Mornings used to be a cause for dread, but I’ve learned the art of homeschool morning survival!
I’ve been a night owl for as long as I can remember, never liking a morning routine or having to get up early. But when I started homeschooling, everything changed over time. Now I can’t seem to manage if I stay up late at night and start my day mid-morning.
Wake Up Before Your Children
Yes, this sounds cliche, but in all honesty it works entirely too well for me. I find that on mornings when I wake up with the kids, I can barely stay afloat. I constantly ask myself, “Now, what was I supposed to be doing?” and I feel that my tasks are on top of me rather than me being on top of my plans.
On mornings that I wake up hours before the kids, I get so much accomplished! It feels awesome to have some time of meditation, do a bit of yoga or pilates, eat a small breakfast, and start a load of laundry. I might even have time to open up my planner and review the day’s homeschool lessons. If I’m lucky enough, I’ll have time to update my homeschool blog.
Rising before the kids gives me a chance to fully wake up. My body gets warmed up and ready for the full day ahead. My mind gets cleared, and I can sort out any last-minute drama from the previous day by shoving it into a little compartment way in the back of my head. This way, I’m fully ready to engage in today.
I pull out my Instructor's Guide and spend a few minutes scanning what our day's lessons include for Science, History, and Language Arts. By the time my kids wake up, I’m in full gear and ready to focus on being a homeschool mom.
Use Planners Religiously
I’ve always been a planner, but I’ve not always used planners effectively. In order for me to learn to survive the chaos that homeschool mornings can bring, I’ve learned to use my planner liberally, daily, and devoutly.
I have several planners, and I use them each for different things. My Happy Planner gets me through typical daily life. I also use a homeschool planner specifically for school planning. My best planner of all, however, is my trusty Google Calendar. It syncs with me everywhere I go — tablet, phone, laptop, — and I never have to worry about losing it. The best thing of all is keeping up with all my appointments and not having to worry about the possibility of forgetting something important. As soon as I plan it, I jot it down into my Google Calendar.
For homeschooling, I like to plan out at least a week in advance. Any more than that, and I’m in over my head. More specifically, I write up a small daily plan for each child and subject and the general idea of what they should be doing in their subjects each day. Of course, this gets modified daily as we complete some things but not others, and that’s okay.
Having a plan gives me the peace of mind to know that I can tackle each morning with a sense of peace that I wouldn’t otherwise have.
Don’t Multitask Much
If you’re a mom, you multitask, no questions asked. However, in order to have a more productive homeschool morning, I’ve learned that I would need to cut down on my multitasking in order to focus more clearly on one thing at a time.
If I’m supposed to be helping my kid with math, it’s best that I’m not cleaning out the fridge at the time. Sure, I’ll have a load of laundry going in the background, and I would have made the beds first thing (maybe). But I’ve tried to clean the house while homeschooling, and it just doesn’t work.
I’ve also tried blogging and talking on the phone to a friend while homeschooling. That doesn’t work either. Usually it’s best to carve out a few hours to focus on one task and one task only.
If you homeschool in the mornings like I do, then you’ll need to make peace with your morning routines and allow for the smoothest mornings possible by planning ahead of time.
If you wake up before the kids, implement your morning plan, and stay focused only on homeschooling, you’ll not only survive, but you will get through your homeschool mornings just fine!
About the Author
Demetria is a homeschooling mompreneur and tech enthusiast who lives in the Silicon Valley with her husband, two daughters, and a dog named Shaggy. She currently runs the Christian Homeschool Moms Podcast, blogs, writes music, and spends lots of time at coffee shops.