The Power Hour: Using the four Rs as the building blocks for the most effective hour of your day – Pam Barnhill

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What if you had just two hours each day to educate your kids? You would probably divide one hour between math, reading, and composition — three skills basic to all other learning. This talk is about what to do with that other hour. Building on the Four Rs — ritual, reading aloud, recitation, and relationship — Pam Barnhill shows you how to create a content-rich, life-giving plan for everyone in your homeschool no matter what their ages. With tons of practical examples, book suggestions, and encouragement, this talk will have you walking away confident in the most effective hour of your day.

Automated Transcript (Spelling and grammar errors are guaranteed!)

Yvette Hampton:           Good morning everyone. Can you see us now? Comment and let us know. We got some comments saying that you guys couldn’t see the trailers, so I don’t know if you actually saw it or not. I saw it from my end. Pam, could you see it? I thought, yeah, it was working great here. Well, we saw it now was exciting because you, Pam, are part of that trailer because you are part of the schoolhouse rock to cast, which is so exciting. Yay. Most of you probably know, especially if you’ve been watching this week that our family has been working on this documentary homeschool documentary for a few years now. We’re done filming and now we’re in post production and so this event, the homegrown generation family expo is really a big fundraiser. It’s really to bring you encouragement, but it’s also to to bring in the funds that we need to finish this movie.

Yvette Hampton:           And so we still have a long way to go. If you guys want to know more about how you can support the film financially to help get it done, you can go to and you can watch both trailers there and learn a whole lot more about the movie and learn all about Pam and our other cast members. It’s been a really exciting time, but we’re not here to talk about schoolhouse rocks. We’re here to talk to Pam Barnhill and I know you guys are so excited to be here with her. We’ve had lots of comments that people say, I can’t wait for Pam and people, lots of buzz about you, Pam Barnhill, you are a popular, popular homeschool moms. So welcome and good morning. Good morning and thank you so much for having me on here today. Yes. While it is our honor to have you on here today before we get rolling, I I know in that trailer that maybe some of you didn’t actually see you saw some of our sponsors for this event and I just really want to thank them again.

Yvette Hampton:           They’ve been such an encouragement to us. Our premier sponsors are Abeka, CTCMath, and Teaching Textbooks. Our gold sponsor is IEW, Institute for Excellence in Writing, and then our sponsor for today is, They Call me Blessed. That is Ana Willis’s ministry and you’re going to hear from her later today. So we’ve had a fantastic backing by these homeschool companies. And then we also have the vendor Hall, so make sure that you check out the vendor hall. We’ve got a lot of great resources on there for you and the swag bag. So many fun things. It’s been so much fun this week to just see your response to the generosity of the homeschool community and leadership who has come around us for this event and offered so many of their goods and resources. And so I, I know that that’s a blessing to you guys.

Yvette Hampton:           It’s a blessing to me as a homeschool mom. I’m in, I’m in this race with you. So but anyway, Pam, thank you so much for joining us today. You are an encouragement and a blessing, not just to me, but to everyone whose lives you touch. And it has been many. God has given you an amazing platform. So I would love for you to introduce yourself and your family to us, and then we’re going to let you kind of take this away for a little bit and then come back with some Q and a at the end. Okay. Well, thank

Pam Barnhill:    You so much for having me guys. This is a huge undertaking that Yvette and Garritt have done so much work to put this wonderful experience together for you guys. I am Pam Barnhill. I am from Alabama. If you didn’t notice the accent. I have three kids. My husband and I had been married for 20 years and my kids are 14, 12, almost 13. He’ll be 13 next month and 10 years old. And like I said in the movie trailer, even though my hair was straight then we’ve been homeschooling since the very beginning. And it’s been such a joy and a blessing for us. Most days we have our days but most days we absolutely love the time that we get to spend together.

Yvette Hampton:           Well, Pam, that’s a disappointment because I brought you on because I thought that you have perfect homeschool days every day and I thought you were going to bring us some, some encouragement and I was going to know who to secret to this, right? You bring going to give us the sauce of how do you have a PR, you should write a book like that, how to have a perfect homeschool day every single day of your life.

Pam Barnhill:    And you could flip through and go [inaudible].

Yvette Hampton:           And instead you have written this book called Better Together, which I know we’ll talk a little bit about today. But your session is called “The Power Hour: Using the Four R’s as the Building Blocks for the Most Effective Hour of Your Day.” So I am going to turn this over to you. I’m going to let you bring some encouragement and then at the end you guys please submit your questions. You and you can do that through the course of her session. But if you would do me a favor, you guys have been so good about doing that this week. If you would just put the word question in front of your question that helps us to sort through the questions versus the comments. So bring your comments as well. We love seeing those as well. But if you could bring your, just put question in front of it, then that makes it easier for us. So I will join back with you in a little while and you guys enjoy your time with Pam Barnhill.

Pam Barnhill:    Okay. I am actually going to not pay attention to your comments because it, it would be a little bit distracting to me. So I’m going to move you guys over to the side there and just kind of talk to you and [inaudible], but feel free to say you can even say bad things about me because I won’t see them. Okay. So if I were to hand you a banana, what is the first thing that you would do in order to peel it? Well, most of us would grab the banana by the STEM, you know, the banana has a little stick them and most of it was a, we’d grab it right there and we would grab that STEM and pull it intending to snap it back and split one side of the banana off and then use that STEM as a handle to pull down the other side and peel it.

Pam Barnhill:    And this was the way I grew up peeling bananas. And this is the way most people I know peel a banana. They grab it by the STEM. Well, have you ever ended up with a bent STEM and maybe the bananas too green and it just won’t break it open. The skin won’t break and you tug and you tug and then you end up with this bent over STEM and the end of your banana. It’s just a really mushy mess. This has happened to me numerous times and it’s kind of frustrating. What have I told you that there is a better way to peel a banana? You can actually take that banana, flip it over. So the STEM is on bottom and there are some of you out there who are going to be going, I knew this. This is the way I’ve always peeled a banana, but for a lot of us, this was not the case.

Pam Barnhill:    But you turn it over to the little black part that’s on the other end and you pitch that tiny black end and it comes off easily and the banana skin starts to peel away. So you’re going to have to trust me on this cause I didn’t have any bananas in the house this morning. But next time you have a banana, try it. It works every single time. You just kind of pinch it off. And the banana just peels very easily. So you have no bruising, no mush, no frustration and very little effort. That is how monkeys peel bananas. Hmm. Which begs the question, why have we humans being peeling bananas the hard way for so long? Why did most of us learn to peel bananas that way? And we’ve never questioned it. Well that’s not what I’m answering here today. I don’t know. But it’s an analogy I want you to keep in mind because I want us to take a look at education because if we have been so wrong about something so simple as a banana, I would like us to consider that maybe we’ve also been wrong about education.

