First thing in the morning is the time when I have the most work to get done in the shortest amount of time. There are diapers to be changed, babies to get dressed, breakfast, clean up, starting laundry, and then checking on my older kids to ensure that they are getting their things done.
I aim to get up early (between 7 and 7:30 is early for me!) and spend time in the Word and prayer as well as get myself presentable for the day BEFORE any kids are up. Sometimes it works, sometimes I have weepy toddlers hanging on my ankles as I drink my morning water and brush my teeth...haha. But, the latter happens most often when I hit that "start your day late" button. I would like to start school at 9 in the morning (we are NOT early risers). But, this takes some real focus and planning. I found that I was having to chase after the kids and do too much correcting first thing in the morning. It adds to my morning work and just honestly isn't a good peaceful start to our day. It also led to me checking their morning chores on a rather random schedule and not truly holding them accountable.
So, I thought I would try
I thought that if they get up, get dressed, make their beds, pick up their rooms, do their morning chore, eat breakfast, and are sitting on the couch ready to begin school by 9 am without me having to tell them a thing...that deserves a reward!! My 10, 9, 7, and 5 year olds can all do this. It's amazing! If the reward falls within their currency, they will do amazing things to get that reward.
I made a quick chart (which I can't post here without embarrassing some of my kids...so I won't) to keep track of who earns a reward each morning and put it on the side of the fridge. Then, at 9 am EVERY morning, I trek back up the stairs and check all rooms and chores. Accountability is key for my kids. If they are not ready by 9, we still start school anyway but they have to use their "free time" later to complete whatever wasn't done yet...and no reward.
So far, I have had peaceful mornings and many mornings most of the kids are sitting on the couch ready at 9 am. Why didn't I do this sooner? haha. It's wonderful. Now, our mornings can be more peaceful...I love peaceful!
What do you do to get your kids up and ready for school in the mornings?