When you’re the parent of young children, routine is really an ever-changing thing. We had a good routine sorted out for a while, and then the kids got a bit older and it was time to rethink it again. Every family has different needs, so how can we sort out those busy mornings with littles?
First off, I like to get the coffee going. I was super into my Keurig for the longest time, because it made a cup to go with my breakfast super quickly so I could be less of a zombie as soon as possible. I used a reusable, refillable pod instead of buying K-cups to save on money and waste.
However, with a 3.5yo and a 15mo and a strong tolerance for caffeine, Momma needs more than one cup of coffee now, so we’re back to good ol’ Mr. Coffee. It takes a bit longer to brew a full pot of coffee, but if I start it first thing in the morning its ready to go by the time I’ve got the kids breakfast.
(Pro tip: an insulated stainless steel coffee mug will keep your coffee hot so you don’t have to keep forgetting your mug in the microwave)
That’s step two. Kids’ breakfast. It’s been several hours since their last meal, they’re hangry. Let’s be honest, so am I. Oatmeal or eggs are awesome if they’ll wait that long but I always keep fruit and cereal on hand as well. Oliver is currently obsessed with bananas –to the point he will scream and try to climb out of the cart when he sees the display at the store.
Emmy’s current favorite breakfast is pancakes. Pancake mix is one of the things I no longer buy because I can make it from scratch, and I could probably save myself a bit of time if I would mix up a big batch of the dry ingredients to keep in my pantry. I’m working on my time management skills so maybe one of these days.
Also, if you’re like me and have a little who likes to help unload the dishwasher but who always manages to grab the knives first thing, now is a good time to do that task. And then by the time that is done, they’re usually done eating so I clean them up and send them off to play while I sit and eat my breakfast.
Or, stand at the counter and eat because Oliver likes to sit in the middle of my table and attempt to stick his hand in my coffee. And we’re beginning potty training so he may or may not be diapered while doing so. Ahhh. Seasons. Stages. This too shall pass.
After breakfast we clean up the living room. You might do this part before bedtime the night before. Again, I’m working on my time management. Once that’s done we do maybe an hour of “school”. Our homeschool approach is somewhat eclectic, and while I’m inspired by the Charlotte Mason method and no formal schooling until 6, I also follow the child as much as possible. Emmy loves to learn and “do school” so that’s what we do.
We start off with Bible reading, Scripture memorization (the kids currently attend AWANA at my parents’ church), and catechism. I did not grow up learning any catechism so I’m still new to the process, but I like how the New City Catechism app is set up. They have a song for each question and answer, and both a short and long version of the answers.
The rest of our school time varies depending on the day. We were working on weather and the days of the week, but now we’re moving on to other subjects until Oliver is ready to tackle those. Most mornings include music, a few ASL signs, and maybe some yoga. I try to do things that allow for movement during this time, to balance out the sitting and quiet that we’re working on during Bible time.
I didn’t think I would be interested in a smart TV before we got one but it actually works wonderfully for mornings. I limit our TV watching to the weekends for the most part, but I do like having the ability to play videos in the mornings so we can all learn together. I am still learning things like ASL and yoga myself so this allows me to be able to share in learning with my kids.
At this point everyone is awake and ready for the day, so we play it by ear. Sleep and food are always the same time every day, but that’s about it.
Share with us your morning routine!