Pam Barnhill:    So I have a few things for you to consider. What if age segregation is not the most effective way to learn? You know, dividing kids up into classes by their age. What if starting with creativity is more detrimental than helpful? Because you know, creativity is a huge buzzword in schools these days. They want kids to be creative. What if everything we know through our own schooling about how we measure learning is not as vital as we previously thought. Yeah, and I’m looking at you standardized tests. What if there is a way to be more effective in giving our children a quality education with a method that actually saves you time and energy instead of taking up more of those valuable resources? So today I want to talk to you about how you can combine students and use four distinct and effective learning activities with those students.

Pam Barnhill:    And these activity activities are going to be like the most efficient use of your homeschool teaching time. These activities are going to teach your children the skills they need for lifelong learning. And most importantly, these activities are going to produce a joyful and engaged homeschool. So if you had the only one hour a day to spend in your homeschool, outside of math and writing instruction, this is how to spend it for the most effective and most efficient use of your time. Okay. So what is this magical time? Now, some of you know the answer already because you’ve heard me talk before, but the time I’m talking about is a time that your entire family can come together and learn together. This time it’s for everyone from your youngest child all the way up to you, the mom or dad to learn new things. It’s one of my favorite parts about this time is that I am constantly learning new things with my kids.

Pam Barnhill:    Many homeschoolers call this period of the day, morning time or morning basket and that’s exactly what the book better together is all about. This is an entire book about morning time or morning basket. And I also have a podcast called the your morning basket podcast, which is also about this time of day. Now some of you may be feeling really sad right now. You’re like, wait a second, I’m interested in what she’s talking about. But my family doesn’t get up early in the morning or my kids are way too cool to do anything called morning time or morning basket. And so I want to like put it out there that you do not have to call this morning time. You can call it whatever you want. Other families have broken free of this morning themed moniker and they call this time circle time a symposium. One of my favorites is power hour and usually they do this because they want to do it in the afternoon or they’re afraid that their kids aren’t going to get on board with something called morning time, but whatever you call it, the idea is exactly the same.

Pam Barnhill:    Less teach all the kids together at one time. You know, it’s funny, I posted a story on Instagram the other day where I took a picture of one of the activities that we do in morning time and this activity we do grammar together and morning times. So my kids are 10, 12 and 14 and we started this grammar program a couple of years ago and I’m going to be honest with you, we’ve been a little hit or miss with it, but we’ve gotten really with it this year. I think I’ve finally found the sweet spot for age with my kids with this program. And basically what we do is we do one sentence a day together in morning time. And so I took a little picture and put it on Instagram of my white board and my pins and the book that I use. We use the Michael Clay Thompson language arts.

Pam Barnhill:    We use the practice Island book. You’ll have to look that one up. But I put a picture on Instagram and I was amazed. I got 20 some odd people DM me and want to know how this worked. How did I do this? Was I really like teaching all of my kids grammar at the same time? What ages of kids were, you know, were doing this? It was like, it was this mystical unicorn of a way to teach kids. And it really brought the fact home to me that not everybody thinks about teaching their kids all together this way. And so we don’t do grammar worksheets. It’s five minutes a day. You know, doing these sentences in morning time together on the whiteboard as a family. And some people wonder, well, how is the oldest guy, you know, how is the youngest kid?

Pam Barnhill:    Are they answering the same questions that the oldest kid is answering? And the answer is no. My daughter answers way more of the questions she analyzes far deeper into the sentence than my 10 year old does. But my 10 year old is there and he’s listening and he’s going to graduate much later than his 14 year old sister. So he’s going to get a chance to visit this information again. And so he’s learning what he can take in on his level, but you know, he’s going to get a chance to revisit, but we’re all learning together. So I’m not having to worry about different kids doing different programs and trying to keep up with all of that. And this completely goes against the paradigm of learning that many of us grew up with. We went to schools where there were segregated classrooms.

Pam Barnhill:    We were age segregated. We weren’t even segregated by ability or skill and so a lot of kids were left behind. But even though we were educated that way, think back to our banana. Is that really the only way to learn? So consider that until after the turn of the last century. Most students in the United States learned in one room school houses consisting of kids from first to eighth grade. So it wasn’t until the school reforms of the mid 18 hundreds where they moved to a factory based model of schooling or the growth of urban centers are the advent of the school bus. It wasn’t until those things happen that consolidated age segregated classrooms became the norm. And like in a lot of places, this wasn’t until the mid 19 hundreds. So this was less than a century ago that that became the normal way to do school. And if you look back at some of the eighth grade tests from the late 18 hundreds or early 19 hundreds, you’ll see that this was a very effective way to learn because they’re putting a lot of our tests to shame.

Pam Barnhill:    So there are some benefits to this model where kids are learning together. When kids of various ages are learning together, younger kids naturally look to older kids for guidance. While older students learn how to mentor organically, they’re just doing it. And then beyond those benefits of helping our kids grow and learn in those ways, we need to face it. There is only one of us, there is only one teacher in our homeschools. So in order to use our time wisely and not go crazy at some point, it really becomes important to group kids for some subjects. Now I’m going to say I don’t typically group kids for mathematics. And I don’t group all kids together for writing and reading instruction is done separately. But most everything else you can group your kids together for learning. So the question you, you might be having there is can kids learn effectively when they’re all on different levels but learning together?

Pam Barnhill:    And the answer is why not? I mean, my grammar example was a kind of proof of that. And I’ll tell you that most moms who do this kind of family learning with a wide age range of kids tend to use materials best suited for the oldest kids in the group while the younger ones kind of come along for the ride. They understand things on their own level and they pick up what they can as they go along. And this is completely okay because once again, you’re going to circle back around to that material when those younger kids are older and a lot of times you’re going to find that these younger kids are going to surprise you with what they learn. So I’m Angela board is a mom of nine. I interviewed her on the your morning basket podcast a couple of years ago and she was telling me that she wanted to do some logic in her morning time and she did morning time with her kids all the way from her high school senior all the way down to the toddler.

Pam Barnhill:    I think the toddler was two at the time. This was when she had eight kids and she ended up having one more. And so she wanted to do logic. She wanted to just introduce her older kids to logic and she wanted to do it before they left their home. And so she did this through morning time and she did it with the book, the fallacy detective just by reading this aloud and discussing the chapters in morning time and as she was doing this with her family, remember this subject was aimed towards introducing this topic to her high schoolers. She realized that her nine year old twin boys were just all over this subject. They were absolutely astatic about it. They were learning deeply and they were contributing so much to the conversations that they were having. She was really surprised that something that she had designed and aimed at her older kids was having such a huge impact and bringing such huge pleasure to her nine year olds.

