One thing we love to talk about here at Learning Well is routines, especially the homeschool morning routine. We like to keep things simple. And we all know there’s a definite advantage when Mama has her stuff together at the start of the day.
The following post is a huge round up some of my all-time best tips, ideas, tools, and articles from other seasoned homeschool mamas to help you get your homeschool morning off to a smashing start.
Read on for 102 (!!!) ways to nail your morning routine.
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Begin your great homeschool morning the night before
Beginning a great morning the night before is one of the oldest tricks in the book. Do whatever you can the night before so your morning is less rushed. Here are a few ways you can do that.
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- Set out your clothes. Choosing an outfit in the morning takes me forever…much quicker if it’s ready for me.
2. Make your to-do list for the next day.
3. Do a quick tidy of the school room.
4. Fill in assignment notebooks for kids.
5. Look at your calendar. Gather anything you need for appointments or activities the next day.
6. Run your dishwasher and empty your sink.
7. Finish the day’s laundry.
8. De-clutter the main areas. Fluff throw pillows, toss trash, clear the counters…ten minutes makes a big difference.
9. Talk to your kids about the day to come. Have them help gather things for the next day’s activities, too.
10. Activate your launch pad. Your launch pad meaning that hot spot by the main door you use. Set anything you need to take with you the next day–returns to stores, backpacks for co-op, mail to put in the mailbox.
11. Set out a “morning invitation.” See below for ideas.
12. Check out the online course Makeover Your Evenings. This is a fabulous tool for using your evening to start your next day out right.
For all the “lazy” girls
Hey listen. You are NOT lazy. But sometimes those dang early birds can make us more night owl types feel a bit lazy. Most of us either fall into the “get up super early and do a bunch of things” camp OR the “stay up after the kids are in bed and get a bunch done then” camp.
Both are productive.
But I do really believe when you get to bed earlier, you feel better in the morning. There’s something about those 10pm-12am hours that give such a nice, deep night of sleep. Getting that great night of sleep and getting up a tad earlier is going to help us “lazy” girls to get up a leg up on our homeschool morning.
Here are some tips for us night owls.
13. Get rid of distractions by 9pm (aka: your phone!).
14. Use an old school alarm clock. Don’t use that excuse that you use your phone for an alarm clock. It’ll just tempt you to look at it.
15. Don’t be crazy. Use 15 minute increments each morning to try to get up earlier instead of going for a full hour.
16. Do ANYTHING you can the night before. See section above.
17. Make the coffee and set the timer the night before.
18. Incentive-ize your nighttime routine. Give yourself something to look forward to and get you excited about getting up early. See section below for some ideas.
19. Pinpoint your WHY’s. Ask yourself WHY you need/want to get up earlier. When you define your WHY, it’ll give you purpose to push yourself against your more natural night owl ways.
20. Make Over Your Mornings was a GREAT online course I used to break through some of my stay-up-late tendencies.
21. The night before, write down your TOP THREE things you want to get done the next day. Don’t worry about the big, huge list. Just focus on the top three things you want to accomplish. It’ll feel less daunting.
22. Read my full post to “lazy” girls HERE.
Motivating tools for Mama
If you’re not excited to wake up earlier and get moving in the morning, you’re just not going to do it. You need some motivating tools to get going!
23. Starting your day with a grateful heart is super motivating for me. I love to sit with my Bible + journal and make a list of all the things I’m happy/grateful/blessed with that day.
24. Have a few favorite coffee mugs that you rotate through the week. Leave one on the counter the night before so it’s waiting for you in the morning.
25. Light a gorgeous candle in the dark morning and enjoy your coffee with your journal. Enjoy that quiet before your busy day.
26. Find a favorite workout (a quick one!) you can do before your kids wake.
27. Get a few new workout outfits and leave one sitting out on your dresser so it’s easy to get dressed in the morning–and motivating to wear your new outfit!
28. Read a motivating routine book. I’ve heard great things about:
29. Start your day with Scripture each morning. A built-in devotional: read on chapter of Proverbs each day.
30. Make something yummy for yourself for breakfast.
31. Create a cozy “morning spot” for yourself. Maybe it’s at the table with your daily reading book and journal ready and waiting for you. Or in a cozy chair in your living room.
32. Make every day a holiday. Have something on your calendar in your routine for that day that makes you excited to get up in the morning!
33. Give yourself 30 minutes to read your favorite blogs in the morning. Like mine, right?? Awww, you’re too sweet. 😉
34. Find a friend! There’s nothing more motivating then getting up early and getting a run or a walk in with your pals.
Set those sweet kiddos on autopilot
When your kids can finally set their alarms, get themselves up and going, and start their days on their own, it’s earth shattering! Train your kiddos to do a few of these things on their own and you’ll have a few more minutes to get yourself ready for the day.
35. Morning chore. Each of my kids have a small morning chore each morning. You can read more about our chore routine HERE.
36. Make beds. This one’s so easy, even little ones can do it with a little help.
37. Get dressed.
38. Self care. Teeth, hair, face washed.
39. Breakfast. Have some simple breakfast options for your kids that they can make themselves.
Knock out the housework before 8am
There are so many little chores that you can do super quickly that make a huge difference in your morning. You can start school feeling like you’ve got a ton checked off your daily list already. Here are some ideas and about how long it’ll take you.
