As a virtual schooling parent, it is very, very tempting to fall into a pattern of sleeping late, rising only when you have to in order to make sure that your child is in their first class connect session of the morning. After all, there are no buses to catch. No last-minute dash through the house to make sure that homework has all been picked up and school supplies are all in hand. No need to cram all of the day’s chores into the few minutes before the school bus arrives.
In fact, why bother to drag your protesting child out of bed at all? You can always drop breakfast and the computer on top of the covers about five minutes before the start of that first class connect session. Or breakfast can come during the break between classes…whichever. No one will realize that your child is attending school in his pajamas—and if they did, they wouldn’t care.
That sounds like the easy way—but in fact, it’s not.
Getting your child up and moving in the morning—whether it’s bright and early, when your spouse gets up for work, or later in the morning, when you’re ready to get started for the day—gives them time to wake up. Unless you have the kind of bubbly child who is naturally a morning person (in which case, you’re likely already starting your day fairly early, because they tend to wake up earlier than their non-morning-person peers), your child probably doesn’t start the day off eager to dive in to whatever activities are waiting. Some days will be better than others; but some days, you’ll be lucky if they don’t snooze through their first class connect session if you wait until it’s time for it to begin before you wake them.
Then there’s the breakfast issue. Entirely aside from not wanting to end up with bugs in the bed, having a peaceful breakfast gives your child time to prepare for the day—and you time to make sure that they’re actually eating it, and not feeding it to the dog, or knocking it under the bed, where they will promptly forget about it until it turns into its own special kind of science experiment.
Also, many children—particularly higher-needs children—have a limited amount of time when they are able to really work for the day. Some of them set arbitrary boundaries—they want to be done by lunch, or by one o’clock, or they want to be finished with their schoolwork by the time their class connect session are officially over for the day. Those goals are fine—they give your child something to strive for—but if they don’t even start their day until nine o’clock or later, it may be difficult to reach them. In addition, any extracurricular activities your child participates in are going to take place later in the afternoon or evening, and they will need to be done with their schoolwork in plenty of time for those—not rushing about madly attempting to get done before they need to head out the door.
A good start to the morning can make all the difference in the day. Sure, it takes a little bit of extra preparation on your part. You actually have to get up and out of bed yourself, and put in the effort to get your child moving; but with just that little bit of effort, you can make a drastic difference in the flow of the day.