Pam Barnhill:    And so sometimes they really do surprise you the younger kids in what they’re picking up. Even if you’re kind of aiming this towards your add your older kids now you may still have a little bit of difficulty grasping this concept if your main method of teaching is to hand a student a book or a textbook and then expect them to complete a workbook or some kind of project in return. So if you did that with a seven year old and you handed them the 13 year olds history book or history curriculum and expected them to give something back, it’s really not going to work. So we have to kind of change up our methods that we use in teaching if we’re going to use this kind of learning in our home. Now I’m a trained teacher and so what this basically means is I had a couple of years of classes at the university level about concepts that have very little to do with true teaching or true learning.

Pam Barnhill:    Mostly my co, my classes were about classroom management of groups of 25 or 30, or how to Mark the right standard and your lesson plan for the activities that you choose to teach or how does subvert parents with questionable young adult books? Seriously. That’s largely what I remember about my college education courses. But there was one course that was called educational psychology. And this course talked all about Piaget and Skinner bloom and Gardner, all of these giants and educational research. And I left that course thinking I had a grasp on everything education was all about. But it wasn’t until about 15 years later when I began reading to prepare for homeschooling my kids that I realize that that course left out hundreds of years of educational thought and philosophy. And that’s what a lot of curriculum is based on. The things I learned in my educational psychology course.

Pam Barnhill:    But really there is a whole wealth of information about learning that if we tap into, we realize there’s so much more out there. So it left out all of those years of educational philosophy and it also left out some of the, the most effective methods of teaching. Now you might ask yourself why, why are modern educators not using these proven methods? So, you know, was it some insidious plot to undermine true learning? And if you want it explore that concept a little more, I highly recommend books by John Taylor Gatto. He kind of makes a good point for this. It’s something you’re going to have to explore on your own, but check out his work there. Kind of interesting to read, but I am not going to make that argument in this talk. So I’m going to assume that there’s no insidious plot.

Pam Barnhill:    But what I do know is that the methods that I’m going to talk to you about today are not used because they’re not really practical for classes full of students. Think about it, the kinds of methods that they use in schools, things like textbooks, workbooks, production of a lot of paper to turn in. These aren’t used necessarily because they’re the most effective methods of learning. But instead, because it’s the most practical way for a teacher of a large number of kids to evaluate and prove his or her success. Or a lot of times in the case of the public school system, their lack of success. These methods don’t necessarily work, but at least you can see the results of them at scale and that’s what they’re going for in public education. So in addition to bringing your kids together to learn, what I’d like to ask you to do today is to take look at four other methods of education and I’m going to call these the four RS. These are four focuses that we’re going to use in this group learning time in our homes. And I feel that these are the most effective way to meet the educational goals that you have for your family. I’m going to break down each one of these. I’m going to describe why I think this method is effective and then I’m going to give you some practical ways to implement them in your homeschool. Are we ready?

Pam Barnhill:    Okay. I have to take a drink.

Speaker 4:        Okay.

Pam Barnhill:    Okay. Okay. AF unaided. Now we can go. All right, so Martin Luther King jr one of my absolute favorite quotes from him, he says, intelligence plus character. That is the goal of a true education. I absolutely love this quote because as homeschoolers we understand that if we raise up people who have intelligence but who lack and morals or ethics, then we have failed at the goal of educating our kids. So I want to talk for just a minute about ways that we can raise our kids so that they are pointing towards virtue. And one of the ways we do this is through the first R, which is ritual. And I want to talk about ritual for a few minutes because this may be something that is new to some of you and you haven’t thought of before. So ritual is something that elevates mundane, ordinary activities into something that has meaning beyond the sum total of these activities.

Pam Barnhill:    So these are little things that we do every day. And in doing all of these little things together, we’re creating something much bigger than the little things. Bear with me for a few minutes here. Why does this matter? Well, I want you to consider that we are not teaching history and science in our homeschools. We are teaching persons and persons are formed by their habits. So this is based on something that James K a Smith, he’s a modern philosopher. He wrote a number of books, but the one that I read was called desiring the kingdom. He talks about this in there and in that book he explains that people were created to love in our deepest being. We direct our affections toward something and we love it. Now as a Christian, people who have been versed in scripture or had been versed in our catechism or have been versed in both, then we know that the thing we ought to order our affections toward is God.

Pam Barnhill:    Okay. Smith says though, even when we think we have ordered our affections rightly many times they are not. So we think we’ve got this down. I know I should love God. I know he should be number one. But what Smith says is that cultural liturgies are distracting us from our love of God. Things like the mall with its culture of consumption. And if you’re interested in reading this book, it’s absolutely fascinating where he explains how the mall is set up like a cathedral. Things like our favorite football team. I mean them’s fighting words here in Alabama. People don’t want to hear that. Our favorite football team might be disordering our affections and today political parties and even overt patriotism, these things capture our affections and desires and turn them away from God. So Smith’s assertion is that we’re going to love what we do on a regular basis.

Pam Barnhill:    So for always in the mall, we’re going to love them all. If we’re always talking about and watching football, that’s what we’re going to. Even our patriotism could be something that causes us to order our affections away from God. We’re gonna love what we do on a regular basis, but our habits, our ritual actions can shape us and help us reorder our loves to where they should be. So this is why ritual is such an important part of our school day in morning time is the perfect place to put it. So we want to add small, meaningful habits to our school days that will point our hearts in the right direction. I mean, we have so many things to do in a day and that’s what makes morning time. The perfect way to add these to what’s probably an already overflowing list. So you’re going to gather your family together.

Pam Barnhill:    And I’m going to give you some practical ways to do this because these small practices done daily over time are not only the means to an education, but they’re the means to shaping virtue in ourselves and our children sitting down every day and taking part in these small rituals are going to bring us closer to God and help us love more as a family. So here are a few ideas. First of all, start your morning time with a small action that indicates we’ve begun and for our family, we light a candle and we do this as a reminder that Christ, the light of the world is in our midst. Now, not every family does that. Other families do things like ring a bell or they might have some kind of ritual greeting that they greet each other with something like the Lord be with you.

Pam Barnhill:    The next thing you could do is sing praises to God. Begin your your morning time, your power hour with a favorite hymn or a praise song. I find that music is one of those things that puts me in the right mindset, not only for worship but for learning as well because it’s very difficult to be grumpy when you’re singing a praise and worship worship song. So the next time you have a grumpy kid, this is something to try. Also, spend some time focusing on prayer and scripture. Now I know many of you do this. This one’s kind of like a no brainer, but ask for God’s grace upon your homeschool day. We need those graces. Spend time in his word. Your family’s preference might be a morning offering or it might be a family devotional time, whatever it is. Spend a little bit of time doing that.

