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    OT- Streamlining mornings

    Can anyone share their system at home for managing mornings before school starts? (Basic hygiene and chores, that type of thing.). I am trying to put some new system in place, and could use some ideas on what works for other families.
    Cathy aka The Attached Mama
    2019-2020
    DS 12, 7th Grade
    DD 11, 6th Grade
    DS 5, K

    #2
    I start waking (shouting up the stairs) the kids around 6:45. They have to brush their teeth and get showers. After showers, they have to start making breakfast. They have to show up to breakfast dressed and ready to go.

    It's the goal to start school at 8:30. Sometimes we make it. Usually it's a bit later. My kids are young though and slow eaters.

    I should mention this is a new thing - only last few weeks. It's working reasonably well though.
    Melissa

    DS (MP3) - 9
    DS (MP2) - 7/8
    DS (K) - 6
    DD (Adorable distraction) 2 1/2

    Comment


      #3
      I also wake around 6:45 am. I wake the kids by 7 if they don't hear me making my bed and getting dressed. They have to make their beds before they leave their room. My 5yo recently has been fully dressing before breakfast because he's so cold in the mornings. This is new and hanging breakfast up a little. I help the kids with toast and spreading things, but they take their plates or bowls, rinse them and put them in the dishwasher. We're trying to get to sponging down the table. After breakfast, I read the Bible and talk about it. Then, they have 10 minutes to get dressed (eldest), put jammies in their hamper, brush their teeth and hair (I help both! oh my!), open their blinds and doors to lighten up the hallway, and then meet me in the homeschool room for the Pledge of Allegiance. We start between 8:15 and 8:20 most mornings. I have NO EARTHLY IDEA how eating and Bible takes us an hour. My kids are like cows grazing in a meadow, and they eat an insane amount of food. I'm not willing to wake up at 5:45 or wake them any earlier, because no matter what we do, it takes these kids one hour and 30 minutes to do their morning routine...and they slow down even more for every minute before 6:30 that I wake them. And they get snippy with each other and dissolve into a puddle of tears when they're sleep deprived.
      Mama to 2, Married 17 years

      SY 19/20
      DD 8-3A
      DS 5-SC C

      Comment


        #4
        My kids also take forever to eat breakfast. We have had to change our menu to accommodate that*. I think they consume at least 50% of their daily calories at breakfast!
        Here's what we do (as of this week haha)
        6:50 I wake up and wash face, dress, make bed, etc. I try to remember to hug each kid as they wake up.
        7:00 the kids' alarm goes off (they wear their next day clothes to bed, so they wake up dressed!) and the older two make their beds, brush teeth and hair, and tidy their room before they come out. We all meet in the kitchen where the Kindergartener unloads the dishwasher, the third grader makes breakfast* and sets the table, and the little one helps
        7:30 we sit down to eat
        8:00 we finish up, everyone clears their place, and the third grader is in charge of loading the dishwasher and wiping down the table while I start a load of laundry (we have assigned laundry days so I only do one load per day). Then we go on a walk.
        8:30 back from walk, and we gather for morning prayers (we keep it short!) and I will add the Pledge of Allegiance once I procure a flag.

        I really have to keep everyone moving; they will absolutely lollygag around if I don't hound them. But, they love going on our little walk/bike ride, so that does serve as a bit of a carrot. They know that school starts at 8:30, period, so if we don't have time for a walk, that's on them.

        *Breakfast: we have some pretty significant dietary limitations, but in general, the kids eat muesli that I soak with coconut yogurt, almond milk, and collagen peptides the night before (I make up a huge batch of oats etc every few weeks); eggs and sausage and toast; occasionally granola with coconut yogurt (this takes longer to serve and they need multiple servings of it so I try to limit this for time purposes); oatmeal in the cooler months that I soak overnight so it cooks up quick. I like blueberries or bananas best for breakfast fruit since it requires very little prep. If we have kiwi or strawberries or peaches I have to get that ready the day before. I have to eat greens and liver sausage (that gets old haha) so I make sure to batch cook the greens and homemade sausage, and just dole it out onto a plate and heat it in the microwave each morning.
        DD1: Third grade: reading, spelling, piano, and art along with MP Mammals, Lit Guides, LC yr 1, and R&S 3 so we are ready for 4NU next year
        DD2: MP Kindergarten
        DS 1: MP Preschool package
        Me: Autoimmune Protocol athlete who loves chai tea with coconut milk, a good book, and the mountains

