Kevin Vost about the virtue of studiousness and the value of memorization. In this fascinating conversation, we are introduced to memory methods taught by church fathers that can help us today.

In the fast paced, information overloaded world we live in today we sometimes loose sight of the value of holding information in our own heads. Dr. Vost encourages us to work our memories because it is our past memories that guide our future behaviors.

Nov 01, 2016
YMB #23 Seeking Truth in Literature: A Conversation with Christian Ditchfield

As a child Christin Ditchfield devoured the Chronicles of Narnia over and over again. As an adult she found that she kept returning to the truth's found in Lewis' work for guidance. As a result she created the Family Guide to Narnia, a book that highlights the Biblical parallels in the works, to help families see the connections between Narnia and Scripture.

Today she is on the podcast to chat with us about Narnia, what we can learn from stories, and easy ways for us to discuss the deeper meanings of literature in our Morning Time.

Oct 18, 2016
YMB #22 Picture Study for Morning Time: An Interview with Emily Kiser

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is on my Homeschool Field Trip Bucket List. Yours too? I want to share the wonder and awe I felt as I looked at the larger than life paintings for the first time.

But how? I am no where near the Met. I know little to nothing about art, except that I do like to look at it. Is this enough? How do I start a picture study with my children? What are we looking for? How can I expect them to respond?

Emily Kiser to the rescue! In this episode of Your Morning Basket, Emily answers these questions and more. She gently tells us how we can add picture study to our basket in baby steps; exposure, enjoyment, and analysis.

Oct 04, 2016
YMB #21 Why Shakespeare? A Conversation with Ken Ludwig

Shakespeare. Whatever feelings you have about the Bard, we can all agree that he was the most influential English writer in history. But why should I bother with Shakespearean language for my littles in Morning Time?

Won't there be plenty of time for that when they are older? More importantly how would I introduce such a daunting mass of literature? What if I don't know much Shakespeare myself? What if I don't even think I like Shakespeare?

Ken Ludwig is a playwright and father who has an infectious love of Shakespeare. He began sharing his love with his children at a very young age. Recently he published How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare, a book detailing this surprisingly simple way to teach the Bard's great works to our children.

Come and enjoy as Ken tells us why and how we should teach Shakespeare, as well as how we can handle the harder concepts. Most importantly, Ken encourages us to push past our fear and enjoy Shakespeare in our Morning Times.

Sep 20, 2016
YMB #20 Song, Stories, and Memories Made Together

Classical music is part of the true, good, and beautiful feast I want to spread before my children. Unfortunately, most days I am at a loss as to how to enjoy it myself. Is there more to classical music than a bunch of strings making, what sounds like to me, just noise?

How do I choose which pieces and composers to introduce? What if we don’t like a piece? Why should I even bother when my child enjoys other types of music?

In this episode of Your Morning Basket, Pam interviews Bonnie Simon, creator of Maestro Classics. Bonnie has found memories of her parents playing the violin and cello as she went to bed, and Saturday classical music concerts on the radio. She gently explains how you can give your child found memories of classical music through stories.

By using stories and listening to classical music together, we can help our children develop a relationship with classical music that will stay with them their whole lives. Come listen and learn how to make musical memories with your children.

Sep 06, 2016
YMB #19 Getting the Year Off to a Good Start

We're starting off a new season of Your Morning Basket with an episode all about planning and preparing for Morning Time. Pam and her good friend Dawn Garrett, who is the coordinator for the Your Morning Basket online community, discuss everything from the first ingredient of a solid Morning Time plan to how to pull ourselves out of those Morning Time slumps. Whether you are brand new to Morning Time this year or a seasoned vet looking for a little inspiration, enjoy!

Aug 23, 2016
YMB #18 Making Math Enjoyable... Really! A Conversation with Kate Snow

We know there must be more to math than just slogging through page after page of multiplication facts, but what? Last time I checked, wondering at geometrical patterns in God's creation was not in the scope and sequence of my math curriculum, but it's something I long for my kids to have opportunities to do.

When can I fit in a math read-aloud or few rounds of one of the logic games collecting dust on the shelf? What about hands-on exploration with big math ideas like probability, estimation, or measurement?  How can I make time for this kind of math in my homeschool?

We are joined on this episode of the podcast by Kate Snow of Kate's Homeschool Math Help. Kate explains that, while skill work in math is certainly important, it really is okay sometimes to play with math without a lesson plan and Morning Time is the place to do just that.

By weaving math explorations, stories, and games into Morning Time, we can put our kids in touch with big ideas and expose them to the beauty found in mathematics.

May 10, 2016
YMB #17 No-Fuss Art for Morning Time: A Conversation with Tricia Hodges

Tricia Hodges is a homeschooling mother of five and the co-creator of the art curriculum You Are an Artist.  Tricia is all about a stress-free approach to sparking a love for art in our children, and she joins us on this episode of the podcast to talk about weaving some easy art projects into Morning Time.