Pam Barnhill:    Then take time to remember others. We have a space in our morning time to speak our intentions aloud. We pray for our family and we pray for friends that we know. And a lot of times I bring the prayer intentions of my podcast listeners and other homeschool moms into my morning time and my kids help me pray those as well. And so we’re reaching out beyond ourselves and praying for other people. Next, focus on gratitude by having everyone share a loud one thing for which they’re thankful. You can also use morning time to ask for forgiveness because we’re learning in community. This is a really good time to seek pardon from those we might have wronged. So I’m just gonna say if your children are anything like mine, you’re going to have to train them to understand that this period is not for casting accusations. A lot of times they get caught up in the well, so and so needs to ask me for forgiveness.

Pam Barnhill:    So you kind of have to teach them about the process of waiting for someone else to ask for forgiveness. It has to come from the person, not from somebody else. And then just to let you know, I often find that this is a place where I can use to ask for forgiveness for my kids as well, from when I’ve been grumpy. So it’s easy to model if I need to bless your children. So in your morning time with a small prayer, asking God to watch over your children for the day. And then one of the things we like to do is we like to sing the doxology at the close of our morning time and then one of the kids and we alternate who gets to do it. One of the kids blows out the candle. So you’re not going to do all of these.

Pam Barnhill:    Please don’t try to do all of these, but choose a couple that you feel would most benefit your family. And one of the places that it’s really great to go for ideas for what should we do in these ritual aspects of our morning time is your faith tradition. Follow the practices of your faith tradition. Add those things to your morning time. And then by all means substitute whatever’s going to be most meaningful for your family. And the other thing I want to caution you against is don’t get really excited and wake up tomorrow and say we’re going to do all the things because your kids are going to be a little confused by that and might give you a little bit of pushback. So start with one and let it become habit and then add more if you wish. And a lot of you guys are probably already reading scripture and you’re probably already praying together as a family.

Pam Barnhill:    So you might choose one or two other things from your list to add and build on that a little more by continually lifting our faces towards God every day he becomes part of our everyday life. And that’s what ritual is all about. Okay, so I’m moving onto my next star because I’m seeing, I probably have about 10 or 15 minutes left. So the next one is recitation. So we’ve done ritual, we’re on to recitations. So ritual is for building virtue and recitation has a lot of other purposes tied up in it. And what I’m talking about when I’m talking about recitation, because it can have different meanings, is I’m specifically talking about memory work, memorizing things and reciting them back. So when I think back to my own 13 years of education when I was in teaching college, it was ingrained into me that creativity was the pinnacle of what we wanted our students to be able to do.

Pam Barnhill:    We wanted to have creative kids, rote memorization and daily drill are really passe in modern education. So as a teacher, I was led to believe that this was because students found these practices boring, meaningless. They were ineffective. I mean, after all, why should we spend time making students miserable, learning something that they could simply look up on Google instead? We should be making education fun and exciting, right? I mean, no pressure. So imagine my surprise when I started doing memory work or recitation with my own children and they loved it. Instead of finding it boring, they loved learning and reciting poetry because of the fun and beautiful language. Instead of being miserable, they delighted in singing the history timeline and doing their skip counting chance. And when they came across a piece of memory work that they know in daily life, it thrilled them. A mention of a historical name or some kind of mathematical formula in a lie.

Pam Barnhill:    And it in a math lesson, like the light bulb would go off. Any tidbit that they had memorized and they found in a book, it really made them happy. They were like, Oh, this is mine. I know this car. But a child’s delight is not the only reason to memorize things, even though I have to say it’s probably the most satisfying one. But there are many reasons that recitation benefits your kids. So I know that earlier this week one of my favorite guys, Andrew puto, ah, was on was on here and he was talking to you guys about homeschooling. Well, my favorite talk he has ever done is nurturing competent communicators. And I highly recommend you go check that one out because in that talk, Andrew tells us that you can’t get anything out of a brain that has nothing in it to begin with.

Pam Barnhill:    This is why so many kids struggle with writing. They sit and they stare at that blank page and they don’t know what to say. And it’s because you have to put things in their head first before they can be creative and get them out. So if a student is going to be able to write, to speak, to express themselves, then he’s got to have something his mind to use for that purpose. And I hate to break it to you, but your six or seven year old doesn’t have a whole lot of life experience. So by filling our students’ heads with beautiful words, great literature, historical tidbits, and wonderful quotes, we give them a leg up. We give them a basis for writing essays and compositions with a mindful of scripture, quotes and poetry. We can never be bored. Even if we don’t have a book, we’re always going to have something to think about and to consider and mull over.

Pam Barnhill:    We own this. It’s inside our head. Now there’s another reason my PR friend, Brandy Vinsel, has a talk called memorization in the soul. Why, what, and how. And in there she tells us about Frederick Douglas. Now, if you remember Frederick Douglas, he was known far and wide as a great orator. Because orator orator, that’s the word I’m looking for because he used memorize speeches as the basis for writing his own speeches. So this is how he did it. The words and the ideas were his, but he would take some great speech from history and he would borrow the form of that speech. And Benjamin Franklin did the same thing when he was learning to write. He would re copy great writing from the past and eventually he would begin take taking the form of that writing, how the author had formed it and the patterns of it and substitute his own words in there.

Pam Barnhill:    So once we’re familiar with some of these forms of great speeches or poetry, then we’re able to transfer our own words and meaning into those forms and use them for our own individual expression. So once again, we’re giving our kids a leg up. We’re not starting with the blank slate. Now I know that memorizing math facts can be a nemesis for some kids. But I want you to know this one is so important. It is so much easier to hold all the processes involved in long division in your brain. I mean, think about long division and this number goes where and that number goes where and then where do I put the quotion and when do I multiply and when do I subtract? I mean, this is hard for a kid. It’s so much easier to sort out all of that if the multiplication facts are semen it into your longterm memory and they’re automatic.

Pam Barnhill:    So if you aren’t wasting precious time and energy, having to recall those multiplication answers, the steps of those longer problems of a multiple digit multiplication and long division are way less intimidating and way less frustrating. So taking the time to memorize math facts, think about it as a gift that you’re giving to your child. And the way my family did this was through skip counting songs. And so it was, it was pretty painless. We started with them really young and they use them all the way up until the time that they started doing their multiplication facts and even a little bit afterwards. And then finally and perhaps most importantly, my conscience uses things that I’ve memorized to remind me to be good. And I’m thinking it’s probably gonna work the same way for my kids as well. The verses in the words that I’ve written on my heart remind me of the kind of person that I’m supposed to be each and every day.

Pam Barnhill:    So that’s my last good reason for memorizing and probably my strongest argument right there. All right. So what are some things to memorize? Well, you can memorize anything you want, but some of my favorites are scripture, prayers, poetry, Shakespeare, one of my absolute favorites and experts from speeches and historical documents. Now my family has also taken the time to memorize a skip counting songs and a history timeline as well. And we find those things. Oh, and mathematical formulas like the area, the length times, the width. We just find those things really helpful. But mostly we focus on the words that we’re gonna write on our hearts. Okay, so ritual recitation. I am moving on to the next one, which is reading aloud. So I have another quote for you. This one is from James Russell Lowell, who was a fireside poet in the mid 18 hundreds he was part of that fireside poetry movement and he says books are the bees which carry the quickening pollen from one to another mind.

