As a homeschooling parent, you know the temptation of starting your morning when you’re good and ready instead of when you have to. Maybe it’s one of those rainy mornings when you want nothing more than to roll over and go back to sleep and ignore the demands of your alarm. Maybe you were up late the night before. Maybe you’re just currently very cozy exactly where you are. Whatever the case, it takes no effort to sleep a little bit later, and a whole lot to get out of bed—and that’s just getting you up!
Then there’s the process of dragging the kids out of bed. Some mornings, they get up on their own and everything runs smoothly. Other mornings, it’s like pulling teeth just to get them to get out of bed, much less get dressed, eat breakfast, and get chores finished before starting on schoolwork. It would be so much easier to just throw up your hands and let the school part of the day start when you’re all good and ready!
Unfortunately, for many homeschooling families, that is a luxury that you just don’t have. There are other things that take up the rest of the day—extracurricular classes, and sports practices, and church activities; dentist appointments, doctor’s appointments, visits from family…and let’s not forget about the chores that have to be done every day.
Sure, you can rearrange your schedule to suit you—but you do have to have the entire day to do it in! If you let your kids lounge around until noon, nothing would ever get done, and their education would suffer as a result—not to mention making you feel incredibly rushed throughout the rest of the day. A good routine can help get everything off to a great start, even when you’ve spent too long letting things go.
Get up before they do. Even if it’s just ten minutes before the kids’ alarms go off—or you bang on their doors—getting up before your family gives you a chance to get yourself together before you have to start barking at them.
Have them wake up around the same time every morning. If they’re in the habit of sleeping late, they will want to sleep late (and probably stay up later, too). If they’re used to getting up, for the most part, their little bodies will kick into gear whether they want them to or not. In addition, it lets them know what’s coming, so that they’re never surprised by a too-early morning.
Make them get dressed. Maybe not every day—but lounging around in pajamas makes you feel like you have nothing to do all day. Getting dressed (and, if applicable, showered) means that your brain is turned on and you know that you need to get things accomplished for the day.
Have the same routine every morning. This might be breakfast, clothes, chores; or you might insist that the chores get done while you fix breakfast. Regardless, arrange things so that they know what is coming next—and how to handle things themselves if you’re caught up with something else.
Eat breakfast. All of you. Yes, you, too, Mom. Eating breakfast gets everything off to a good start and makes everyone less cranky throughout the day. This can be as simple as a bowl of cereal, or as complicated as a pancake breakfast—whatever you want to take the time to fix. Just remember that it does eat time out of your day—so be careful what you decide to spend it on.