We are at a stage of family life now, where school mornings are nowhere near as chaotic as they used to be. Three of the kids have left by the time it is 7:35am, from which point the house is most often very quiet and calm.
Over the years I have worked with all the kids to teach them personal organisation skills. The younger two are now at a point where they are very self sufficient at getting themselves ready for school in the mornings, making my life a lot easier.
Teaching kids personal organisation skills is one of those activities which can be very tempting to skip. When working with a preschooler so they learn to pack their own kinder bag etc, it can seem to take twice as long as if you had just done it yourself.
I am however experiencing the pay off for the hours and patience put in to teaching the kids so they can do these tasks independently. As you look through the table below you see that I am not too hands on in the morning with what the kids are doing. I love this as it gives me a chance to actually talk with them, not be constantly telling them what to do.
The older three are completely self sufficient in the mornings now. For the younger two there are still two key things I do for them:
- Make them breakfast – some mornings they will do this themselves depending on what they have to eat, (like smoothies or granola). Most mornings though they have some sort of hot breakfast and at this stage I am very happy to cook it for them. You can read a little more about what the kids have for breakfast since we stopped eating packaged cereal in this post – Changing the family diet, breakfast.
- Lunch boxes – I know families who have children of this age that put together their own lunch boxes. I like to ensure they have homemade savoury and sweet items and a good mix of other items in their lunch box so am happy to still be doing this for them.
|Time||Mum||3 older kids||2 younger kids|
|06:00||Exercise||Some sleep, some awake depending on day.||Sleep|
|06:30||Exercise||Getting ready, breakfast, making their lunches.||Sleep|
|07:00||Finalise the lunches and make breakfast for the two younger kids. Chat to the older kids before they head off.||Finish getting ready and leave. First child leaves about 7.05am, then 7.25am, then 7.35am.||Eating their breakfast and getting ready for school.|
|07:30||Check in on the younger ones to make sure they are on track. Start a general tidy up if there is time.||Off to school||They are usually ready for school by about 7.40am. Once they are ready for school they can have free time.|
|08:00||General household tasks until we leave to walk to school around 8.10am.||Off to school||Free time until we leave to walk to school around 8.10am. They tend to read, play LEGO, listen to audio books, colour in or write in this time.|
|08:30||Walk to school and school drop off.||Walk to school and school drop off.||Walk to school and school drop off.|
|09:00||Run home with the dog||School||School|
If you want to read more about how the kids get themselves ready, these posts might help:
What do your school mornings look like?