        Comment


          #5
          The goal for our family was to let the children have some time with daddy before he left for work, so this is the routine I came up with:

          - from 7:15am to 7:40am they need to get up, unmake their beds, open windows (if the temp is within reason), wash face etc., and dress. They don't shower in the morning because I've seen it takes them too long! So we keep that for evenings, or right after swim, etc.
          - at 7:40am they join my husband and me for family breakfast, though our youngest might still be asleep. I'm Italian, so I wouldn't disclose even under torture what we eat for breakfast, or you'd hound me out of town: my husband is scandalized enough
          - 8pm is morning prayer time: morning offering, other prayers, reading about the saint/feast of the day
          - After that they have until 8:30am to do spiritual reading in the quiet of their rooms: it can be Bible, a saint life, things like that. Ideally, this would be Mass time, but the combination of driving and actual Mass times make it impossible for now.
          - At 8:30am we start school, and we work until 10am: we've always done Math and Latin first thing every day, so after that they need a break. This incoming school year I'm revisiting how I organize their work in this morning spot, since they'll have MPOA classes 9am-10:30am on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
          - At 10am they have a half-hour break: they need to make their beds, then they are free to run around, eat a snack, etc. This will now be pushed to 10:30am, after the online classes.
          - More work until noon, when we stop briefly to pray the Angelus
          - Lunch is at 12:45pm

          I see other people are much better at incorporating bits of chores into the morning routine (like putting things in the dishwasher): I'm way behind in this, I really don't care if the glasses, cups and bowls sit in the sink for a while...
          Last edited by Mrs Bee; 08-08-2019, 02:40 PM.

          Comment


            #6
            7-7:30 - morning offering, get dressed, teeth/hair/deodorant, make bed/pjs away, eat/tidy breakfast
            7:30-8 - family rosary, saint of the day, catechism

            I printed out a todo list for morning and bedtime routines, and posted it on the back the kids' door. I kept it to 5 steps, but listed specifics, eg - "Get dressed" includes "polo, khakis, belt, socks, shoes." Breakfast is last. If you dawdle, you don't eat (or quickly cram down a cheese stick). It only takes a few hungry mornings for them to start moving faster.

            Amanda
            Mama to three crazy boys - 6A, 5A, 1

            "Non nisi te, Domine. Non nisi te" - St. Thomas Aquinas

            Comment


              #7
              Amen on the weird long breakfasts....it's why I decided to start making them watch the Prima Latina during breakfast - just to use the time somehow. And, if they sit there too long, they have to watch the same one again - which doesn't make them hurry at all. It just means that they heard it twice that morning... Which is starting to happen most mornings.
              Melissa

              DS (MP3) - 9
              DS (MP2) - 7/8
              DS (K) - 6
              DD (Adorable distraction) 2 1/2

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by MBentley View Post
                I start waking (shouting up the stairs) the kids around 6:45. They have to brush their teeth and get showers. After showers, they have to start making breakfast. They have to show up to breakfast dressed and ready to go.

                It's the goal to start school at 8:30. Sometimes we make it. Usually it's a bit later. My kids are young though and slow eaters.

                I should mention this is a new thing - only last few weeks. It's working reasonably well though.
                I can’t imagine my water bill between the shower and washing the towels if everyone showered every morning. Generally I am terrible at the morning routine. We often don’t start at the same time. This year I am planning to be more disciplined, but I sometimes have trouble getting moving in the morning.
                5:15 Husband takes daughter to morning swim practice
                7:00 Pick up daughter from swim - instead of going back to bed I am going to try to do latin with my 11yo. He usually gets up and makes my coffee and pours my cereal.
                8:00 Try to rouse the 14yo son and serve everyone breakfast, have them get them dressed, and tidy kitchen
                9:30 Start school

                Dorinda

                For 2019-2020
                DD 16 - 11th with MPOA(AP Latin), Lukeion (Greek4 & Adv. NT Greek), Thinkwell (Economics and Chemistry), plus Pre-Calculus, American G’ment, Early Church History set, and British Lit
                DS 14 - 8th with MPOA(Fourth Form), CLRC(Intro Lit and Comp), plus Algebra, Field Biology, Classical Studies 1
                DS 11 - 6th with Right Start Level G online class
                DS 6 - 1st with Prima Latina

                Comment


                  #9
                  Everybody has included some description of our routine somewhere in the mix here already -
                  -charts on the little kids' closet doors for morning and evening routines
                  -set time for me to rise before rest (that's the goal...can be hit or miss sometimes - do still have a wiggly toddler who wakes me frequently at night from his wiggles and whimpers)
                  -set time to wake them
                  -regular pattern of EASY breakfasts - healthy bars and smoothies are the norm
                  -prayers as soon as all heads are in the same room and then off we go on our personal schedules.

