Written by Kris Bales of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers
Some days it can be challenging to get your family out of bed and ready for the homeschool day, but having a consistent morning routine can help.
Try these ten easy morning routines to get your homeschooled kids up and moving.
Some kids wake up with energy that you need to harness. Others roll out of bed feeling sluggish and need something to get their energy flowing. For either type of kid (or adult), starting the day with morning exercise is a great idea!
Take the dog for a walk, get outside and jump on the trampoline, work out to an exercise video, or do a short yoga routine. Taking even 15-20 minutes to exercise each morning can be the perfect way to get everyone ready to start school with focus.
2. Breakfast and chores
If you’re like me and clutter drives you batty, beginning the day with breakfast and household chores may prove to be the perfect solution. When my kids were little (and all the way through middle school), they knew to check our chore chart first thing every morning.
I would straighten up the kitchen and dining room (our school area) or run the vacuum while the kids completed their chores. It gave everyone a chance to wake up and allowed us to start school in a clutter-free (for about 5 minutes at least!) space.
3. Morning meeting
A morning meeting is a fantastic way to get everyone on the same page before starting the day. The ages of your children will likely determine the details of your meeting.
With teens, it may just mean sitting down over coffee and going over their assignments for the day, making sure that they’re on track and don’t have any questions or need any extra help with a tricky concept.
For younger kids, you may enjoy a morning basket routine. Your morning basket may include books to read together, Scripture study, pieces of art to observe, some nature study journaling, or poetry.
Even if you don’t use a basket, this morning time is part of a predictable routine similar to the one I enjoyed when my younger two were in preschool. We’d have a letter, number, color, and shape of the week. We had calendar time where we’d discuss the months of the year and days of the week and add each days’ date to our calendar.
A morning meeting provides a gentle, predictable routine to start your homeschool day.
Many homeschooling families like to start the day with music. The music may include a composer you’re studying, songs to help memorize facts (such as the state or capitals), or songs related to something you’re studying.
You may also use praise and worship or just-for-fun music. I used to always wake my kids with music blaring from our stereo speakers. (Yes, like an actual stereo with CDs, radio, and speakers and everything, not an iPod or phone playlist with a portable speaker. I’m old, y’all!)
I may have gone a little overboard because there are still songs that they associate with having to wake up in the mornings. It’s kind of sad to hear some of my favorite songs met with groans because of that association.
Other homeschooling families like to start the day with educational videos as a low-key way to get everyone ready to tackle the rest of their school day. We used to enjoy CNN Student News, which is now CNN 10, a ten-minute news show that explains news items that are making headlines and includes some general interest segments.
There are also tons of educational videos on YouTube, Netflix, and Amazon Prime. You could watch a documentary, the next video in a series about a topic you’re studying, or just a short, exciting clip you found online.
6. Read-aloud time
Another fantastic way to start your homeschool day is with read-aloud time. You may want to read while your kids eat breakfast or let everyone grab a cup of their favorite beverage and snuggle up on the couch or in a favorite outdoor spot.
You can read poetry, a captivating biography or historical fiction that relates to your current topic of study, or some just-for-fun books.
7. Bible study
Bible study is an excellent way to begin any day, homeschool or otherwise. I never wanted Bible study to feel like a school subject, but the best way to make sure it didn’t get neglected was to do it as a family before diving into our regular schoolwork.
When the kids were younger, I enjoyed Bible Study Guide for All Ages because we could all study the same topic but at age-appropriate levels for everyone. As they got older, we moved to the SOAP method of Bible study. We’ve also enjoyed scripture journaling with art.
The Scripture Memory Box is probably the one thing we’ve done consistently in our homeschool the longest. It’s simple and perfect for all ages.
8. Fresh air
Starting the day with some fresh air is a perfect way to get the wiggles out and get your daily dose of Vitamin D. When the weather permits, consider starting your day with some time outside.
You may choose to have a specific plan such as walking your neighborhood, playing in your backyard swing, or doing some nature study.
Or you may just prefer to let everyone run around and find their own ways to enjoy your time outside. Maybe you enjoy sipping your coffee or reading a book while the kids play in the yard or ride their bikes.
At our house, it’s a good idea for someone to throw the ball for our pup, Belle. Wearing her out before trying to concentrate on any kind of work is well worth the effort.
9. Free time
You may want to consider just giving everyone some free time before starting school each day. Giving your kids time to play video games, build with Legos, read a book, journal, or chat with other homeschooled friends makes for an effective way to prepare them to focus on school.
When starting the day with free time, I find that it’s smart to use another method, such as music, to transition to school. When kids hear the music begin to play, they know it’s time to start wrapping up what they’re doing. It’s much more pleasant for everyone than just cutting them off from their activities or nagging your children to put their activities aside.
10. Easy subjects first
My final suggestion is to start with easy subjects first. Some kids may prefer to tackle the hard stuff and get it out of the way, but my kids have always preferred doing a few easy tasks to get their minds warmed up for the day.
For us, this is usually stuff like Daily Grams, writing assignments, handwriting.
Discovering a routine that works for your family doesn’t have to be a big production. Sometimes all it takes is a simple activity that signals to everyone it’s time to start school.
What is your family’s favorite way to start your day?