We have begun a new season of life…
This year, for the first time ever, we decided to send our five-year-old to a traditional school. While the first day of kindergarten can be emotional and hard for any parent, this was particularly hard for me because we have been home preschooling from the beginning (and always planned on continuing homeschooling through elementary school). THIS WAS HARD. Emotionally hard and new routine hard. We had to take lots of different factors into consideration, but in the end, we decided that it was best for everyone for our oldest to be enrolled in a traditional public school classroom.
(Stay tuned for a full post on the factors behind our decision.)
So up until now, we have been pretty relaxed with our morning routines. We woke up without alarms, eased into breakfast, and prepared for our day in a very unhurried pace. It was wonderful! Now that school has started though, we are finding that our morning routine needed some *adjustments*
Morning Routine Hacks that Helped us Out
After two weeks of back to school, we have made adjustments and found a flow that worked for us. We have hacked some of our homeschool morning routines to work for us and we are on track for a year of great mornings! Here’s what we’re doing:
1. Get up Earlier than Necessary
This is a biggie and probably totally obvious to everyone else. But not me. In my mind, I compared getting ready for school to something like getting ready for church. An hour should be PLENTY of time to get it all done…right???
No, no, and NO.
First of all, on Sundays I have a helper named Dad taking care of lots of little details. Dad kind of rocks, and since he’s not available to help on weekdays, this meant I had to get up earlier to make sure we were on time. And then I had to add on extra time to even that because something always goes wrong (shoes too tight, need more breakfast, dog stole my socks, etc.)
Plus, it’s a great feeling not to be rushed in the mornings. We all have a better day when we aren’t haunted by the fear of being late.
2. Play Some Music!
Music is a great way to wake us up and put us in a good mood! My kids particularly like “Happy” and “Everything is Awesome“.
3. Make Breakfast Self-Serve
My kids have been learning kitchen skills during our home preschool time together, and now’s the time they get to let those skills shine! They can pour their own cereal and milk, cut and serve fruits, and clean up after themselves. All this with very little instruction from me. Yay for carrying some of our preschool learning into our mornings!
4. Make it Visual
I don’t want to be the dictator that is always barking orders of what to do next. This Visual Kids Command Center from Sunny Day Family is a lifesaver in getting our days organized.
5. Make Shoes Easy to Find
Our numero uno struggle every morning was finding where my kids put their shoes (please tell me I’m not the only one who goes through this!) I think the problem came about because we were never good with shoes. As homeschoolers, I was super laid back about wearing shoes. Most of the time they were barefoot warriors- taking on their days (inside and out) sans shoes. Now that they have to actually keep shoes on their feet, they forget where they last kicked them off at. We needed a routine for this pronto!
Our easy solution- keep shoes next to their backpacks. Easy peasy. They are always ready to go. Nothing fancy about the way we store them, just good old habit and consistency to make things easy for us.
Now let’s talk a little bit about our shoe of choice…
Keen Shoes has always been known for their amazing summer sandals. They are waterproof and made for active kids like mine! It was only natural that we also look to Keen Kids for durable and comfortable school shoes. We decided on the Hikeport Style because they are easy for my kids to put on by themselves and they offer great support for active play at recess!
We’re happy to team up with a great group of bloggers to share lots of KEEN styles for kids AND an awesome giveaway. TEN lucky winners will receive a pair of KEEN shoes for school (select from New Arrivals). Please enter using the Rafflecopter below.
Don’t forget to visit all of the participating blogs too! They all have KEEN shoe styles to share as well as great tips and ideas for school:
The Chirping Moms // Wanderlust Crew // Simple, Like Love // Suburban Wife, City Life // Girl in the Red Shoes //Marino Bambinos // The Love Designed Life // Momfessionals // Munchkins and Moms // Being Brickner // Thrifty Nifty Mommy
Giveaway: Enter using the form below