                  And now I am running off to start the first pre-season Bears football game with my fam. Whoop whoop!

                  AMDG,
                  Sarah
                  2019-2020 - 9th Year with MP
                  DD, 18, Homeschool grad; Art major/philosophy minor
                  DS, 16
                  DD, 14
                  DD, 12
                  DD, 10
                  DD, 7.5
                  DD, 5.5
                  +DS+
                  DS, 18 months

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Our morning schedule is unique to us because we have animal chores with our hobby farm and my kids are early risers. Two summer ago I was frustrated with our morning routine so I mapped out what I wanted to happen and drilled it for two months. At first it was rocky but now it’s fairly smooth sailing. They get a lot done before school starts because the expectations are high and the routine is there. Whatever works for you I encourage you to stick with it! It’s worth it in the end.
                    Heidi

                    2018-19
                    dd- 3m
                    ds- SC 1
                    dd- SC B

                    Comment


                      #11
                      This is very timely for me as our mornings need a LOT of help! The issue here is that I have kids who get up at 6:00, and kids who would sleep until 8:30/9 if I let them. And these oldest two boys (6th/7th) have always been like this. That leads me to believe that the younger one just needs more sleep in general. This is our first year home in 2 years, and I don't know when a good start time for school would be. Do I wake him up and have a hard start? Do I let the early riser get started on his independent work? The other issue is breakfast. We've gotten away from "healthy" breakfasts and basically the kids just grab cereal or something else rather unhealthy (but convenient) and then leave the mess all over the kitchen. So then when I come out, I'm grouchy because the kitchen looks like a disaster. I think a few things need to happen, and feel free to advise me on the rest!

                      1. I need to wake up earlier (before most of them)-which means getting to bed earlier-which is difficult for me.
                      2. I need to figure out breakfast (see below).
                      3. I need to have an official start to our day (see below).

                      I'm very curious as to what you all do for breakfast. Are kids on their own? Do you get up and make something every day? Is it everybody sit down at the same time, or you all eat together?

                      And, what about an official start to the day? When you have a 2 year old and a 7th grader, I'm not sure how to make that work. Short and easy is what I need, but what?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        We have a couple things that work in our favor. First, I have a dh who is up and out the door by a few minutes after 5 every morning. So that *usually* helps me get up before the kids with enough time to have "brain space" of my own and get my mind wrapped around our day. (and do things like check the forum!).

                        I have found our best wake up time to be 7am. It's the balance between early and late risers. My ones who are up before then, they get to take their time a bit more with morning routine. But I am also taking advantage of that by having one child with whom I work at 7:30 - a half hour of a couple things to start her day that I don't then have to do later.

                        Everyone except M. is able to follow morning routine of wake, dress, make bed, eat, brush teeth, and be presentable for school. The goal is to have everyone available for prayers between 7:30 and 7:45. By 8 am, the overall school schedule starts. This WAS the plan for the year, but we are adding an outside class for my sophomore, which means we will have some adjustments to make there.

                        But as far as meals go, the kids have options, all of which they can prepare themselves. We have bags of frozen breakfast sausage from Costco in the freezer, yogurt, nut bars, hard-boiled eggs, and oatmeal. They all know how to make smoothies with frozen fruit, nut butters, milk, and protein powder. The older ones can make eggs if they want but they are expected to clean the pan at some point in the day. And for the most part, they don't leave too much of a mess - especially if it's just milk and a nut bar!

                        Also, we have black rubber coasters from Wal-mart that we keep on the counter. We wrote names in white Sharpie paint pen on each one. They keep one glass on their coaster and use it all day. It helps a ton with dishes!