Tricia's go-to medium for simple, forgiving projects is chalk pastel, and she offers a multitude of free chalk pastel tutorials at her blog Hodgepodge. She gives us step-by-step instructions for set-up, clean-up, and everything in between, including some tips for encouraging the reluctant artist (even if that artist happens to be mom). So grab your art smock and get ready to enjoy a great interview!

Apr 26, 2016
YMB #16 Enjoying Shakespeare Together: A Conversation with Mystie Winckler

"To be or not to be." "The course of true love never did run smooth." "All the world's a stage." The language, characters, and stories of William Shakespeare have far-reaching influence for us today in our books, our pop culture, and even our everyday conversations. But despite all this Shakespeare all around us, many of us are still left scratching our heads and wondering how in the world to begin studying the Bard with our students.

We are joined today on the podcast by homeschool grad, homeschool mom, and avid Shakespeare lover, Mystie Winkler of Simply Convivial. Mystie describes how, in just a few minutes a couple of times a week, we can share Shakespeare with our children and create in them not only a familiarity with his work, but also a taste for the beauty of his poetry. When we focus on experiencing, enjoying, and embodying Shakespeare by memorizing passages, watching plays, and maybe even acting out a few scenes ourselves, we can foster a lifelong affection for this beloved figure in English literature.

Apr 12, 2016
YMB #15 Morning Time With Littles: A Conversation with Celeste Cruz

Celeste Cruz is a homeschooling mother of eight who started to implement Morning Time in her home with a stack of picture books at the breakfast table back when her oldest two children were just 5 years old.

Now with several years of Morning Time under her belt, Celeste is practiced in art of juggling fussy babies, noisy toddlers, and preschoolers with fluctuating attention spans. She joins us on this episode of the podcast to discuss what Morning Time looks like when all the children in the family are preschool age and younger.

Celeste shares some great tips for how to create a Morning Time routine packed with thoughtful, high-quality elements while remaining flexible and accommodating of the littlest learners. She encourages us to find natural lulls in our daily routine during which we can nourish both our children and ourselves with beautiful poems, stories, and music.

Celeste's wisdom is inspiring but at the same time highly practical, making this an interview not to be missed. Enjoy!

Mar 29, 2016
YMB #14 Add Freewriting Fun: A Conversation with Julie Bogart

Julie Bogart is a veteran homeschool mom, professional writer, and the creator of the writing and language arts program Brave Writer.  

She joins us on this episode of the podcast to discuss freewriting, a method for getting the thoughts that are running through one's head down onto paper.  As part of her desire to equip families for the writing process, Julie explores the idea of implementing this practice in the context of Morning Time.

Julie describes a writing environment where children's ideas are respected, the parent-child relationship is valued, and there is only one rule: keep your pencil moving until the timer beeps.

Her step-by-step instructions in how to begin a freewriting habit, including ideas for accommodating non-writers and reluctant writers, are both helpful and reassuring. So grab a pencil and some paper and get ready to enjoy a great interview!


Mar 15, 2016
YMB #13 Plutarch 101: A Conversation with Anne White

Anne White is a mother of three, a long-time member of the Ambleside Online Advisory Board, and the author of numerous resources on the Greek-born Roman historian Plutarch. She joins us on this episode of the podcast to help us figure out how we might approach reading Plutarch with our kids during Morning Time.

Who was Plutarch? What did he write about? Why did Charlotte Mason consider him worthy of inclusion in her course of study? What can modern-day students hope to glean from learning about people and events from so long ago?

Anne answers these questions and so many more. She explains that the purpose of reading Plutarch is not to get bogged down in names and dates from ancient history, but rather to share stories with our children and, in doing so, to help them grow in virtue and character. Anne shares how she herself did not understand Plutarch on her first reading, but began to enjoy him after additional reading and study. In sharing her story, Anne reminded me that I can be a fellow learner alongside my children as we approach subjects like these during Morning Time. Listen along as Anne brings Plutarch to life!

Mar 01, 2016
YMB #12 Teaching From Rest with Morning Time: A Conversation with Sarah Mackenzie

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

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

Feb 16, 2016
YMB #11 All About Nature Study: A Conversation with Cindy West

Cindy West is a homeschooling mother of three and the author of the NaturExplorer series. She joins us on this episode of the podcast to share her contagious enthusiasm for nature study.

She discusses the importance of this sometimes-neglected subject--how nature study helps us develop keen observation skills, teaches us important truths about our Creator, and gives us opportunities to make connections to  subjects like science, geography, and math.

Cindy has an impressive list of simple, meaningful ways to spend just a few minutes of Morning Time on nature study. So, whether you are a seasoned nature enthusiast or someone who prefers to enjoy the great outdoors from the comfort of your air-conditioned living room, you will be sure to find some great ideas in this episode.

Feb 02, 2016
YMB #10 All About Narration: A Conversation with Sonya Shafer

In this interview, Sonya Shafer of Simply Charlotte Mason demystifies the practice of narration, or reading living books and then having children "tell back" in their own words what they remember.

She shows how narration is not so much a method of quizzing our children, but rather a powerful tool for promoting attention, comprehension, and retention as the children make the books their own.

This conversation is full of step-by-step instructions for how to get started, ideas for moving beyond the basics with older kids, and plenty of trouble-shooting advice.

