Life kind of lives and dies by our morning routine around here. I’ve worked hard to cultivate it, and when I fall out of the routine… everything feels harder. Productivity, priorities, self care, and the to-do list, primarily. Having a solid routine has been paramount to our success homeschooling. This is true for a few reasons! First: my kiddos are at their best in the AM. Most ready to listen, give me great feedback, engage, and spend some focused time. Second: ME TOO. It’s easiest for me to achieve goals, prioritize, and really focus in the AM too. We are a bunch of morning people around here, but our routine is what focuses all that ready-to-get-to-it energy into usable, productive paths that set the tone for the rest of the day.
BUT! The best advice I can give about a homeschool morning routine is to not make it solely about the kids, homeschool, or morning.
Wait, what? I KNOW. I give the caveat that this isn’t just a morning routine (but it can be that too), because you can choose to start your “morning” routine ANY TIME YOU NEED TO. Maybe your morning is actually spent caring for a sick kiddo, getting to an early doctors appointment, or meeting a friend for a playdate… and then you get home. And all hell’s breaking loose. And school hasn’t happened. You can start then. Right then. Even if your (typically morning routine) isn’t happening till 3pm sometimes, it’ll still save you. And be so wholly worth it.
The magic to finding our *just right* mixture was providing the girls with a routine that gives them both autonomy and close proximity to me. For me, providing the space and moment for movement, while keeping me close enough at hand to help the girls out, saves my sanity. Consequently, their and my routines are totally different, but they overlap easily, and as I hold all the particulars of our schedules and routines lightly, this works out perfectly. Paramount to this? The girls having a space that they can easily move around, make their own, and feel productive in. The sweet desk pictured above has been all of that for us, and, as you can see? They haul that thing all over the living room (and their room too).
When we prioritize the routine it means that, when we’re at our best, we’re off and running feeling productive, connected, and full. Ready for more school, more exploring, and probably a hike! At worst, we’ve at least checked a few important things off the list, got our minds and bodies engaged, and are ready to brainstorm new ways to connect and make our day keep on trucking.
MY MORNING ROUTINE:
- Warm hot water with lemon
- Planner, calendar, to-do list; check in, write what’s new, and put my to-do’s in order of time/need
- Stretch it out for at least five minutes on my mat.
- Check my emails/ work through at least two of my online to-do list items
MY KIDDOS ROUTINE:
- Protein before I wake up (my hubs gets up earlier than me and gives them a protein to snack on; PB, sausage, or nut butter oatmeal)
- Brush teeth
- Snag a journal and some inspiring items (changes daily) write for a few moments at their desk.
- Read for a few minutes if they need space from anyone.
- Tackle a work book (they can choose and then I pop in and out of helping them with it) OR join me to stretch out
We swap out curriculum, shift our learning, and generally follow the girls’ lead with a more Unit Study kinda style. However, keeping the structure of the routine of sitting calmly, writing a little, and spending a little time in a more traditional moment of homeschooling has really benefited the girls.
They LOVE having their own spaces to check into. Often one wants to cuddle up with pillows to read and the other chooses the desk. It’s a space that has become the go-to. A beautiful addition to our homeschool and an easy way for whoever is using it to feel autonomy and control over their own learning environment. We LOVE this desk from Print 2D3D (and? they’re offering 40% off to you! whaaat?!) and it’s been the best ever addition to our morning routine.
Adding in a special space like this has made the girls far more excited, engaged, and ready to school. The desk arrived flat in pieces and was super easy (and fun!) to put together. The girlies helped Charlie to put all the pieces together and the sense of ownership they feel just adds to their excitement in using it. The quality of the wood is fantastic, and I’ve sat in that tiny chair with no issue (except the issue of why am I sitting in a tiny chair, hah). Print2D3D is an incredible company to work with, and support. They are a Seattle based company (local to me!) that is focused on sustainability, high quality materials, and creating a product that will be sturdy and usable for years to come.
This morning my kiddos have moved the desk from bedroom, to office, to living room, finally settling in right next to my desk so we could all work together. Music up loud, productivity flowing, there is a small extra burst of magic in having a space of their own to really settle into, and adding a little desk to our morning routine has aided in that flow so well.