Monday, August 28, 2017

Before School Morning Routine

You guys!  School is officially in session!  It's hard to believe summer break is officially a thing of the past.  I was kind of dreading the summer because I was apprehensive about the boys being at home so much and fighting...but it seemed to just fly by.  We were able to cram a lot of fun things into the break, but we also had some chill time, which everyone needed.  Now it's back to the grind!  Back to going to bed early, waking up early, and trying our best to get out the door on time!


We always seem to have a struggle in the mornings.  I often joke with Chase that he is King of the Dilly-Dalliers (or however you spell that!) because that boy can dawdle and waste time like no other.  It's amazing actually because he wakes up in plenty of time to do what needs to be done prior to heading out the door, yet every single morning it seems we are scurrying around at the last minute looking for a lost shoe, or frantically brushing teeth.  

Obviously I don't have this morning routine thing down to an exact science, but I do want to share a few things that have seemed to cut down on the stress level.  I'm very open to suggestions too because I'm willing to try anything that will help me avoid having to repeat myself 25 times before someone will listen to what I'm saying!  Can you relate? 

Morning Chart.
I made a chart to show the boys what they need to accomplish before we leave each morning.   I just googled free clip art photos to correlate with their tasks.  I think having a visual reminder is helpful to them.  It also helps me because instead of asking, "did you brush your teeth?", "did you take your breakfast dishes to the sink?", I just ask, "Has everything on your chart been completed?"

No TV or electronics before school.  
We just can't get it together to have time to mess with watching a TV show or playing a video game.  But, even if they did have extra time, I found early on that if I let them start watching something then it just welcomes a meltdown when it's time to turn it off and leave.  So, we just don't even go there.

I get ready before they wake up.  
It took me a while to convince myself that I could live without those extra few minutes of sleep.  I used to sleep until the very last minute, then I'd scramble around trying to simultaneously get myself ready and make them breakfast.  It just caused me a lot of stress.  I started waking up early to workout while they are still asleep, so I now have plenty of time to get a quick shower and put myself together a bit (not every day, but some days I look put together) before they wake up and need help with 100 different things.  I find that I get a better start to my day and I don't feel so frantic when I allow myself some time alone before the chaos begins.

Set Breakfast Menu.
We started this last year and it seemed to work out great.  I was constantly asking what they wanted for breakfast, only to have them hem and haw over the choices, and then they inevitably could not agree on a mutual decision.  My kids have only a handful of breakfast items that they will eat AND that I approve of.  They'd eat donuts every day if they could, but we try and save the sugary treats for the weekends.  So, together with the kids, I went through and came up with 5 breakfast items they agreed to eat, and that has become our fixed menu.  Here's our menu as an example:
Monday: Toast
Tuesday:  Eggs
Wednesday:  Cream of Wheat with cheese and salt
Thursday:  Rice Krispies
Friday:  Granola with milk
They don't mind eating the same things over and over again because that's all they want to eat anyway.  And last year, they got tired of one of the items, so we changed it up a bit.  Totally flexible, but it's nice to have something planned out and it cuts down on the "what do you want for breakfast?" time waster.  

So, how do your mornings go?  Are you super organized and run a mini bootcamp, or are you running around like a chicken with your head cut off looking for the lost sock under the couch and praying the bus doesn't come before you find it?

 photo Niki Heart Auto signature-2_zpso77bkiti.png

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