Whether this school year presents your children with the opportunity to learn at home, at a public school, a private school, or a co-op in-between, a fun morning routine is essential for starting on the right foot! Kids love gentle consistency, and starting their day with a light schedule that provides order and joy can make all the difference for them. Here are a few tips we’ve utilized in our home that help us when we need to create some structure for our mornings!
- Explain the transition of seasons! For most children, they’re finishing a summer of sleeping in, going at their own pace, spending more time with Grandma and Grandpa, and enjoying the flow of sunny pool days. Engaging in short and simple conversations that allow kids to gently be reminded that more scheduling is at hand is a good way to ease into the new flow of early mornings and timely adjustments. Hearing their thoughts and feelings about the transition is a great way to listen to them, ask them for their ideas, and also encourage them in the changes that are coming.
- Be awake before the kids! Most moms agree that being up before your kids is one of the best things we can do for morning flow. Whether you wake up a half hour to an hour early, give yourself the gift of a short workout, hot cup of coffee, quiet time, or a fresh shower before you wake the kids. You will feel empowered, strengthened, and ready to face your day, which will help you have grace, patience, and energy to spur them into theirs!
- Be consistent! Consistency creates a sense of safety, comfort, and expectancy. When a child knows what the schedule and order is for the day and then sees it repeated over and over again, it helps give them a sense of flow and motivation for what needs to be done before starting school. If you aren’t in a routine, it can feel like small mishaps turn into emergencies easily, and it’s difficult for adults and children to operate within a sense of disorder or panic. Repetition of healthy order is key! Then the small interruptions won’t seem like such a big deal.
- Keep a weekly schedule so that you know what is happening before the week begins. Being clear about what is expected each week is a great way to prepare for healthy meals, and it also gives you space for extracurricular activities, appointments, tests and quizzes, and rest in-between. Life is enjoyable when kids (and parents) feel prepared, organized, and clear in their objectives for the week! Write the schedule clearly on a calendar that everyone can see.
- Make a healthy breakfast! Sending the kids into learning with a belly full of healthy nutrients makes any mom and child feel good and confident! Think through some simple options for kids that take a short amount of time to prepare and also give them plenty of nutrition to start their day. You can pre-prepare homemade protein bars, hard-boiled eggs, fresh fruit, and smoothies before your week begins, and it’s an easy and quick way to send the kids to learn with plenty of fuel in the tank!
- Give clear expectations and boundaries for TV or tablet time! If you allow your child to watch a show before school while they slowly get moving or while they eat their breakfast, just be clear to give them parameters on how much they get to watch. Say things like: “If your teeth and hair are brushed, you can watch one TV show while you eat breakfast,” or “You can have 20 minutes of tablet time if you’re awake the first time your alarm goes off.” Simple guidelines allow kids to be able to enjoy some ease during the waking hours without creating hindrances in time management.
- Consider preparing lunches or choosing clothing options as part of your bedtime routine! As you kiss your kids good night, check the weather (and laundry!), and consider preparing their clothes for the next day. This will make the morning flow much easier as they don’t have to decide what to wear or wonder if they have enough clean clothes. Laundry is a common hang-up, and knowing you’re prepared ahead of time can give mom some peace of mind. You can also prep lunches ahead of time so that if your child is heading out of the house, you already have some things set aside and ready!
- Say a prayer! It doesn’t have to be complicated or drawn out, but saying a simple blessing before you leave the house, while you’re driving to school, or before you start teaching a lesson is a great way to incorporate prayer into your child’s daily life routine. We lead by example, so when they see us pray every day, they will carry on the tradition as they go through their day and even through their lives.
In all things morning routine, remember that there is grace! Some days will flow well and other days will be a struggle. Life is not a cookie cutter recipe but ebbs and flows with a variety of factors. These tips will help give you some structure and peace of mind, and they’ll create a good framework for your time together each morning. Enjoy your children in these early mornings; it will create peace, joy, and memories to last a lifetime!
Sarah is a wife and homeschool mom to three kids while also working as an artist, author, life coach, and voice actor. Her writing and doodling can be found in her devotional, “40 Days to a Joyful Motherhood” and her voice is in several commercials, children’s books, and audiobooks. Her education and love for holistic science also lead her to teach small workshops on health, wellness, and creativity. She loves encouraging women and kids to embrace self-care, utilize their gifts, and become leaders in the community around them. Her latest devotional for tweens, “Solomon Says” releases this November. Until then, you can follow her Instagram @the.table.and.bath!