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Morning Time and Living Books (with Pam Barnhill) {Season 10, Episode 120}

At this point in the season, you know how amazing living books are . . . but how can you fit them into your plans? Enter morning time! Come listen to Pam Barnhill share about this homeschooling game-changer.

At this point in the season, you know how amazing living books are . . . but how can you fit them into your plans? Enter morning time!

In this episode, the queen of morning time, Pam Barnhill, is coming on to share about this homeschooling game-changer.

Key Takeaways

  • Morning time is the best time of the day! It's about connections, efficiency, and quick wins.
  • Morning time is a great time to add in living books on science.
  • Morning time is also a good time to look at nature.

Episode Links

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Episode 120 - Morning Time and Living Books (with Pam Barnhill) Transcript


One of the ways that we fit in all those fabulous living books for science is through morning time. I learned about morning time. Well, used to be called circle time from Kendra Fletcher, but I learned more about morning time from today's guest, Pam Barnhill. And so I asked her to come on the tips for Homeschool Science Show and share a little bit about morning time with you all today.

Hi, I'm Paige Hudson, and you're listening to the Tips for Homeschool Science Show, where we're breaking down the lofty ideals of science into building blocks you can use in your homeschool.

What is morning time?


Please help me welcome to the Tips for Homeschool Science Show, Pam Barnhill. She's the queen of morning time and homeschool organization. Her messages of better together and consistent homeschooling are improving home schools everywhere. She homeschools her three children. Plus she speaks at conferences and provides the consistent homeschooling encouragement we all need. Welcome, Pam, to the podcast.


Thanks so much, Paige, for having me. It's great to be here.


I'm so glad you came on. I have, you know, spent years researching morning time. It's been a real life changing thing for our homeschool as far as with eight year gap between our kids, to have that ability to connect together as a family, morning time has provided that for us. But I wanted to ask you, how would you explain morning time? What is morning time to you?


Morning time is so many things to me, but honestly, it really is just the best part of our school day. And so if you you know, if I have to describe it in one word, it's like, okay, best part of our school day, which I guess is two words, but oh, well, and it's really a time when your entire family can come together and you can all learn together.

So like you mentioned, this is a great time of connection for your family, especially if you have kids who are farther apart in age. But it's also a time of great efficiency for your family because if you have a lot of children or you are like me, where I only have three, but they're very close together in age, we're able to do so much together and I'm able to teach them together during that morning time.

So you have the connection, you have the efficiency. And then perhaps my favorite thing about morning time is it gives you this huge homeschool win right at the beginning of your school day. And I tell people it doesn't have to be early in the morning, but it is a great way to get a bunch of things checked off a list without feeling like you're railroad toting it over your children.

You're able to focus on the relationships while you do it.

How did Pam find morning time?


Yeah, I 100% agree. We found that morning time really helps us kind of set the tone for our day and starting that day with, for lack of a better phrase, a quick win, like you said, it's it's really, really beneficial. But so I found morning time or the phrase morning time through your blog, actually. How did you find out about morning time?


So I found out about morning time from Cindy Rawlins. And she is like the the mama of morning time is what I call her. She did morning time with her kids for 28 years, you know, so like not one child. But, you know, over the course of all of her children, she did morning time for 28 years in her home school.

And she was influencing some moms in her sphere who were contemporaries of mine. So Brandi Vencil and Misty Winkler and Sara Mackenzie and I was kind of like in that little group and started doing morning time to when they were doing morning time. And that was where I learned about it from. So yeah. And it just kind of spreads out from there.

What does morning time look like in Pam's house?


Yeah. Well, that sounds like a really great person to learn about morning time from. So what does morning time look like in your house right now?


I say we have the world's most boring morning time because I have three hoops because I had three teenagers, cause I have one who's 13, one who's 15 and one who's 17. And all we do is read aloud and that's really all we're doing. We do still do a little bit of memory work, though. They finally this year have reached the point where they've started complaining about the memory work.

And so I've backed off on it some and we learn one new piece and we review one old piece, but for the most part, we are reading history together, we're reading literature together, we're doing some current events right now. We're doing one of Dave Ramsey's financial courses for teens, so we're watching those videos. So that right now is what we're doing in our morning time.

