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Morning Routines |Homeschooling Girls Day 1

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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.

  • Quiet Time (read the Bible and pray)
  • Brush Teeth
  • Brush Hair
  • Wash Face
  • Make Bed
  • Straighten Bedroom
  • Get Dressed. (This is actually optional if we’re home all day. I really don’t care anymore if we’re doing school in pajamas.)
  • Wipe down bathroom counters and sinks, empty dishwasher, or other small chore.
  • 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.

    Not that they always jump up and get going.

    Morning Mingle

    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?

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    Linking to WFMW

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    1. says

      i love the idea of a “morning mingle” and i THINK my girls would be attracted to it by the alliteration, too. thanks for the idea!
      we do morning routines, too. i am hoping it will “stick” now that they are older, as we are just starting back with some real structure this week.

    2. says

      I’m very interested in reading your homeschooling girls series. I have two girls, ages 5 and 3 and another one arriving next month. This is my first year homeschooling and we’re going to take homeschooling one year at a time. I do Kindergarten with my 5 year old and Preschool work with my 3 year old. We’ve really enjoyed it so far. I love routines and am always reading up on different routines and then never quite stick to one! I have found that the less we dawdle in the morning and the more I make sure *I* stay on track and am prepared the more my girls are ready to start the day. They are still pretty young but I’m sure a solid morning routine will be even more important as they get older. I do like the idea of their beds being made, and quiet time being had before school starts. And the Morning Mingle idea is really cute too!

      • Homegrown Mom says

        Aw.. you are at an incredibly fun age! Love that you’re starting with a little routine so early in life, your girls will really benefit :-)

    3. says

      I LOVE your blog! I found you through the hop and think I could spend all day learning from you!

      I love the Morning Mingle. I’m just getting started (my daughter is only 4) and even though we only do a small amount of school, I’ve already learned that no routine leads to no school time.

      Thank you and I can’t wait to read the rest of your posts!

      • Homegrown Mom says

        Thanks Nicole :)

        When my youngest was 4, we sat and had “circle time” each day. We would learn a Bible verse, sing a song, and read a story. She loved it, and would beg for that time every morning. Of course, I did have her learning letters and stuff, but that simple time together was the best! Sweet memories :)

    4. says

      You had me at your first sentence, because morning routines are KEY to our day going well. Once I get my daughter up (my son is always up ahead on his own ahead of her!) she makes bed, gets dressed and comes down for breakfast. During breakfast we have our devotions and Bible study, then a few small chores and we’re off and running with school. That routine grounds us and determines if the day goes well or not! I look forward to reading your blog over the next 10 days.
      Mary´s last blog post ..Multitude Monday 571-590

    5. says

      What a great routine you guys have! We have a 3 year old and a 16 month old and I just started doing preschool with my daughter a few months ago. I find that I HAVE to start the day well to ensure a good school day. No sitting down at the computer, turning on a cartoon or dilly-dallying of any sort! :-)

      A wise mentor of mine said to me “Its hard to meet other peoples needs when yours are not yet met” It really stuck with me so I am working on being up before the kids and getting my shower and quiet time in as well as finishing any printing for school that I hadn’t done the weekend before.

      I will definitely be checking back in for the rest of this series, thanks!
      Kelsey´s last blog post ..My Birthday

    6. says

      Morning routines are KEY around here but I have been finding them lagging lately. I haven’t had a checklist for the kids in a couple years. I think I’ll give it a try again. Thanks!

    7. says

      we dont have kids, its just me and my husband. Usally Im the only one awake when its time to get ready.
      I start by waking up lol, Shower, wash by face, get dressed, brush teeth.. run out the door haha, yep that is usally my morning. hectic.

    8. says

      I love routines – and enjoy reading about how others handle their mornings as I’m always looking for new ideas to implement. While I don’t currently homeschool, we have a schedule for all that needs to take place before I drive my children to school – basically making their bed, getting dressed, eating breakfast, etc. I think it helps them stay on task when they know exactly what is expected of them.
      Tracey´s last blog post ..My First Vlog &amp Its All About Valentines Day


    1. […] 21, 2012 By maryalice Leave a CommentAs we begin to think about school routines, I really like this post about a morning routine — note that it happens AFTER breakfast.  That would be a huge help for us, […]

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