Pam Barnhill:    I love that quote. I mean it’s so true that we can put our kids in touch with some of the best mine’s ever as teachers and take the burden off of ourselves to know everything by connecting them with good books. But you may be wondering, why do I have to read them aloud? I mean, surely these kids can read to themselves. Why is it so vital that I take the time to read aloud to them every day? And I’m going to tell you why right now. So the first thing I want to remind you of is that we’re going for efficiency here for our power hour, right? So reading aloud the same material to all the kids at one time doesn’t just satisfy the history requirement or the science requirement for one child. It satisfies the history requirement or the science requirement for all of them. So think back to our efficiency.

Pam Barnhill:    Reading a single engaging history, read aloud to everyone together is far more interesting and effective than having kids of different grades, reading different history texts here and there. So it’s hard as a mom to keep multiple history curriculum straight. I mean, I struggle with keeping my kid’s name straight. So our motto is combine and conquer, which is a little unorthodox when you look at that motto, but it works. Now in addition to efficiency, there are other reasons why reading aloud to all ages is important. So let’s go back to Andrew. Poodle was nurturing. Competent communicators talk in the talk. Andrew tells us that children need to be exposed to reliably correct and sophisticated language patterns. So I want you to think about this for a minute. Think about what language your child hears on a daily basis. Maybe they have conversations with their peers about their favorite video games or television shows or maybe they are watching a television show or maybe you lecture them or admonish them and say things like, pick that up, hurry up and get ready to go.

Pam Barnhill:    Did you brush your teeth? Go find your shoes or not. Not jokes. Because you know, kids love knock knock jokes. I mean you’re teaching them lessons in your homeschool and you’re having dinnertime conversations. Sometimes when you aren’t so busy that you can’t sit and have dinner together. But let’s face it, sophistication is not how we would describe most of the language our children are exposed to on a daily basis. And this is why reading aloud is so important by reading to our children, we’re exposing them to the sophisticated language patterns on a regular basis. Language patterns that authors have labored over. And Andrew tells us, you think about when you’re reading silently to yourself, you’re probably reading little groups of words and you’re skimming and reading very quickly. So when you’re reading to yourself, you’re not getting those language patterns quite like you think you would be.

Pam Barnhill:    But when you’re listening to someone read aloud, you are internalizing those patterns more readily. And when mom, as you’re reading aloud or dad, whoever’s doing the reading aloud in your house, when you’re reading aloud, you have to read more slowly. And so you’re getting every single word in there. So reading aloud to your kids is one of the most important ways to build those patterns. A lot of times we stop reading to our kids as they grow older. And this is where we go wrong because about the time that a child is able to read for themselves, this is when their vocabulary is becoming way more sophisticated and what they’re able to read is not on par with the quality that they’re able to comprehend. So we want to be sure to keep reading to them as the as the get they get better and better at reading.

Pam Barnhill:    We always want to read a little bit above their level. Okay. So I’m going to move on to the fourth R. Oh, I do want to mention one thing. My favorite resource for reading aloud is the book, the read aloud family. By Sarah McKinsey, so if you haven’t read that one do be sure to check that one out. All right. The fourth R that I’m going to talk about today, so we have done ritual, we have done recitation, we have done reading aloud. These are the methods to build our morning time. The goal behind these practices is the fourth R and that is relationship. Morning time is about the ideas and discussions we share coming together as a family with mom modeling lifelong learning for her children. We’re building a common family culture that continues to connect us long after our homeschool days are over. Morning time is for the long view.

Pam Barnhill:    We equip our children with ideas that they’re going to have available to them far into the future. These habits that we’re building, the materials that we’re reciting together and the stories and the ideas that we encounter when we’re reading aloud shape us both together and then later on apart. I talked to homeschool moms who feel that they’re at a disadvantage when it comes to being able to teach, to teach. They’re not trained teachers. I can’t stress how much that this is not the case. In fact, we have such a gift to give our kids the gift of our time and attention. Teachers in schools use workbooks and chapter questions because they need to be able to evaluate and prove that children are learning. We have the luxury of simply talking to our kids to understand what they know. We can evaluate their learning on the spot.

Pam Barnhill:    We can ask them questions to clarify whether or not they understand, understand and we can have meaningful discussions about the ideas that we encounter. True education is about the process, not the end product. So put away the workbooks and talk to your kids. Not only does it help you to understand and educate for character, as we mentioned earlier, but it also helps them to retain information and ideas better than any test ever would. I mean, think about it. Are you more likely to remember and be impacted by the tests you took in seventh grade? Are by some fascinating discussion that you had with someone. We are homeschoolers. So let us embrace the gift of relationship, of being able to talk and learn together. Let us use these methods that allow us to unwrap that gift ritual recitation and reading aloud. That is a powerful use of any hour of our time.

Yvette Hampton:           I forgot to unmute myself. So Pam, that is amazing. Were you done? I didn’t mean to pop myself back.

Pam Barnhill:    No, I’m, I’m done. I wasn’t trying to hurry you. I actually, Oh no. I know. We’re on a time crunch. I can talk about this all day long.

Yvette Hampton:           Well, I can let you talk about this all day long. I didn’t actually mean to put myself in that early. I was, I was just ready for when you were done, but I, I mean, I, I just wanna hand you the floor the rest of the day if I could, because you were such an encouragement to me and I love those four RS. I’ve actually never heard you lay it all out that way. And so it, it’s incredible. Thank you for that. And I know we’ve got some questions and, and I have questions myself, but let’s get to the viewers questions first and then if there’s time I’ll ask you some of mine. So I’m just going to kind of start at the top. And you were just talking about reading of course while you’re just talking about relationships. But before that you were talking about reading and one of the moms is asking favorite read alouds for tween and teenage boys. Do you have any,

Pam Barnhill:    Oh, tween and teenage boys. What have we been reading that we like? Okay, my kids loved and I’m going to recommend this book. We recently read the tarantula in my purse by Jean Craighead. George and all of my kids loved it. So I have a 10 year old and a 12 year old boy and they normally skew towards fantasy, but they absolutely love this book. And one of the great things about it was it has little vignettes. And so we weren’t having to carry a storyline all the way through. We were able to read and then, you know, every story didn’t depend on the last one. But they loved it. It was about nature and animals, snakes, frogs, stuff like that. Hun. So you’re getting science. Oh yeah. Good buddy. Yeah.

Yvette Hampton:           Yes. Oh, that’s so cool. Oh, and this one isn’t another one. Similar. she’s asking favorite science books for boys, middle school and high school. She says science is our hardest subject that they both enjoy.

