Carpool: Kyle Blackmer on Making Commute Time Good Time

It’s not merely where you are going, but how you get there, that matters. And as we often find ourselves going places in cars, it is worth stopping to consider how we spend our car rides. 

In this week’s episode, we welcome back to the podcast Mr. Kyle Blackmer for a discussion of the daily commute. Whether we carpool or ride solo, Mr. Blackmer helps us to reframe how we approach this daily endeavor which can easily become dead time at best, and dreaded time at worst. 

Kyle shows us how the car, with the right attitude and a little creativity, can become its own classroom. He encourages us to think about how we can best use this time by praying, engaging in good conversation (at times mere fun, at other times more formative), listening to good music and books, and celebrating. 


  • 00:45 Introduction: reframing the daily commute
  • 3:20 How can we make carpooling more fruitful for our sons?
  • 5:43 The car as a classroom: the first and last period of the day
  • 6:22 Four modes of teaching in the car
  • 6:45 Prayer, especially the Rosary, especially in the morning
  • 9:28 Car as a place for friendship, shared life
  • 10:55 Conversation in cars
  • 16:20 The art of asking good questions and listening
  • 17:15 Tuning into the boys in front of you
  • 19:16 Setting guidelines for your carpool
  • 21:10 Being intentional about what you listen to
  • 25:35 Audiobooks and classic rock
  • 27:50 Celebrating in little ways
  • 31:20 Finding moments for minor points of correction
  • 33:30 Advice for solo commuters
  • 35:50 The last three minutes: preparing for your return home

Recommended Audiobooks for the Road

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

Seabiscuit by Charles River Editors

Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

Treasury for Children by James Herriot

Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder

The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling

Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs

The Once and Future King by T. H. White

The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells

The Complete Father Brown Collection by G. K. Chesterton

A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter Miller, Jr.

Also on the Forum

On Home as Social Hub: The Importance of Hosting Our Sons and Their Friends with Tom Royals

Friendship for Fathers: John Cuddeback on Living and Teaching the Art with John Cuddeback

Sarah Mackenzie on the Read-Aloud Family with Sarah Mackenzie

Kyle Blackmer

About the guest:

Kyle Blackmer

Kyle has been teaching humanities at The Heights since 2015, working with 7th graders in the subjects of English, Latin, and history. Kyle advises the Ski Club and the Middle School Outdoorsman’s Club, and is also in charge of organizing the school’s famous Clan Games. A Division-1 soccer player, Kyle is the goalkeeper coach for The Heights soccer program and trains keepers in grades 7-12. His other interests include Irish history and music – both of which he pursued during graduate studies in Northern Ireland – and working in his family’s vegetable garden. A native of the Finger Lakes region of New York State, Kyle lives in Hyattsville, Maryland, with his wife Julie and their four children.

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