Jan 19, 2016
YMB #9 Morning Time Q&A With Mystie Winckler

Pam and her good friend Mystie Winckler of Simply Convivial wrap up this season of the podcast with an entire episode devoted to answering listener questions. They share inspiration, practical tips, how-to’s, and amusing anecdotes from their combined 12 years of practicing the discipline of Morning Time in their homes. Whether you’re a seasoned Morning Time veteran or a newbie wondering how to get started, there is something in this episode for you. Enjoy!

Dec 08, 2015
YMB #8 Start with Wonder: A Conversation with Nicholas Ireland about Poetry

Nicholas Ireland, a father of two, teaches Humanities to middle schoolers at our local classical school. On this episode of the podcast, he tackles the subject of poetry.

Why is poetry important? What poems should I start with? What makes good poetry good? What if I don't understand poetry? What questions should I ask my kids when we talk about the poems we read?

Nicholas answers all these questions and more, plus gives us enough recommendations to keep us busy reading excellent poems for a long, long time. Enjoy!

Nov 24, 2015
YMB #7 Music Appreciation Simplified: A Conversation with Mary Prather

Mary Prather is a music educator turned homeschool mom and the creator of the music appreciation curriculum SQUILT.  On this episode of the podcast, she shares simple and effective ideas for adding beauty to Morning Time through music.

Mary has fantastic recommendations for composers and pieces, and she speaks from experience about no-fuss, practical ways to teach music appreciation and enjoy great music with our children. Treat yourself to a little dose of beauty today.

Nov 10, 2015
YMB #6 Jennifer Mackintosh: A Considered Booklist

Jennifer Mackintosh has been practicing Morning Time in her home since her oldest, now a homeschool graduate, was a 4th grader. At her blog Wildflowers & Marbles, she has written extensively about how she creates her Morning Time plan and about how she develops thoughtful book lists for read alouds.

She joins us on this episode of the podcast to tell us a little more about choosing those great books, but she doesn't stop there. She also divulges some of her best time-tested tricks for wrangling energetic toddlers while reading aloud, as well as some helpful advice for continuing to draw teens into the Morning Time conversation.

Jen shares about how Morning Time has been a place for her children to develop and practice important habits like attentiveness, and describes the fruit she has seen as those habits have been shared and passed down from older children to younger children in a natural, organic way.

Perhaps most importantly, Jen urges us moms to be attentive ourselves during Morning Time and to learn alongside our children as we wonder at the natural world, at beautiful poetry, and at living books together.

Oct 27, 2015
YMB #5 Big Family Morning Time: A Conversation with Angela Boord

Angela Boord has eight (soon to be nine!) children, so she knows all about making life work in a large family. She joins us today on the podcast to talk about creating and sustaining a Morning Time routine that is meaningful and worthwhile for everyone, from teens to toddlers.

Angela shares some great advice for keeping little hands busy, accommodating teens and their packed schedules, and tackling important subjects in a way that meets the needs of big kids and little kids alike.

She also shares how Morning Time has helped build a shared culture and sense of belonging in her family. Angela's wisdom is both practical and inspiring, making this an interview not to be missed.

Oct 13, 2015
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.

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. -- Mary Reiter, Podcast Manager

Sep 29, 2015
YMB #3 Reading In Morning Time: An Interview with Brandy Vencel

Welcome to another episode of Your Morning Basket. You may remember that, early in episode 2, Pam introduced us to the "4 Rs" that make up a rich Morning Time: recitation, reading aloud, ritual, and relationship. (And if you happened to miss that one, be sure to check it out!)

In today's interview, Pam talks with Brandy Vencel of Afterthoughts about the second of those Rs, reading aloud. They discuss the subtle ways that reading aloud during Morning Time can differ from the reading we may do with our children at other times during the day.

This interview is packed with great book recommendations and insightful conversation about how reading aloud can help shape our children's imaginations, give them opportunities to grapple with big ideas, and enrich their learning by pairing content with captivating stories. So sit back and enjoy!

Sep 15, 2015
YMB #2 Furnishing The Mind

Andrew Pudewa is the director for the Institute for Excellence in Writing and proponent of memorization in education. In this episode of Your Morning Basket we talk about the effects of memorization on the brain, what to memorize, how to memorize, and how memorization furnishes the mind.

Sep 01, 2015
YMB #1 What is Morning Time?

Welcome to the very first episode of Your Morning Basket: Truth, Goodness, and Beauty for Your Homeschool Day!

Have you heard about the practice of Homeschool Morning Time but just had a problem wrapping your brain around what the practice is? Do you DO Morning Time but wonder where the idea got started? Or are you a person like I am who could just listen to Cindy Rollins share her wisdom all day long?

If you are any of those people then you are going to love the first episode of Your Morning Basket. Cindy and I chat about how she started the practice of Morning Time in her home twenty-seven years ago, what the practice looked like on a day-to-day basis, and how it bore fruit in her children. I hope you enjoy!

For resources, links, and the Basket Bonus for this episode visit

Aug 13, 2015