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Your Morning Basket

Join us this fall as we delve into the principles and practices of Morning 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 them to sit still. All your burning Morning Time questions answered right here -- every other Tuesday.
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Your Morning Basket
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Nov 29, 2016

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 15, 2016

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 1, 2016

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.

Oct 18, 2016

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 4, 2016

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.

Sep 20, 2016

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 6, 2016

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.

Aug 23, 2016

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!

May 10, 2016

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.

Apr 26, 2016

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 12, 2016

"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.

Mar 29, 2016

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 15, 2016

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 1, 2016

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!

Feb 16, 2016

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 2, 2016

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.

Jan 19, 2016

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.

Dec 8, 2015

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!

Nov 24, 2015

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 10, 2015

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.

Oct 27, 2015

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 13, 2015

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.

Sep 29, 2015

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 15, 2015

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 1, 2015

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.

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