I’ve struggled to get the kids motivated for school in the mornings. Although we do have a regular morning routine, individual tasks are getting lost in the cracks. There’s the forgotten lunch box or the homework that was supposed to be back at school. Shoes
may not be on when we walk out the door and hair is sometimes unbrushed. It’s not that the girls are particularly trying to be difficult, they just can’t seem to complete tasks in a regular pattern.
Now I have three at school, I need for my older two girls to be responsible for their own school tasks without prompting. After weeks of unsucessful mornings, the girls and I had a talk about what may help them finish their tasks without being distracted (or constantly nagged by me). We decided to design charts to help them complete all their morning tasks. This is not a reward chart as such, but a “To Do” list. I do use reward charts on and off but right now, I’m focusing on encouraging the kids to own their morning routine so they have the opportunity to learn valuable skills (and so I’m not a constant nag).
Below is printable morning and afternoon task list templates you can print if it’s useful. Just click on the picture to access the PDF file.
Our current morning list looks like this:
* Make Bed
* Have Breakfast
* Get Dressed
* Shoes On
* Brush Teeth
* Brush Hair
* Check Family Calendar (for prompts like library day, sports day etc.)
* Pack bag: homework, lunch, drink bottle.
* Do job: Unstack dishwasher
Tips to help with the morning rush:
1. Lay clothes out the night before.
2. Do the majority of lunches the night before. See here for my LunchBox tips: Lunchbox Monster.
4. Talk about it: I talked about the expectations I had and WHY. I find my kids respond well (without resentment) when I provide the big picture of why I push independence. If I do everything for them, and they fall back on me all the time for motivation, it’s not going to be helpful as they mature.
I’m determined not to constantly nag my kids. I do admit to falling into the habit sometimes though. I believe it’s important to teach kids independence (and to expect it). Confidence, and often reward, comes from responsibility. Plus, I really don’t want to be nag.
What are your best tips for getting kids ready in the morning? Would love to have a collection of ideas in the comments.