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Trying to get it all done while homeschooling can be a real challenge. Routines really help. Here is how to start a morning routine with kids in homeschool that actually works.
“How do you get everything done?” may be the number one question for homeschooling families besides, “How do you home school?” Time management, home organization, and self-discipline are possibly the most highly attended workshops at any home school book fair. If a homeschooling parent does not stay on top of the laundry, dishes, and meals, their home can feel like a disaster, and their family life can become miserable. Here is a morning routine for home schools that have actually been proven to work, at least in one family.
A Morning Routine With Kids That Works Starts Early and Should Include Exercise
First, be the first one up. Rise early. Especially before the kids wake. If the school day is scheduled to begin at 8 A.M., then the homeschooling parent should get up at 5 A.M. This is very early for the parent who likes to spend personal free time on Facebook Twitter, or other social media sites late at night as part of their evening routine. However, the family’s needs must come before the internet chatting in order to stick to the routine. This early morning time is perfect for prayer, meditation, planning the day, feeding the baby, or just give yourself so relaxation time before jumping into the business of the day ahead.
Second, work out. Allow 30 minutes for cardio, a yoga session, or any exercise you prefer every morning. Homeschooling parents need to exercise just as much as parents who work outside the home. Exercise provides physical benefits and elevates your mood. If the children are young, the homeschooling parent may need their spouse or partner to keep an ear out for any early bird children, especially if the homeschooling parent goes for a walk or run outside. Otherwise, the homeschooling parent may have the children watch a DVD, do a hobby, or some other things they enjoy to occupy them if they get up early while they are working out.
A Morning Routine With Kids That Works Includes Easy Getting Ready Routines and Breakfast Menus
Third, get dressed for the day. This, too, should only take about 30 minutes to take a quick shower, throw on some clothes, and apply makeup if you wear it. If the laundry is under control, this should be easy to do. If you are a woman, there are a lot of simple hairstyles that do not take long to do, and there are plenty of YouTube videos on how to apply makeup quickly. As the children wake up, they can either dress themselves, or an older sibling can help them. After getting dressed, they can get to brushing teeth.
Fourth, if the baby got up at 5 A.M. to eat, it may be time to put them down for a morning nap. Then start breakfast at 6:30 A.M. Older children can be taught to make breakfast if the homeschooling parent is preoccupied with the baby. Breakfast can be very simple, with just some pieces of fresh fruit and yogurt, if needed. If you do not have a baby, you can just go ahead and start breakfast at this point.
A Morning Routine With Kids That Works Is Reasonable and Can Include Family Devotions
Fifth, plan to serve breakfast at 7 A.M. if school starts at 8. Perhaps your spouse or partner would like to have breakfast with the family before they have to work. Of course, if they have an early commute, the couple has to communicate clearly about what is really important. If your partner says they really want their family to be with them before they go to work, then the entire family schedule has to be adjusted, so everyone gets adequate sleep.
Sixth, a good time to do morning devotions or Bible studies if this is something that your family does is right after breakfast while everyone is still at the table. This doesn’t have to be a long or complex process. Just read a few scripture verses, pray, and maybe sing a hymn. Children tend to have short attention spans, so they should not be expected to have to sit through an hour of family devotions.
A Routine That Works Includes Straightening the House and a Few Hours of Diligent Study
Seventh, start on the morning chores after breakfast and devotions, at about 7:30 A.M. This is a time for “all hands on deck.” During this time, every family member just spends a little time getting the house presentable, hanging up the bathroom towels, making the beds, starting a load of laundry, and cleaning the kitchen. This is not the time to dust the baseboards or vacuum under the sofa cushions. The goal is just to make the house presentable.
Finally, gather curriculum and school books and come to the table about 8 A.M. If the baby was napping, get her up. She can be fed and changed while the children are working on their first assignments. Make sure the preschoolers have plenty of activities to occupy their attention for a couple of hours. Work hard for a couple of hours, have a nutritious snack and stretch break at about 10 A.M., put the baby down for another nap, and then work hard for another couple of hours before lunch.
A new routine is almost always an adjustment, so just remember to be patient and practice positive parenting while you all are adjusting. Kids need a bit of time to get used to a new routine so just be aware of that. Being flexible while everyone gets adjusted to your new schedule with a bit of grace will be the best way to make it work.