It's Schooltime! How we organize our mornings! | Organizing Made Fun: It's Schooltime! How we organize our mornings!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

It's Schooltime! How we organize our mornings!

My kids started school on MONDAY!  Aaaahhhh!  I now have a middle-schooler, too!  I can hardly believe it.

My son and daughter have their new schedules all set-up for before school.  My son is now using an alarm clock each morning to wake up and begin getting ready as he has to leave for school by 7:45 {or earlier}.  He is also walking to and from school {which is a mere two blocks away} each day.  I love this....although, he's been doing it for the last two years from elementary school but walking WITH me TO school.  Now he's doing it all on his own!
First is his morning schedule:
And this is what his chores are for each day:

My daughter and I will continue to walk Rusty, our beloved dog, to school each morning together.  We don't leave until 8:15, though.  Here is her morning schedule:
And this is her chore chart:
We post these on the back of their doors in their bedrooms and also in the pantry.  Believe me, they look at them a LOT! I changed them up a little bit from last year and added a few things, but as they get older I expect more.

One of mine is notoriously difficult to get up and moving in the morning, so as a "consequence" for every minute late to the breakfast table they go to bed an extra minute early that night! I'm hoping this helps...when I told the rule this child was particularly concerned!

Remember, it's really important that you get your kids enough sleep.  About a week before school starts, we put them "back" to their regular bedtimes.  This summer we allowed them an extra half hour up each night. We also practice getting up at their new time and I enforce their getting up and doing their three things before sitting for breakfast: bed made, potty, and get dressed {in whatever order they want}.
The most productive time for my kids to get chores done is in the morning, since after-school they are tired and have their own homework to do.  So, this is why they must get all this done before school.  You may not be able to do that if your children leave quite early for school. If they are home-schooled, it's important to keep them in a routine and have them to bed and rise at the same time each day - making them get ready by a certain time or have a consequence for it.

A few things to remember to do before heading to school:
1.  LABEL: anything that goes to school be sure to put their last name on it {jacket, lunchbox, backpack, water bottles}! {First name is fine, but last name is best}
2.  Have a planned place to meet after-school. Some schools only allow them out of one gate, but just giving them an idea where Mom will be waiting helps them know where to look each day.
3.  Be flexible with your morning schedule.  Understand that you may need to change it and work out some kinks if it's not going as well as you'd like and give PLENTY of time to do their tasks.
4.  Carpool.  If you can get a group of moms in your neighborhood to take turns picking up the kids from school, it will be SO nice.  I only have to pick up two days a week!!
5.  Be sure to give the kids an idea of what you expect afterschool. My kids get a snack as soon as they come home and we {usually} sit and chat for 15-20 minutes. Then, they start on their homework. I try to limit afterschool activities as much as I can.
6.  No TV!!  This is one of the worst crimes in our house!  There is to be no television watching at all before school.  It just slows them down and then they have to leave in the middle of a program.  Instead, choose some fun music to listen to to get moving. 

Next week, I'm going to share some other ideas to get your morning to run smoothly, along with some oldies-but-goodie schedules that I made from past years when my kids were all ages! Remember, I'm sharing with you my ideas that work for us. Use them as ideas and adapt what works for you. Be patient and loving with your kids, understanding that everything takes time to learn, but be firm about obeying you. If you find you piled too many chores up, take out a few to make your mornings less crazy!