How do you start off your homeschooling morning? Do your kids wake up to alarm clocks blaring, or mom turning on the lights and telling them that it’s time to start their day? Or do they stagger out of bed on their own, when they wake up naturally, and get moving at their own pace—with the understanding that the day won’t be over until they’ve completed everything that they’re supposed to? Do you fix them a warm breakfast, or point toward the kitchen (and the cereal box) and tell them to fix something so they can get down to work?
Does it matter?
How your morning begins can set the pace for the entire day. A rushed, hurried awakening, complete with fussing and complaining, can set everyone off-kilter and lead to tantrums, complaints, and a just in general bad day. On the other hand, a too-leisurely pace in the morning can give the indication that there’s more than enough time to accomplish everything that needs to be done throughout the course of the day, and that, therefore, there is no reason to jump into the day ahead.
So where’s the balance?
For many families, the balance is in a set wake-up time and a reasonable schedule, but one that can be adjusted as needed. For example, they might decide that breakfast should be completed and schoolwork started by eight thirty, or that chores need to be done by nine. Some families decree no pajamas after breakfast; others permit students to work in whatever they slept in (as long as it’s halfway decent). You’ll have to find a routine that works for your family and a system that doesn’t either constrict or overly stress out your students, but keep it in mind that a good start to the day isn’t just about eating a good breakfast—it’s about the prevailing attitude throughout the entire day.