The first few minutes of the day set the stage for the rest of the day. Am I right??
For the most part our morning routine was okay, BUT, just not where I wanted it to be. I wanted to try a few small tweaks to our homeschool morning routine to stack the odds in our favor that we would have more good starts than bad.
We are heading into our 5th week of the 2016-2017 year and these little changes are making a big difference.
My Homeschool Morning Routine Problems:
Math First Thing – In theory this is an excellent way for the kids to dive into the day. When my 10th grader got his school schedule, I was thrilled that he had Geometry first hour. His brain is fresh and then he gets one of his more difficult subjects out of the way for the day. Here’s the thing though, he goes to school. By the time he sits down in his seat for Geometry at 7:33am (yep. Don’t even get me started on teenagers and start times) he has been awake since 6:00am. He has had breakfast, gotten exercise walking to the bus stop and school, and yucked it up with friends for a few minutes as well. He is pretty much ready to go. Not so much with my homeschoolers. Often one was trying to start math after he had been up for about 5 minutes and while eating breakfast. Not to mention the rest of the crew was getting breakfast – not ideal.
Starting School Too Early – For a long time I had it in my head that we had to start at 8:00am. Then I became a bit more realistic and 9:00am seemed more reasonable. Honestly though, even 9:00am was becoming a stretch. But starting after 9:00am? Seems ridiculously lazy – like the whole morning is over!
Gathering Feral Children – In all fairness, we had moved our Power Hour around a bit the last couple of years to try and accommodate our oldest. This year we are back to doing our Power Hour first thing in the morning. It’s always been a challenge to gather everyone together to get started. Someone needs to grab a pencil, someone else needs a drink and still another needs to go to the bathroom. Before I knew it I was spending 10-15 minutes just getting everyone ready to go. Every.single.time.
Confession time: I had a bull horn in my Amazon cart! (which I still might order ;))
Homeschool Morning Routine SOLUTIONS!
Math is NOT First Thing – Now our Power Hour is the first thing we do for the day. I have moved math for my two oldest to when we move to our individual work. I can work on reading with the younger kids and one of the older kids hops on the laptop for Teaching Textbook work. The house is more quiet, the kids are spread out doing individual work and the child in the kitchen can work more quietly and with more focus. Win!
A New Start Time – Now we aim to start at 9:30am. I almost feel like a total slacker for saying that out loud! It has been working great for us. The kids are up and have had breakfast and even tidied up the kitchen. I have time to get in my prayer time,workout, walk, and shower for the day. Win!
Gather with a Song – This has been the most magical tweak to our homeschool morning. At 9:25 I turn on our speaker and song. That is the “5 minute warning” for all of us. We have 5 minutes to get a pencil, a drink, and a quick pit stop to the bathroom and then all are expected to be at the table ready to roll. Also, I have requested that the time during the song should be quiet, not a run around frenzy of noises. They are still working on that part but it’s coming along. The idea is that they have a calm, peaceful call to action. The other option is me yelling or the bull horn.
Which would you choose?
Sometimes my new ideas fail miserably, but sometimes they work! These are working.