There are a few simple habits that any family can put into place that guarantee a smooth flowing morning routine. Whether you have one child, or eight children, these tips apply!
(1) Get Up Before Your Kids – This allows you some time to prepare for the day in a nice quiet atmosphere. I like to get a cup of coffee in and some time in my Bible and in prayer before the day begins.
(2) Take the Time to Train Your Kids in Chores – Morning Chores (making bed, getting dressed, brushing teeth, brushing hair) and Jurisdictions (designated part of the house that is their responsibility) are the two areas of training you should establish. It’s worth taking time off school and other commitments to get these habits established. You can read more about Morning and Evening Routines Here.
(3) Older Kids Set An Alarm – The goal is to raise mature adults. Mature adults need to set their alarms and get themselves out the door at a certain time. Your kids should start developing this habit as well. They learn to take personal responsibility for themselves.
(4) Teach Littles to Stay In Bed QUIETLY Until You Get Them – Train your little kids to stay in their beds and quietly read books until you come and get them. This saves me much frustration on the days I need to sleep a little longer, or when a wanderer decides to get up at 6am in the morning. Since all my kids share rooms, the QUIETLY waiting is key as to NOT wake up all their other siblings.
(5) Try Block Scheduling – Giving a larger, solid chunk of time to specific subjects helps the school day not feel like there is always an urgency to “hurry up and get school done”. I allot a certain amount of time for each subject and when they have worked on it for that long, they put it away and move on to their next subject. Larger blocks of time allow them to really dig into the material, finish a project in it’s entirety, explore avenues that interest them, or wresting over concepts they’re struggling with.
(6) Give Each Child A Way to Prepare for Their Siblings – Whether it’s setting out their siblings clothes, preparing breakfast, or helping their siblings brush their teeth, handing these tasks over to your children not only frees you up, but teaches them to look outside of themselves.
(7) Teach Independence in School Work – Between the ages of 8 and 9 years old, you should have a student that is almost entirely independent in most of their schooling. Once a child can read and write, I then spend a lot of time on character training for independent learning. I make sure they are working on remaining diligent, doing their best work, not cutting corners, asking for help when they need it, and showing me their work when they are finished.