And then I got so bored with it as far as like, like we used to do so much more exciting stuff in our morning time. I brought Sea Chanties back and so we started learning our roll the old chariot along or a drop of Nelson's blood. We just started that with last week, so I brought that back. But yeah, we just read together and talk together and you know, today we watched a video on the Russian Revolution and we just.

Yeah, that's the kind of stuff we're doing.

How does morning time help us with science?


Yeah. As they get older, it's not as Pinterest worthy isn't exactly. It's still important to have that that time and the connection time with them. So now, you know, this is a tips for Homeschool Science Show. So I have to ask you, how do you feel morning time can help us with science specifically?


Yes, very much so. So we love adding science books and living books to our morning time. Last year we were studying chemistry and we read some books like our in Napoleon's Buttons. We didn't read every chapter in that book and I would highly caveat like reviewing those chapters, but we did read a lot of those chapters in our morning time.

"Morning time is a great time to add in living books on science." Listen to more of the conversation in episode 120 of the Tips for Homeschool Science Show.

And so just reading out loud and this year we read a biography of Louis Pasteur in our morning time. And so it gives us a great place to read some of those books and talk about them together. And so we've really enjoyed reading and doing that kind of stuff. And then when the kids were younger, we did more nature study in our morning time.

We don't do it quite so much. Now that they're older, they tend to do their nature journal pages by themselves, but when they were little, we would bring in objects and like do object lessons or watch different nature videos or draw in our nature journal or something like that.


Oh, neat. Yeah. Sometimes we both live in the further south where it's hot and muggy, pretty much like most of the year. So sometimes nature study is much better if you just bring it inside and enjoy it from the air conditioning. Right.


I 100% agree. You know, people say, oh, Charlotte Mason said you should have been outside like 4 hours a day. And I'm like, Charlotte Mason never lived in south Alabama.


Yeah, Charlotte Mason did not get attacked by mosquitoes. 


Every time she went outside. 


We did. We do a lot of that to bring it inside and look at it from the indoors or we do a lot of nature study actually reverse in the winter rather than in the summer because it's nicer out, but yeah. So yeah, yeah. That's what we found too. That morning time really allowed the time to fit in those living books, whether that's for science or history or things like that.


We read a mystery of the Periodic Table last year and it was great to share that and have those discussions and take that break to kind of like, like you said, set the tone for the day. We really enjoyed it.

How Pam helps with morning time


So yeah, I learned about morning time, most of it. I got to give you a shameless plug, Better Together.

This is a great book. It's on my shelf for home schoolers. I recommend it all the time about doing morning time with your kids and doing that, like starting to setting the tone for your your day. So tell us more about how you help people do morning time.


Well, we do have the book Better Together, which kind of it lays out a do it yourself kind of version of morning time. So you know what it is why you would want to do it and how you would go about setting up your own. We also have another book called Gather, which is a photo book of nine different families doing morning time in their home.

So you really get a good look at how it can be different from family to family. Yeah. And then if you're looking for help, if you're like, Oh, I really love this idea, but there's no way in the world that I could plan all of this out. We have a membership called the Your Morning Basket, plus membership that has over 60 different sets of morning time plans where we've planned it out for you.

And then we also have the Your Morning Basket podcast, which is a free resource if you like podcast, which you probably do if you're listening to this one where we have over 125 episodes all of our morning time.


Yeah, there's a lot of great resources there. If people were to go to one place to find out more about you, where would you send them?


I would totally send on to Pam Barnhill dot com.


There you go. So I really, really appreciate you coming on and sharing a little bit about a little glimpse of morning time with our listeners at the Tips for Homeschool Science Show. And I would really suggest you guys check out if you want to learn more about morning time, get resources for morning time. Check out Pam's website. And thank you so much for coming on today.



Thanks, Paige.


How Elemental Science can help you with living books and science


Thanks for listening to Season 10 of the Tips for Homeschool Science Show, which is sponsored by her company, Elemental Science. At Elemental Science, we have several series of award-winning programs, including a series with living books to help you teach science. Sassafras Science Adventures will help you enjoy a journey as you learn about science. The newest installment of the Sassafras Science series is coming out in April of 2023.

This volume will be a journey through the periodic table. It's all about chemistry, which is my personal favorite subject. Head over to Elemental Science dot com. To learn more about the Sassafras Science Adventures and see how we can help you teach science.

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