Tuesday, May 19, 2015

School Morning Routine

I very much dislike early mornings. Actually, I always have, I have always been a night time person.

Our routine for school mornings is pretty quick.  I get Anthony up at 6:30 so he can get in the shower. Once he is out of the shower I wake the girls.  Their only responsibility in the morning is to get dressed, brush their teeth and hair, take any medications, get their snack, grab their backpack and get out the door by 7ish. I then drive the kids to school where they have breakfast.

Sounds so easy.  It should be easy but not so much for my kids. I started driving them for two reasons; they couldn't get to the bus on time and they got into trouble on the bus.  In the mornings they are the first kids to be picked up so they spend a long time on the bus, too much time.  They take the bus home because they are the first dropped off.  They shouldn't be able to get into too much trouble in that time. However, they still find a way, Michelle did today.

This morning was a typical one.  Anthony was showered and dressing when I woke Emma and Michelle. While standing in their door I noticed their dirty clothing pile.  Huge pile.  They had cleaned up their bedroom the day before and put all the clothing that was on the floor in the dirty laundry. I am sure that there are many clean pieces of clothing in that pile.  My laundry never ends so this greatly annoys me.  I tell them that when they get home they need to put their laundry in the laundry room.  I will take out all the clean clothing and donate it. This is a continuous battle every time I ask them to put their clothing away.  I think that they have too much stuff so I will help them out.

I then went to wake Larissa and she had a seizure.  That is not a good sign, I left her alone and she went back to sleep and slept until 10 am.  She has missed about 30 days this year.  If I wake her again after her seizures (she typically falls asleep after having one) then she will be very cranky all day and not work at school.  This is why we are homeschooling next year.  We can work on her schedule.

Emma and Michelle now own at least 5 brushes a piece yet they can never find one in the morning. They have a spot where they are supposed to place them but they seem to disappear.  Every morning they have to be reminded to brush their teeth and their hair. They typically find one brush in the drawer and fight over it.

During this time I am normally getting the baby changed and fed before we get into the car.  Since Sarah is home now I can let him sleep.  This means that the kids can't be yelling because they will wake him. This is a struggle because my kids aren't quiet.  Asking them to be quiet typically causes them to yell louder.

Michelle came down dressed in Emma's clothing.  Emma's clothing doesn't fit Michelle so she was sent back up to change.  Michelle must show me what she is wearing every day.  One day she snuck past me and I didn't notice that she was wearing something that she wasn't allowed to wear until she was getting out of the van.  She was good, hid behind the table and such.  Not happening again.

Emma looked acceptable.  She has that type of hair that looks a mess two minutes after it is brushed. She didn't have any tangle bumps after brushing so she was good to go. She got her medication, grabbed a snack and asked if she could go to the car.  I told her yes.  She is trying to stay out of the fighting and she knows it is about to start.

Michelle comes down and complains about the snack choices.  I tell her that she doesn't have to take one and she picks something. (I am really tired of the snack thing by now and don't stock it so they are down to the unpopular snacks). I hand her her Friday folder (again) so she can turn it in.  I hand out the rest of the medications and watch to make sure it is taken.

Anthony and Michelle head out to the car.  I look around for my purse (it is never where it belongs) and head out a few minutes after them.  From the front door I can hear the fighting.  Anthony and Michelle found something to fight over.

Our morning routine is quick so that the kids don't have any down time.  Down time is fighting time. It seems as though the more time they have the longer it takes.  I haven't figured that out yet.  The constant fighting is getting on my last nerve.  On good days we can talk about their upcoming day and have a pleasant drive.  However, more often than not they have been fighting and I am annoyed. Not a good way to start the day!  I don't know how to stop their little squabbles.  They drive everyone else in the house crazy.  I am losing my patience.  Summer is coming. I think that this is something that we are going to actively work on this summer.

I get home from dropping off the kids to find Michelle's Friday folder sitting on the table, again.

Anyone enjoy mornings out there?  Share your secret.


