Last week I was telling my friend about my morning routine with my kids. The next day she texted me that she was copy-catting it and this week when I saw her she said it had “changed her life!” She is very American so that may have been an exaggeration. In any case, I thought I would share my morning routine in case there’s another mom out there who is just waiting to have the “BEST DAY EVER!”
Hj usually leaves early in the morning, so this is just the kids and I. I’m sure if he were around it would look a little different.
WAKE UP– The kids wake up around 7 and get dressed. Ellie is finally dressing herself! This morning she came out with her shirt on backwards– the puppy was on the back. But she gave me a lengthy explanation about how she doesn’t really care for puppies anyway, (harhar) but she just LOVES red, so that’s why she is wearing a red shirt today. Ok, then.
EAT– As soon as possible, we all sit down and eat a hearty breakfast. A hearty breakfast is pretty much the most important part of our day. I am such a big believer in hearty breakfasts, have I mentioned that yet? The other important part is that I have a meal plan ready so that I don’t even have to decide what to make when I wake up. I don’t think our brains were meant to be super active early in the morning, so if I have to wake up and think about what to cook and how to cook it– my brains are sure to turn a tad sour.
WISDOM TIME– After breakfast we grab our Bibles and sit on the couch for “wisdom time.” I have done this since Ellie was born and I have never, ever regretted it. I read a chapter of Proverbs to them, corresponding to the day of the month. (I’m sure you have done this.) They each have a little Bible and sit next to me and they don’t need to hold perfectly still or be perfectly quiet, but they know that this is the word of God and it is a very special time. Ellie often takes a turn “reading” which is amusing as she carefully says a lot of Biblical-sounding words in a row that make no sense at all. I think it’s fair, since that’s probably what she hears when I read to her. Nowadays I try to explain one of the verses to Ellie in a sentence or two, or I ask her to raise her hand whenever she hears a word she knows. This helps her listen and engage.
About the time Adam is threatening to jump overboard, it’s time to sing. We sing a lot– the kids never get bored with that because we make up motions for all the songs. Adam’s current favorite is the monkey song, about not being kin. He is obsessed with monkeys at the moment, that’s why.
We sometimes do Bible memory too, but not every day. Ellie is learning Psalm 23 but I haven’t quite figured out what to do with Adam during this time because he gets very restless. He isn’t even 2 yet and he just sat through a chapter of Proverbs, so I’m not sure how much more I want to require of him. In a few months I’m sure it will be easier to do it with them together.
Then we pray for each other, which now includes everybody taking a turn praying. Adam just started praying all by himself and my unbiased opinion is that it’s the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. EVER. IN MY LIFE. He lays his little hand on my head and says, “Jesus, ground Mama. Amen!” I have no idea why he says “ground” every time he prays but he is very consistent about it. Ellie is biting her tongue to hold back all the instructions she would love to lavish upon him in these moments but she is learning that it’s really nice to just let babies be themselves sometimes. Whew….
We end our wisdom time with everybody taking a turn to look into Mama’s eyes and I tell them how much I love them and how cute they are. Hj started this tradition a long time ago and we hold fast to it because it fills all our love tanks nice and early in the day. As a side note, I love the book of Proverbs so much for teaching! If I homeschool, I would like to write my own curriculum based on Proverbs.
BLANKET TIME– Blanket time happens right after wisdom time and it goes like this. I put a blanket on the floor, Adam sits on it and then I give him a big basket of books to look at while I set the time for 15-20 minutes and take a shower. Ellie gets a choice of books or a few other quiet activities and she has to stay on the couch during this time. Today she chose to watch the flowers grow for her quiet time activity and that is actually what she did. She just sat and stared at the Christmas cactus that’s about to bloom. They know not to talk to me until after the funny little cow timer has yelled at them. They also know that they need to pick up all their activities (or in the case of lazy little Ellie, peel her eyes from the flower) before they can get off the blanket.
CHORE TIME– Ellie has a chore chart that I made, with pictures. I clothespin the chores for that day on a little string and she can follow through without too much direction. When she has completed each chore to my satisfaction, she can take it off the line. She is three, so she still loves chores. Adam is almost ready for his own chore chart but for now he gets a rag and some water to spray. That is all the fun he needs and he feels ever so useful.
When chores are done, and a little snack is enjoyed, everybody is usually in such a good frame of mind that they can have free play until lunchtime with very few squabbles.
Edited to add: Don’t ever, ever proclaim that your children rarely squabble.