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OT- Streamlining mornings

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    #16
    I started setting routines and chores in place this summer to prepare for starting school (which was this week!). I'm so glad I did that because it was rough when we started the routines (lots of complaints...I learned the hard way the value of starting routines and chores at a young age). The kids have a morning routine (make bed, get dressed in appropriate clothes, brush hair and teeth, pick up room/bathroom/closet) and we try to do an afternoon and evening routine that include picking up an assigned room as well as their own room, putting away their laundry, and emptying their stairs basket. We have a kitchen rotation that changes each week (so do the assigned rooms). That includes a table setter, table clearer, and kitchen helper.

    Our morning is currently the following (my goal is to wake up earlier so that I can have a slower and more productive morning and spend time with my 3yo early riser, but right now my 4mo twins keep me from getting enough sleep for that):

    somewhere between 6:00 and 6:30 - I get up, make the bed, get dressed like I was going somewhere, start laundry, get the babies dressed and into the kitchen, and start making breakfast. What we have for breakfast depends on how much time I have. We love hot breakfasts, so I do sausage and grits, bacon and hashbrowns, or homemade pancakes a lot. If I don't have time, it's fend for yourself (yogurt, cereal, fruit, toast). But my kids are at their best when they are fed well in the morning, so I try to have something that they like and that will satisfy them.

    7:00 - The kids have to be downstairs for breakfast with their morning routines already done. I feed the twins and try to sit and eat with the kids. We have developed the habit of sitting at the table together and eating together, so that helps move things along quicker. They're not supposed to eat until everyone is ready and someone blesses the food. We put the food on the table, which I think also makes meals move quicker.

    7:30 - Breakfast clean-up and kids do any chores they can at that point. I do as much as I can before starting school (laundry, chores, make coffee - very important!).

    8:00 - We start school. The big kids start working on independent work; I'll put assignments on the board for the 2nd grader to do on her own; and I just work with whoever needs me. So, everyone is doing something, whether it's with me or independent work (except the Ker, who depends on me of course).
    Emerson

    1st year using MP, coming from private classical school
    DD, 11/23/06, MP7A
    DS, 2/13/08, MP6A
    DD, 1/21/12, MP2
    DD, 8/28/14, SC1 phonics, K math
    DS, 4/11/16, playmobil university
    DS twins, 4/9/19

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      #17
      Originally posted by Katie View Post
      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.
      Cups all over the place is my pet peeve! I couldn't get them to put their cups where I wanted them to, so I bought a wooden cutting board to use as an anchor for the cups. They have to keep their cup there all day. It works like a charm and it looks decent and is out of the way. Also, each kid has a different colored silicone band that they put on the cup they are using.
      Emerson

      1st year using MP, coming from private classical school
      DD, 11/23/06, MP7A
      DS, 2/13/08, MP6A
      DD, 1/21/12, MP2
      DD, 8/28/14, SC1 phonics, K math
      DS, 4/11/16, playmobil university
      DS twins, 4/9/19

      Comment


        #18
        Originally posted by KF2000 View Post
        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
        I LOVE the coaster idea!!!! I have been looking for a way to stop having a million dirty cups during the day! Awesome. I’m also glad for this string of posts because I need some easy breakfast ideas! We have a baby coming in a few weeks and I need them to be more Independent with their breakfast starting NOW! ????

        DS (14)
        DS (11)
        DD (9)
        DS (6)

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          #19
          This is too funny - cups were our pet peeve for the longest time too. So glad I can share our breakthrough!

          The corollary to that hat is that we save almond butter jars as our cups. We used to buy Ball jars specifically for cups; now we just add them for “free”!

          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

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            #20
            For easy breakfasts, I taught the kids the beauty of the toaster. We get those frozen waffles and even my 5 (nearly 6 year old) gets his waffles ready by himself. Strangely, some kids want butter only, and one wants his completely dry - like toast dry, no butter or syrup. Not complaining here - less sugar is awesome and less syrup is a huge mess reduction. While they prep waffles, I do the scrambled eggs. One kid gags on eggs (food texture sensitivities), so he gets ham with his waffles. Older kids toast waffles for 2 year old too. As they are all young, I still don't have them washing dishes yet. We use disposable plates for most of their meals that we purchase in bulk. When we are at a place where I can be reasonably sure they won't chip every glass and break every plate, I'll move to the regular dishes and they will be taking on dish responsibilities.
            Melissa

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

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