  1. Everyone is up at 5:05. Get dressed. Only choices are what color of three button polo because that's the dress code even for public school. Each school can wear their two colors plus white. The charter academy has a multitude of colors but must have the logo. There are uniform pants. Takes out the arguments. Breakfast ends at 5:35. If they don't eat, they take a banana with them. Jobs from 5:35-5:45. One dries dishes, one wipes counters, one wipes down other stuff. Devos at 5:45. The last two days the twins have been going at it so we have put on praise and worship music and they have to sit silent and listen to it for ten minutes. 5:55 load up and out the door at 6 to the buses. THe girls are dropped at the buses. SInce Kayla has been such a bully and embarrases Jasmine, they take different buses. The first bus goes straight to the school. THe second bus Kayla is on drops off at another school first. Today they missed both buses and Rick drove them.

  2. Whitney gets up at 6:30 and eats breakfast by herself. We never have problems with her. Everyone else gets up at 7:00. They get dressed and come to the table. Meghan and Jackson both struggle to keep weight on, so Matt cooks a full breakfast every morning, loaded with calories and high in protein. I call the girls one at a time to do their hair. I also make sure backpacks are loaded and all the proper signatures are in place. Matt and Whitney leave at 7:20. After breakfast, they wash their faces and brush their teeth. On a good morning, the elementary kids are ready in time to do morning chores (wipe the table, unload the dishwasher, wipe the counter, vacuum the kitchen). If a child doesn't finish his/her chore before school, they must do it after school, plus an extra chore. This is motivating, for the most part. We do our devotions in the evening. The kids walk out to the bus stop at 7:50. The bus comes at 7:53. Meghan and Lexi have the hardest time with this routine, and are the two who most frequently miss the bus. Kate has never missed the bus, and has only missed her chore two or three times. There isn't generally any bickering in the morning. Most of the kids are pretty good-natured. The bickering in our house is off the charts after 6:00 p.m. when the meds wear off. It was so bad last night that Lexi went to be at 6:30 and Meghan at 7:00 because I just couldn't stand it anymore.

    1. My kids know that all bets are off after 7 pm. They start bickering then and they go straight to bed. Still most days someone is in bed early.

  3. oh my. It's bad sometimes at our house. My hubby gets the twins up at 5:30. He gets them out of bed and lets them watch a bible video for 15 minutes of wake up time. Then they have to make their beds and make sure their clothes are in the laundry. At 6 he leaves and I come out of hiding. I just dread mornings with missy and I try to not be available for her to attempts to drag me into a misery fest. If she is just laying on the floor and not willing to get going I will have her jump on the trampoline for a minute - OT therapists idea as my kiddos are very sluggish. Then the kids go outside and feed chickens and cats, etc.. James is quite able and responsible most days. But occasionally, he'll decide it's too much work and he will act like he's done the job and I'll find the chickens have not food or water or whatever so I have to check everything always. Missy does more talking to the cats and petting then actual feeding and watering. I figure it's good for her to talk to them then laying on the floor, or whining about something. The kids dress and comb hair and come to breakfast by 7 or they are considered late. James is rarely late. He has to catch the bust at 7:20 so he eats and brushes teeth and runs. Missy dawdles along. She makes a point of being just a little bit late. If she's late enough I make her a shake, but she hates it (even though it tastes good, only because it shows I'm on to her tricks). If she is late day after day I have found the ONLY motivation to get her to start cooperating is to keep her home and have her work in the gardens with me all day. Sometimes this is 2 to 3 days in a row but then she's good for a month of on time attendance at school. She leaves with college bound sisters to town 30 minutes away to be dropped off at the Montessori school. James shows passive aggressive behavior by not showing me his papers from school. He even goes so far as to hide them from me. He never has the paper that needs signatures. He will act like he's never heard of homework in his life... and he often does not do his reading. I don't make a big deal of it. He gets in trouble at school enough. He may be missing out on an important field trip shortly over it. Missy, thankfully, has no homework. She comes home tired and is a pincher and subtle trouble maker if I don't watch her close. She often is in bed by 6:30 as I can't take too much of that. I tell her it is a sign she's tired.

    1. I am wore out! My kids all know that if they start their squabbling after dinner, they go straight to bed because they must be tired. They still test with regularity.