                        HTH's!
                        AMDG,
                        Sarah

                        2019-2020 - 9th Year with MP
                        DD, 18, Homeschool grad; Art major/philosophy minor
                        DS, 16
                        DD, 14
                        DD, 12
                        DD, 10
                        DD, 7.5
                        DD, 5.5
                        +DS+
                        DS, 18 months

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Meadowlark View Post
                          This is very timely for me as our mornings need a LOT of help! The issue here is that I have kids who get up at 6:00, and kids who would sleep until 8:30/9 if I let them. And these oldest two boys (6th/7th) have always been like this. That leads me to believe that the younger one just needs more sleep in general. This is our first year home in 2 years, and I don't know when a good start time for school would be. Do I wake him up and have a hard start? Do I let the early riser get started on his independent work? The other issue is breakfast. We've gotten away from "healthy" breakfasts and basically the kids just grab cereal or something else rather unhealthy (but convenient) and then leave the mess all over the kitchen. So then when I come out, I'm grouchy because the kitchen looks like a disaster. I think a few things need to happen, and feel free to advise me on the rest!

                          1. I need to wake up earlier (before most of them)-which means getting to bed earlier-which is difficult for me.
                          2. I need to figure out breakfast (see below).
                          3. I need to have an official start to our day (see below).

                          I'm very curious as to what you all do for breakfast. Are kids on their own? Do you get up and make something every day? Is it everybody sit down at the same time, or you all eat together?

                          And, what about an official start to the day? When you have a 2 year old and a 7th grader, I'm not sure how to make that work. Short and easy is what I need, but what?

                          An idea: just like some families work on a list of dinner food they like, and that helps plan dinners, you could do the same with breakfast. It will help you having a list of items approved by you and daddy, whatever they may be, and whatever degree of cooking you are comfortable with. Some simple ideas: yogurt with fruit and/or multigrain Cheerios mixed in, breakfast breads or protein bars and a glass of milk, quick-cooking oatmeal with chopped apples or other fruit, breakfast burritos, nut or bran muffins. Cereal is fine too, depending on what it is: Raisin Bran Crunch with Almonds is not the same as Cookie Crisp. The thing with cereal is that kids might need a snack sooner rather than later. When it's hot my kids crave cold fruit even for breakfast, but otherwise in general I like to make sure there are always good fats and protein. Personally, I *really* dislike the smell of cooking first thing in the morning, so we never cook classic breakfast food. We do eat all together, except for the 5 year old, who's still granted his own sleep schedule.

                          To deal with kitchen mess, I'd make sure the kids have clear in their minds some expectations: have you talked to them about what bothers you specifically, and what you'd like them to do? Maybe it would help to set a few, easily understood rules, and post them somewhere in the kitchen where they can be seen.

                          The way we organize the day is focused on the main happenings, what I call our "fixed engagements", like outside classes, sport or music practice, etc., and on the subjects that we work on every day, 4 times a week, 2, times, one time. Depending on what's happening, I label days as "heavy" or "light" school days: a light day is a day with a lot of commitments, so I know I can't add a lot of school work. I make sure I include driving time into the schedule, and I basically walk backwards from there, filling hours with the subjects we want to do. The time you want to be really done with school (my brain is fried by 4:30pm...) will then determine the time you need your school day to start. At least, this works for me because my older kids do identical things, and the youngest is still flexible, so our days are very predictable.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by TheAttachedMama View Post
                            Can anyone share their system at home for managing mornings before school starts? (Basic hygiene and chores, that type of thing.). I am trying to put some new system in place, and could use some ideas on what works for other families.

                            pops popcorn ???? and settles ini to learn from you wise mommas.
                            Plans for 2019-20

                            DD1 - 24 - College Grad and rocking her own bakery business
                            DD2 - 13 - 8A Louisville HLS Cottage School and MPOA
                            DS3 - 11 - 4A Louisville HLS Cottage School
                            DS4 - 11 - 4A Louisville HLS Cottage School
                            DD5 - 7 - MP2, Louisville HLS Cottage School
                            DS6 - 5 - MP K

                            [url]www.thekennedyadventures.com/all-about-our-memoria-press-homeschool[/url]

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by KF2000 View Post

                              Also, we have black rubber coasters from Wal-mart that we keep on the counter. We wrote names in white Sharpie paint pen on each one. They keep one glass on their coaster and use it all day. It helps a ton with dishes!
                              Brilliant!
                              I try to assign a cup to each kid everyday but somehow they always get mixed up or can’t remember who’s is whose.
                              Love this idea.
                              Katie

                              2019/20 6th year with MP
                              DS 15: 10th, MPOA: Latin & HS Comp II
                              DD 12: 7th, MPOA: Latin, Pre-Algebra, Chreia/Maxim & Ref/Con
                              DD 9: 4th using 3A
                              Twin DD's 7: 1st

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