Pam Barnhill:    Well back to Jean. Greg had George. I’ve heard that. I have not used it myself. I’ve heard the Tyner books are good. Those might be a possibility and there is Macbeth Dermot and it’s like a crazy URL. I’ll have to see if I can find it. It’s not even named anything that has to do with science. She has the best science reading list. So if I could get, maybe I can come back and comment on this later, right, Yvette? Sure. I’ll find the link and I’ll drop it.

Yvette Hampton:           Okay. So speaking of of links, what

Pam Barnhill:    Are your favorite resources for those wanting to find specific books? What are your favorite resources for finding the best kind of literature for your kids? There are a couple of things. I like read aloud family as a book list and then read aloud revival has a book list there. So that is one of my absolute favorites that I use because it’s a great mix between things that are really good to read aloud. Sarah chooses her books for the purpose of reading aloud and then it’s also, and things that kids are gonna enjoy. Another list that I like are and I have no idea if it’s even available. I downloaded mine years ago, but it was books for boys who would rather build for it. Build for one for my EWS, Andrew w. Okay, perfect. That is a fabulous one and probably would help your last question as well.

Pam Barnhill:    Yes, absolutely. And as matter of fact, if you go to the AUW website, you can download that. And that’s not really just books for boys. I think it’s kind of geared towards boys a little bit more than growth and other kids who would rather be building for it’s all day. Right, right. That was my girl. She was like, I don’t want to sit here and read princess stories, you know, I want to. Yes. Right. Yeah. And also I love hunting for a child’s heart. I know that’s an oldie but goodie. But I love that book. That has been very helpful for me as well. So there’s lots of lots and lots of good book lists, so not all of them are good. I have learned that there are a lot of booklets out there that I look at them. I’m like, really? That was, that’s true.

Pam Barnhill:    We have a podcast coming out not next week, but the week after, so two weeks from now all about choosing books. It was a really fascinating one. So that’ll tell me your morning podcast really so that people who are watching and don’t know what is your podcast? It’s the your morning basket podcast and you can find Right. Okay. All right. Here’s another question. This one’s a great one. I only have one child left to homeschool. He is 12. Do you think morning time is beneficial and doable for one child? Especially for junior high or older, how would I go about implementing it? Okay. So yes, I do think it is beneficial. And so what you have to do is you have to set, remember the idea behind morning time is that mom is a co-learner. So this is not a place where you’re teaching him and this is not a place where your hand in, in books for him to go off on his own.

Pam Barnhill:    So you guys are going to be learning together. So set it apart with the ritual, light the candle, blow it out at the end. So you kind of set it apart. But think about having kind of like a book club atmosphere. Think about it like you were meeting a friend to discuss a book that you had read. And so use that atmosphere and that’s going to help. And we actually have a podcast on morning time with the Olean child. If you look at the your morning basket podcast and then there was a fabulous article by Heather Woody on morning time with teens as well. So those are some great resources. And once again, I’ll just come back and drop links.

Yvette Hampton:           That would be great. I love that. Thank you for that. This next question says, it sounds like you’ve used classical conversations. Can you talk about how that curriculum worked into your morning time? I don’t want to overwhelm our lives with a ton of extra. I really prefer to keep things simple.

Pam Barnhill:    We use classical conversations for one year, about seven years ago. We have not used it since. And the, what I tell people who are using classical conversations is if, you know you’re focusing on that body of memory work and that’s where you’re putting your time, then do that in your morning time. You know? And then if you’re wanting to add a little context to that body of memory work, read those context books as read aloud in your morning time. So use the morning time as a tool to enable you to do the things that you need to do for classical conversations, but don’t add extra to your life. That’s way too much.

Yvette Hampton:           Right? Yeah. And if you, I know that there’s lots of good book lists for those who do CC a half a hundred acre woods, they have lots of branding, has lots of stuff. Yes. And and books that go with each specific year for CC. So that’s a great resource as well. Here’s another one. What’s the best, well, I’m just going to ask this, cause I know you talked about it, but I’m going to ask it again. What’s the best way to implement a morning time?

Pam Barnhill:    Get this book right here first. Get it. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. So we always advise people to start small and build slow. So if you want the simplest way to do a morning time now I will tell you, if you go to my website, Pam you there are, we have a free set of morning time plans right there on the main page that you can download that will kind of walk you through it step by step, start small and build slow. Start with one or two things. Don’t come in tomorrow morning and completely upset the way you’ve been doing school with your kids because they’re going to go what you know and give you a little pushback. So start with one thing. If you’re already doing prayer, add one little thing and then do it for a couple of weeks are three or four days, whatever at another thing, three or four days at another thing and just keep slowly building.

Pam Barnhill:    And eventually what’s going to happen is it’s going to go great for awhile and then it’s going to stop working and when it stops working, you need to back off the things until you get back to the sweet spot. The other thing I would recommend if you’re starting morning time with older kids, kids who may be wanting to just get done, like I just want to get finished and get on with my day. Make sure you put things in there that they’re going to enjoy. Don’t just put things in there that thinks are important. We always do Madlibs in our morning time. I could care less about Matt lives, but you know, my kids love mad libs and so we do the mad libs. And remember, you’re not adding things to your day. You’re using morning time as a way to be more efficient. So your, your school day shouldn’t link then a lot by adding morning time, look at the subjects that you’re doing that could be put into the morning time.

Yvette Hampton:           Yup. Love that. Here’s another good question. She says, how do you prioritize and schedule your homeschooling with your work? Cause you, you are a work from home mom. You work very hard. I know. So how do you balance that?

Pam Barnhill:    Homeschooling happens during these hours and work happens during these hours and everyone, like today we’re crossing over a little bit. And so today, but yeah, and I looked, I liked it. My son this morning, the 12 year old and I said, Hey, by the way, you don’t have to do school today. And he says, why not? Could you explain why not? He was like, you know he was like, what’s the catch mom? What’s going on here? So you compartmentalizing is really big and important. And the other thing is I don’t have to run my kids around. My husband does that. So think about all of those hours you spend running your kids from place to place. I don’t do that. So

Yvette Hampton:           Yeah, everybody’s family is different. Some husbands are really involved, some are not. Some have grandparents around, some don’t. And I realize it can be really, really hard and so, and we’ve had this question asked a lot. And, and it’s a question that I’ve had to answer a lot because I work, I help Garritt with the movie and you know, doing the podcast and doing this and all that. So not a whole lot of homeschooling has happened in our family this week. We’ve been a little bit busy. Right, right. But at the same time, you know, our next session is going to be with Danielle, Papa Giorgio and she’s talking about life schooling. And so we’re a family who very much embraces kind of the, the life schooling model of homeschooling. And that works well for us. We, we are structured in many ways in, in our kids do use curriculum and stuff, but we’re, we’re not super rigid about our schedule, whereas some are, and you know what, that works. That works for our family. We do a lot of traveling and, and so it just, that’s one of the great things about homeschooling is you do what works best for your family. And,

Pam Barnhill:    And I have to say it’s gotten so much easier now that my kids are older, you know, I can, we have our morning time, then they go on and they work on their list and you know, I have to help the boys with maybe three things on the list. You know, total, you know, two for the little guy and one for the older guy. And for the most part they do the rest of it on their own after morning time. And so it’s gotten so much easier.

