source: free digital photos
If there was one thing that could make or break our homeschool day, it would be our morning routines. On days when we start school lazily, and wander around listlessly, just kind of easing into our work with no direction… well you can guess how those days turn out.
However, when we all spend about thirty minutes getting ready for our day, and doing what I refer to as our Morning Routine, then our whole day seems to go more smoothly. We actually have a couple of different morning routines. One is what we each do on our own before we come together to start school, and the other is what we do together at the beginning of our “school hours.” We call that our Morning Mingle, and I’ll share a bit about that later in this post.
How to Get a Regular Morning Routine Started
One word: Checklists! Even a three year old can be sent to her room with a list of three things to do. My girls each have a list of things I want to be sure they do each morning.
The nice thing about a checklist is I don’t spend an hour nagging them every day. Did you brush your teeth? Did you have your quiet time? Not that I have to nag my 14 year old very much anymore, but a list is still helpful for keeping her on track.
What to Include in Your Morning Routines
Our lists don’t change much. I might switch up the chores, but the basics stay pretty much the same.
Decide When to do Your Morning Routines
Sometimes I tell the girls at night that I want them downstairs for breakfast at a specific time, with their routines done. More often, though, we eat breakfast and then do our routines. This is nice for those days when we don’t have anywhere to be and it gives me at least thirty minutes to get my day in order and catch up on anything I didn’t do before breakfast. (Which might be my favorite thing about our morning routines!)
During busy seasons of life, I am more likely to require things be done by a certain time. When we’re enjoying more relaxed days, I simply ask them to get started on their routines after breakfast and then meet me in the school room. They’ve learned that the quicker they get finished, the quicker we start school, which means the earlier we end school… resulting in more free afternoon time.
Once we come together, teeth brushed and beds made, we have what we call our Morning Mingle. This is simply fifteen minutes or so together in which we pray, read scripture, and listen to a poem or do a picture study.
During this time, I’ll let the girls know if we’re doing anything at a specific time that day. Sometimes I’ll tell them to be ready for art by 3pm, or we’ll schedule a workout or tea times. I like doing this day by day, as we’re more likely to work things in that way. I’ll write whatever we’ve planned in the corner of our whiteboard, and that keeps me accountable to actually do it. Otherwise, I might plan to do art all year long with the girls and never quite get around to doing it.
Just so you know, we don’t always have our Morning Mingle. Some days the girls are done getting ready at different times, so we kind of just ease into our day.
How do your mornings go?
Linking to WFMW
Be sure to visit these brilliant women in this 10 days adventure between February 7th-18th! We love these ladies and we know you do too.
10 days of socialization for mom | The Homeschool Chick
10 days of classical education | Milk & Cookies
10 days of large families | Chocolate on My Cranium
10 days of special needs | Special Needs Homeschooling
10 days of struggling learners | Homeschooling the Chaotic Family
10 days of homeschooling girls | Homegrown Mom
10 days of homeschool enrichment | Confessions of a Homeschooler
10 days of building a spiritual legacy | Mommy Missions
10 days of frugal homeschooling |The Happy Housewife
10 days of Charlotte Mason | Our Journey Westward
10 days of unschooling | Homeschooling Belle
10 days of organization | Confessions of an Organized Homeschool Mom
10 days of getting started | Blog, She Wrote
10 days of homeschooling boys | The Tie That Binds Us
10 days of homeschooling Montessori | Fruit in Season
10 days of preschool | Delightful Learning