Peaceful mornings can set the tone for a successful homeschool day. Pam Barnhill’s Morning Time Plans have given me a much-needed buffer, and my children some much-needed fun.
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When you’re a homeschooler, mornings can make or break you. For much longer than I care to admit, my mornings have been falling apart.
Life as a work-at-home, homeschooling mom is difficult. I’m not just trying to educate my children, which in and of itself is hard. I also have the privilege of teaching other people’s children, meeting lots of writing deadlines, caring for the house my husband and I are blessed to own, and building relationships with my husband and friends.
I don’t rue my life or the choices we’ve made as a family. I love my vocation and my career. But life was a lot easier when I could get up before the kids and spend a couple hours working in the silence.
My little guy – the toddler? He kinda ruined that plan.
F is the cuddler to end all cuddlers. At three, I’m struggling to get him out of my bed. I’m also struggling to get him to stay asleep without me, which means I’m usually stuck holding a sleeping kiddo from about 5:30 AM until 7.
My morning time – my time for me – disappeared.
Funny thing about deadlines and responsibilities – they don’t vanish into thin air just because your time to complete them does. My stress level skyrocketed, and I started delaying everything – my workouts, my showers, breakfast, the start of school – just so I could have time to finish my work in the morning.
What did that mean for the kids?
Screen time. Hunger. Cranky behavior for the school day and beyond. I had to find a way to take care of my needs without ignoring my children.
I considered hiring a nanny.
I found Pam Barnhill’s morning time plans, instead.
How to Bring Peace to Your Homeschool Morning: Pam Barnhill’s Morning Time Plans
Pam Barnhill is the genius behind the Homeschool Solutions podcast. Her morning time plans for homeschool combine memory work, music appreciation, literature, art, and math in seasonally-appropriate, inviting themes. As soon as I cracked open the Fall Morning Time Plans this past September, I knew we had an answer to our messy, stressy mornings.
These Morning Time Plans are the perfect balance of independent and mama-led work, giving me the space I need to function and the kids the space to learn.
How it Works
Pam offers a variety of Morning Time Plans, each one corresponding to a different season or time period. She also offers a set of plans just for preschoolers, divided into separate terms. All of the plans are digital and delivered as soon as you place your order. The file arrives as a full color PDF, ready for printing at home or at a shop.
What it Offers
Each set of Morning Time plans is seasonally appropriate, perfect for adding beauty and fun to your homeschool day. When you open your morning time plans, you’ll find:
- An extensive book list for read alouds
- Poetry for recitation and, if you like, memorization
- Scripture passages and prayers for each week
- Tutorials for math and art projects
- Links to sites and videos about famous composers, along with their music
- Suggestions for nature walks and outside time
- A weekly loop or grid schedule to fit your homeschool needs
What We Did
As we worked through the Fall morning time plans, it was clear that our family had found our groove. The plans were flexible, both in terms of the materials and lessons we chose and the order in which we did them. Our library didn’t have all of the titles on the book list, so we substituted with a few favorites we had at home. I also allowed the kids to hop around from week to week, exploring activities that appealed to them (one rainy, chilly morning, for example, the girls chose to learn about hibernation instead of going out for a hike).
Over the course of our morning time experience,
- The girls learned about Tchaikovsky. They read an overview of his life and listened to the 1812 overture while I read to the little guy.
- All three children experimented with chalk pastels. They made gorgeous landscapes and scribbles while I drafted outlines for posts.
- We took nature walks and did a scavenger hunt together. We returned from each journey with pockets full of red leaves.
- The oldest read poetry and books to her siblings every morning. I tidied in the kitchen and got organized for the day.
What We Learned
While I’m grateful for the academic advances we made over the last six or seven weeks, I’m most pleased with how we’ve learned to work with one another in the morning.
- We’ve learned classical music is soothing to the soul
- We’ve learned reading aloud is a great bonding experience
- We’ve learned the value of creating in the morning
- We’ve learned the benefit of getting outside first thing
Pam’s Morning Time Plans are the peaceful answer to busy homeschool mornings.
And right now, Pam’s offering two sets of plans completely free if you’d like to give them a try:
Plans Available for Free
A Month of Morning Time: A great introduction to the Morning Time plan series, this set includes three weeks of plans to give you a taste of the fun.
Christmas Celebration Morning Time Plans: Perfect for taking you from December 1 all the way through Christmas morning, the Christmas Celebration plans include three more weeks of lessons and resources perfect for the holiday season.
Plans at a Reduced Price
Advent and Epiphany Morning Time Plans: Specifically tailored to Catholic families, this set of plans covers the four weeks of Advent and the 12 days of Christmas, all the way through Epiphany. Currently, this set is on sale for $4.99!
Pam’s Morning Time Plans have made a huge difference in our mornings.
They’ve given me back the buffer I need while providing my children with valuable learning and bonding experiences, and I’d say that’s a total win.
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