40. Grab dinner from the freezer or take a few minutes to chop and prep. (2-10 minutes)
41. Throw a load of laundry in the washer. (30 seconds)
42. Sort more loads of laundry for later. (1 minute)
43. Empty the dishwasher. (5 minutes)
44. Make your bed and help little ones make theirs too. (3 minutes)
45. Wipe your bathroom counter and sink as you get ready. (1 minute)
46. Wash out your toilet. (30 seconds)
47. Tidy kids’ rooms as they get ready. (5 minutes)
48. Eat your frog! (varies) This is a saying about getting that one thing on your list done right away so it’s not hanging over your head all day. If you eat your frog first thing in the morning, the rest of your day is going to be a cakewalk, right?
49. Make a phone call. (5 minutes) Schedule that haircut or doctor appointment, it’ll just take five minutes.
50. Pay a bill. (3 minutes)
51. Tidy your bedroom. (2 minutes)
Motivation to start your homeschool morning
Just like we’ve got to be excited to start our own morning routine, we’ve got to have something exciting to look forward to to get our homeschool day running. Here’s a few things I use to get excited about our homeschool day.
53. Create a soothing/motivating/uplifting playlist to play as you start your school day.
54. Know the toughest subjects and plan at least one day a week where you use games to teach that subject.
55. Always be reading a great piece of literature with your kiddos. On mornings where everyone is cranky, start with this book first.
56. Inspire creativity in your kids. Let them use metallic gel pens for their spelling. Do math drills on the chalkboard with colored chalk. Sit on the floor for writing. Change things up!
Changing your habits
Nipping our bad habits in the bud can really help make our mornings better. Here are a few bad habits to work on for a better morning.
57. Stop snoozing. No more hitting that snooze button. You’re not going to feel more rested by getting interrupted, 15 minute increments of sleep. Sooo, quit!
58. Stop checking your phone before you get out of bed. It’s just going to distract you from getting moving. Before you know it, 30 minutes have flown by!
59. Drink water right away in the morning and splash some cold water on your face. This helps to wake up the body!
60. Get out of your jammies. Getting dressed in regular clothes is a great motivator in the morning.
61. Quit skipping breakfast.
62. Stop being grouchy about mornings. Attitude is everything and if you have a good one about mornings, your mornings will naturally go better.
Morning invitations for your kiddos
Sometimes my kids get ready before I can get all my stuff done before school. In this case, I love to have a morning invitation ready for them. It usually buys me a few more minutes to make that phone call or start that laundry, but they’re not getting all off track with screens or other distractions. An “invitation” or “strewing” is just the idea of setting out something fun for your kids to explore or do on their own. Here’s some fun ideas.
63. Creative writing book with a notebook and fun pens.
64. Yahtzee…math, anyone!?
65. Your current read aloud.
66. Easy card games:
- Sleeping Queens
- Wig Out
- Spot It
68. Flash cards with letter cut-outs.
69. Set up the iPod so kids can easily put on an Around the World Story by themselves.
70. Magic School Bus science kits are easy and simple and older kids can certainly lead one of these experiments without a ton of assistance on your part.
71. How to Draw books with a sketch book.
74. Coloring sheets and fine-tips markers.
76. A “knot guide” with rope.
77. Small (or complicated!) puzzles!
79. Bits from nature with nature guides so kids can identify them.
80. Famous painting flash cards or prints.
82. A favorite poetry book.
Phone a friend for ideas
83. Amy’s ideas on teaching your kids MORE in LESS time…ummm, yes please!
84. June’s fab ideas for mamas who just can’t get up any earlier.
85. Kristee’s ideas on really simplifying your morning routine.
86. Cait has this great way of easing into her mornings with coffee and books. Love.
87. Sara gives us 8 fun and sweet ways to start your day on the right foot. So smart!
88. Sara again talking about how her morning basket helps her morning routine.
89. Lynna talks about how she’s taken her morning time digital.
90. Lara has some wonderful ideas to get her kids going on their school day.
91. Tracy shares about what to do when your homeschool morning time doesn’t work!
92. For all you Sonlighters, Gina shares about using your instructor guide to start your homeschool morning out right.
93. Haley talks about how a calendar can help in your morning routine.
94. I love Karyn’s idea of a POWER HOUR and how it helps her mornings so much.
95. My friend Cindy shares about starting your homeschool morning out in a beautiful way.
96. Cindy also talks about starting your morning with nature.
Simple ways to wake up earlier
Let’s not be crazy here. I know, I know, I know that homeschool mamas have SO much on their shoulders. It can feel crushing sometimes and adding one more thing–GET UP EARLY AND BE AWESOME–can feel like a super daunting task. And I know better than anyone that when you already feel defeated in an area, that huge goals can make it even worse.
Let’s just take a step back and make things super simple for the mama who maybe can’t make huge goals right now. Here’s some simple ways to wake up early and still make your mornings a success.
97. Do a simple prep the night before. Don’t go crazy, just get the coffee ready and get to bed at a decent time.
98. Open the curtains as soon as you get up. The sunlight will help!
99. Drink ice cold water. Just simply shock your system awake! 🙂
100. Get yourself excited about your morning!
101. Wash your face right away.
102. Slow and steady wins the race. Just try five minutes earlier each day. In a week, you’ll be getting up 35 minutes earlier!
You’re gonna do awesome this week, my friend!