Getting The Kids Ready For School

Getting the day started in our house is a daily exercise in communication!  I really dislike being stressed out in the morning.  Instead, I prefer to start my day calmly with a cup of tea.

I try to get up before anyone else so that I can have quiet time to myself.  Sometimes I read, sometimes, I exercise, sometimes, I catch up on work. If it’s a nice day, I like to sit outside and enjoy my garden.

Once my children (two six year-olds) wake up at 6:45 am it’s another two hours until they leave the house to catch the bus. I use a checklist to help me keep my sanity.  For us, it’s has made things easier.  Since I ask the same things everyday, my kids know the list mostly by heart.

My friend Larissa asked if I’d share the checklist with her.  So I figured I share it with you too. But before you read my checklist, how do you keep you sanity in the morning?

Upstairs list:

  • Did you brush your teeth with the timer?
  • Did you comb your hair?
  • Did you straighten up your room?
  • Did you make the bed?
  • Did you clean your ears (they got their ears pierced recently)
  • Do you have gym or library today?  (Do you have your sneakers?  Your books?)
  • Do you have your glasses?  Are they clean?
  • Do you have your shoes on?

(Sometimes I ask silly questions too, like do you have your bones, do you have your ears? do you have your ankles?…this usually gets a giggle.)

Downstairs list:

  • Do you have your coat?
  • Do you have your backpack?
    • Do you have your lunch?
    • Do you have your homework?
    • Do you have anything else you need to turn in today?
    • Do you have your water bottle?
    • Did you take your vitamins?

I ask that my kids are ready for school a full 40 minutes before the bus arrives.  Usually it ends up being more like 30 minutes.  During that time, they sit and quietly read or draw, while I finish cleaning up breakfast.  Having this “extra” time works out well for us.

About five minutes before the bus, we go through the final checklist:

  • Do you have your respect and dignity? (I hear in stereo, “Yeeesss…”)
  • Do you have your compassion and empathy? (Again, in stereo, “Yeeesss…)
  • Will you help another person today? ( I’ll try…)
  • Most importantly, do you have love in your heart? (Yeeessssss!! Of course!)

Before they leave I hug and kiss them.  I tell them that I am proud of them and that I love them.  If I’m lucky to get a smile; I take a mind picture, and savor the image as they step onto the bus and pull away.

If you’ve got a communication trick or suggestion that helps your mornings go smoothly, please, please, please, post it below.  I think we all could use a little help in the morning to help keep us sane.

There are 3 comments .

Tee —

This routine is infinitely more relaxed and organized our morning households routine. I have a list which I do repeat over and over and over again but by the final reminder I am usually screaming like a mad woman.

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Tee —

This routine is infinitely more relaxed and organized our morning households routine. I have a list which I do repeat over and over and over again but by the final reminder I am usually screaming like a mad woman.

Reply »
Jane0610 —

So what is your advice when you have to LEAVE the house at 6:45 a.m. and you and your children don’t get home until 6pm in the evening? Bedtime and mornings are HORRIBLE for us. I have two girls, ages 4 and 8 (almost 9). My husband works from 5a.m. to at least 6pm and sometimes as late as 8pm (mandatory overtime), so I do not have any help whatsoever. How can we get it all done, on time, and still allow for the girls to get the sleep they need? It’s an impossible schedule – any suggestions would be most welcome.

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