Yvette Hampton:           So let me ask you a question on that because I remember when I very first started homeschooling, or even probably before I started, I would hear about families who homeschooled and these parents would say, Oh our kids are kind of self sufficient. And in my mind I was like, how’s that even possible? Because all I ever knew was a classroom with a teacher standing in front of me telling me exactly what to do, feeding me every single thing, do this, next, do this, next, do this next, here’s how you do this, this, this and this. And explaining everything to me. And so, and we’re still in the process of, of learning and teaching our girls to be self sufficient. And in some things they are in some they’re not. How have you taught your children to be self sufficient and in schooling?

Pam Barnhill:    I mean sometimes they’re not. There’s still a lot of things that I am at elbow with them for or definitely checking back with them for. But it’s just a long process. It’s a long process of setting up the expectations. This is what you’re going to do. And then being comfortable. That’s why I think structure comes in for us because we’re, we’re structured to like you, you know, we have the list that we’re working on. They do have their writing curriculum and their math curriculum. And so, you know, just the expectation, the consistency with it. I think consistency is one of the biggest things in homeschooling that probably gets the least amount of air time, you know. I think consistency trumps method in homeschooling any day. And so it’s funny, my daughter was sick yesterday. She had a cold, so we canceled her math tutoring. She didn’t go to karate. I let her sleep in. And last evening, you know, I was working all, yesterday afternoon I did school with the boys and then I was working. And yesterday evening she says, Hey mom, you didn’t make me a list today, but I did some of my school stuff and this is what I did. And I was just like blown away. So, but it’s just time. I mean consistency, you know, a little bit of structure and time and they, they start to learn what they’re supposed to do and do it.

Yvette Hampton:           Yup. And, and I think you know, yesterday we talked with ginger Hubbard and she talked a lot about the practice principle and parenting and really teaching our kids how to do things. And so often we expect them to just know. They should just know. They said certainly they should just know how to do things well. They don’t. Sometimes stuff is obvious and common sense, but oftentimes what’s common sense to us is not common sense to them. And so I think really coming alongside them and really teaching them and once you know that they understand how to do something and how to take that initiative, then you let them go and then when they need help they can come back to you. So anyway. Okay. Here’s the next question. How do you play in one quick thing? Yeah. Susan Bauer,

Pam Barnhill:    Susan Wise Bauer has a fabulous talk. And it’s, you can get it in the store at the oil train mine and download it. It’s, it’s phenomenal on independence in kids. So it’s one I highly recommend. And the, the funny thing about it is she starts off by saying don’t expect it too young. That that’s the biggest mistake that we make.

Yvette Hampton:           Yes. Yeah. Great. Okay. Megan is talking about power hour and says, how do you limit time to an hour? I find a spending way too much time on some subjects then take away from the activities that we all deem as fun. Where is the balance?

Pam Barnhill:    I like for my morning time, it’s typically about an hour and a half. Okay. So I don’t limit it to that. Okay. And now when my kids were younger and we like, they wouldn’t sit still and like, we didn’t even get into the whole, they don’t have to sit still thing. I mean, they are doing stuff with their hands these days. They’re watercoloring, they tend to get on like different things that they want to do, but they play with watercolors. When they were little, they did Plato. We’ve done Legos. We’ve done puzzles patterned locks, just any number of things. Drawing origami, rainbow loom, Perler beads, they’re doing something during this morning time, their mouth is moving and things like that. And so they’re not sitting still, but when they were little, we could only do maybe 20 or 30 or even 40 minutes. It wasn’t even a whole of hour. But now that they’re older, we stretch it far beyond the hour. And I have some moms in my community, they do two and a half hours. Yeah. So yeah, it just, the more efficient you get and the more subjects you put in there, then the longer that morning time can go in, the more you can learn together. Right.

Yvette Hampton:           And it depends on what you’re doing. I know oftentimes with my girls, when we sit down to read a book, you know, I’ve got a certain amount of time allotted to do that and I’ll read and then there’ll be like, no, one more chapter, one more chapter because you know, that one chapter leaves us with a cliffhanger and I’m like, fine, when we’re chapter. And then you get to the end of that one, they’re like one more. And sometimes that happens and that’s again, that’s the beauty of, of homeschooling. You’re not confined to someone else’s schedule. Sometimes you are, but you, you do what works best for your family. And it’s, it’s so great that we have the ability to do that.

Pam Barnhill:    Yeah. And every day doesn’t have to be equal, you know, do different things on different days. And Lupe scheduling if you never heard of loop schedule,

Yvette Hampton:           Explain it really quickly cause I love loop scheduling.

Pam Barnhill:    Okay. So loop scheduling, the idea behind this as you make a list of the subjects that you’re going to do and you work your way down that list and then at the end of your time you stop. So it doesn’t matter where you are. So in our morning time, daily we do prayer, we do, we practice our memory work because that’s something I think we should do every day. I’m trying to think if there’s anything else we do daily. There may be a couple of other things. And then we have this list of other things that we’re doing in our morning time. And so if I have allotted an hour, an hour and a half for morning time, I work my way down that list. I might get to one subject, I might get to two, I might get to five, but at the end of the time I closed the book and I’m done. The next day when I open up to do morning time, I start where I left off. Right. So now I get to these subjects and then I looped my way back up to the top again. And so you’re getting all of the subjects in over the course of a period of time.

Yvette Hampton:           Yup. I love your whole looping schedule and you actually have some great resources for that on your website that I’ve, I’ve used, I’ve downloaded and you can you kind of explain the whole system of looping schedules and you’ve got a ton of resources. Oh, sorry. And we’ll talk about that. So yeah, that’s great. This one says this is from Ruth. She says, hold on. Oh, I lost it. What if you have a child who doesn’t really enjoy morning time and always breathes a sigh of relief when we’re done for the day. He’s 10 and I have one older and two younger. So I try to keep it somewhat at his level. He does enjoy parts of it that gets distracted so easily.

