Mornings are the time of day when my children thrive. They are most awake and most alert and it's the best time for lessons and learning and all things the [potentially] disciplined mind requires. The house is wide awake with wonder and that curiosity needs direction.
As a work at home mom, my first inkling is to jump on the computer, sip my coffee and begin my work day. It doesn't matter how well laid out my morning plans are or what the schedule is for my children. If I am not actively involved in directing them, they lose focus easily and nothing gets accomplished.
There are 7 things I aim for to help us stay on schedule, especially in the mornings when we are all at our best.
1. Wake up early.
This is probably the most important foundation for me in getting a great head start on the day. Ironically, I do not consider myself a morning person. However, I recognize that this is the best way for me to get ready for my day in a variety of ways. It allows me adequate time to wake up, spend time with Jesus, drink some coffee, and be prepared when the children wake up.
2. Look over my schedule
Maybe it seems redundant, but if I don't look over my schedule everyday, I easily forget what I'm supposed to do. Parts of my schedule change seasonally, so it's not hard to forget what lies ahead for my mornings. Looking over my schedule allows me to make another mental note of what I can expect.
3. Don't sit down.
This may sound strange, but for me, if I sit down to do something, such as check Facebook, I struggle to get back up. I need to keep moving in order to keep up.
In fact, I need to be dressed in real clothes and shoes in order to be motivated and remain productive.
4. Complete a task before moving to the next one
I really try to complete one task before moving on to the next one. If I leave half a dozen projects undone, I don't accomplish anything.
If I'm working through homeschool lessons, I cannot stop in the middle to work on a cleaning project. I'll lose the attention of my children and it's hard to get it back! I'm not talking about taking a break, but getting distracted.
5. Avoid distractions.
Don't stop to do research on curriculum while you're homeschooling or look through photo albums while you're cleaning. Distractions kill productivity. Stay focused and stay on task.
6. Follow up and inspect my children's work.
It does no good to set our children off to do their chores or independent lessons if we do not follow up and check on their work. Make a habit of this and we're sure to create laziness in our children who are unsure of their expectations and lack accountability.
7. Be all there.
Find joy in your schedule, don't just mechanically get through it. The schedule is a guide in order to help us maximize our time and accomplish the most important things. But if we aren't all there, in those moments, we miss the point. When our heart is somewhere else, we will not give our children our best.
A combination of these 7 tips can make for a powerful, productive morning.
Looking to dive deeper and make your own mornings over? I highly recommend Crystal Paine's Course, (aff) Make Over Your Mornings.