School starts in less than a week and just the thought of school mornings with 3 girls and deciding who's wearing what, what hairdo will do, who's turn it is to man the toaster and who will get their shoes on fastest to get to the car first used to be enough to make this mom hide under the covers!
But no more! I have figured out how to Manage the Morning Madness !! Last year I read some back to school advice that made my life so much easier, that I want to pass it along as another September is upon us!
The secret to managing your morning is . . . .Ownership! My kids Own their morning. They decide how its going to go. Kids love to do stuff IF its their idea and IF they can have some control over it . . . so that is what we try to do here! And if its a successful morning, Mommy high fives them all the way to school!
This seems to work best if your kids are entering Grade 1 or higher, but my JK'er happily followed her older siblings example last year! We started with some brainstorming. The kids and I discussed what they CAN do on their own. We break it into 2 lists - a "Before School" and an "After School" List. The kids come up with what they are willing to do, and I made up the list in big print the older ones could read and some clip art photos the younger one could look at for reminders. Before school we have brush hair, teeth, pack library books and After school is empty lunch bag in kitchen, homework on table, wash hands - easy stuff to start !
Every single school morning instead of me saying "brush you hair" 3 times to each of them (tha's 9 times if you're counting!) or "where's your homework" til I'm dizzy or "put your lunch dishes on the counter" until I threaten to send the mouldy ones back for lunch the next day . . . now all I have to say is "Did you finish your list?" and these girls RUN to check and make sure. They RUN! Its a game - who can finish the list first . . OK - its a competition, but whatever - they are doing the List !!
They own that list, they decided what went on it and they are super proud to actually do it ALL! I figured the novelty would wear off after the first week of school, but you know what? It didn't. And this year, they want to add to the list! My Grade 3'er can start making healthy choices for her own lunch (she just read this and said "seriously - can I?!"), my Grade 2'er can empty the dishwasher and my SK'er - well, she is going to take all morning on her hair and deciding on which princess dress to wear for the day I'm sure !!!
So what will be on your Before School list? What do your kids to after school to help transition into homework, snacks and activities? I'd love to hear your suggestions as the kids and I prepare to make our list for next weeks first day of school !! And then check back and let me know if the lists work in your house!