Pam Barnhill:    Biggest thing is make sure that there is something in that morning time that that child does enjoy. That’s the biggest thing right there. So, you know, look at his heart, you know, what is, what does he love? He loved nature and animals. Make sure you’ve got some nature and animals. I mentioned Madlibs earlier, I got one my 10 year old boy, that’s his thing. And so as long as I do that mad lib thing, you know, he comes along for the rest of it. They’re not all going to love everything and that’s okay. You know, sometimes we have to learn to sit and love things that are, are sitting do things that we don’t necessarily love. And if mom thinks it’s important, it’s okay to do that. So yeah. Have something there. He loves. That’s the big thing.

Yvette Hampton:           Yeah. And if he’s getting distracted, give you talked about this, you know, just a minute ago, give him something to do with his hands. I think we often have that idea again because in a classroom setting, the kids have to sit still in a seat or on a carpet square and pay attention with, you know, quiet mouths and hands in their laps. It doesn’t need to be like that at home. So if he’s, if he’s just needing to move because he’s a boy and he should need, he should be moving. He’s a boy. Even girls, I mean, both of my girls need to move, give him something that he can do with his hands and it will seem like he’s not paying attention, but he is likely paying attention. He will pay attention. Most kids will pay attention better if they have something to do with their hands then if they’re being forced to sit still and quietly with their hands in their labs. And it took me a couple of years to understand that.

Pam Barnhill:    Yeah. Sarah McKinsey has a fabulous read aloud revival podcast with I can’t remember if he was a psychologist or what, but he talks about that very thing that boys, boys especially do learn better and listen better when they are moving and doing something with their hands. And I have to tell you, some days it looks like the gymnastics at the Olympics in my house. Like, you know, they’re flipping over the couch. It drives me absolutely nuts. I’m like, be still and you could be pictures on my Instagram of like kids hanging upside down and so it happens.

Yvette Hampton:           Yup. And that’s totally okay. That’s, that’s how God wired. So that’s a good thing. And if you find by chance, if you find the link to that, maybe you could add that too with, with all the other links you’re going to add to this. I would say, okay, so Jill is asking, you mentioned that you help your older kids with three things with their schoolwork and the rest of the day they do on their own. How closely are you following their studies, knowing what they’re learning in each lesson? Or do you just let them complete their work? Checking in here and there and being available to answer questions, not knowing exactly what they’re doing for each lesson. Only having a general sense of what they’re learning.

Pam Barnhill:    Okay. I’m good. I’m going to totally mess up the same. But Misty Winkler has a saying. I think Don Garritt might be in the comment, she can help me with it, but it’s like always inspect what you expect. So don’t let your kids go and not pick up with them in their learning. And so if you’re exposed, follow up behind and be sure that they’re actually doing it and check their work. I mean, the biggest thing now I will say I, a lot of times like my son and my daughter will check their own math work. I don’t send them off with the math book and the answer book and say, go do your math and check it. You know, they do it. They’re at the table with me. We don’t want to give them that temptation, but you know, they do the math and then they check the answers.

Pam Barnhill:    But I am keeping on top of that and knowing, you know, a lot of times it’s just a conversation. I have one son who does mr D math for pre-algebra and mr D sends you an email and says it’s time to have that 10 minute conversation with your kid because that course could largely be done by a child on their own, but you need to be having that conversation if nothing else. So even if you aren’t grading everything specifically, have that 10 minute conversation and make sure that you’re keeping up with what they’re learning and you’re inspecting what you expect them to do.

Yvette Hampton:           Yeah. That’s fantastic. Okay, we have time for one more question. Just really quickly if you could answer this and then again, I just want to point people to what you have in your resources. This mom is asking, do you have any recommendations for a mom’s morning basket?

Pam Barnhill:    Oh, I do. And I have a whole podcast episode about that. So we do have a whole podcast episode about mom’s morning basket. I did it with Jennifer McIntosh. I cannot remember the number off the top of my head. So that’ll be something else that I have to drop down there. And then I have something I call the peace plan, which is a structure for moms morning baskets and it’s prayer. Pray, engage, engages reading align P E a common place and exercise. So that would be my peace plan for a mom’s morning basket and we have more information on that on the website as well. What do you mean by commonplace? Oh, commonplace thing is simply writing down phrases and quotes from books that you’re reading. And you do this not so much to keep a record though.

Pam Barnhill:    You, you can use it to keep a record, but to interact with those things that you’re reading that have spoken to you on a deeper level. So Thomas Jefferson kept a commonplace book. You can go to California and see Ronald Reagan’s commonplace book. He kept it on index cards and they haven’t photo album. So it’s a, it’s a really ancient practice. People have been doing it for hundreds if not thousands of years. And it’s just a, it’s simply copying things that you’ve read down to help internalize them. So it’s kind of like a, not memory work cause you’re not memorizing, but another way to engage with the, the ideas that are important to you. Okay,

Yvette Hampton:           Great. And then one more just popped up. So I’m going to ask it really quickly cause we’re just about out of time. But she says I get distracted when they are moving and making too much noise and then they start fighting over the toys. Any suggestions on how to alleviate those issues?

Pam Barnhill:    Well, I mean, fighting over toys is unacceptable, you know, so there’s, there’s movement and then there’s the level of movement that becomes a distraction. And so that’s something you have to train your kids too. It’s like, okay, this is as far as you can go. And then once you’ve gone here, that’s now unacceptable. And there may have to be a consequence for that until they learn it. So you know, don’t allow the fighting over toys. That’s when things stop. Sorry. Yup. And you know, implement whatever consequences that your family uses.

Yvette Hampton:           Yes. And yesterday if you missed our sessions yesterday we did a session with ginger Hubbard who talks about parenting and then we did one with Durenda Wilson who talked about sibling relationships. So both of those would be fantastic to listen to. They give them very, very practical advice on how to deal with those issues. Exactly. So that would be fantastic. To go back and listen to those. Pam, you’re such a blessing and a joy. I love you. I’ve got to tell a really funny story really quickly. I don’t know if you remember this, but the very first time you and I talked on the phone, this was years ago, years and years ago, Garritt made an email address for me and my sweet husband was being flirtatious. And when he made my email address, do you remember this? He, he made my email address to be hotyvette at[inaudible] so I had sent you an email, we were talking about the movie, we wanted to interview you for school house rock and we get on the phone, we start talking about it and you go back to my email and you said, how do you bet? What kind of movie are you making?

Yvette Hampton:           It wasn’t supposed to actually be used as my email address. It was supposed to be kind of my, you know, incognito email address. But somehow it would always pop up in people’s mailboxes. Anyway, it was really funny. So that, that’s like my very first memory of ever talking to you on the phone. But you are such a joy and a blessing to know and your encouragement is amazing. So thank you. Where can people find out all things about Pam Barnhill, it’s all there. It’s all there. There are a ton of great resources on there, you guys. So make sure you check out thank you so much for your time today. And we will be back in about 13 minutes with Danielle Papageorgiou talking about lifeschooling, so join us for that session as well, and we’ll see you in just a little bit. Bye.

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