Thursday, August 18, 2011

Choosing Simplicity in the school morning rush!

Back to school  time is here.  My kiddos went back to school yesterday.  Lazy summer mornings are now a thing of the past and the school morning rush has returned.  Whether you home school (I was raised as a home school kid) or whether your kids head out the door to school we share in the fact that school mornings are different from summer. 

5 ways to Choose Simplicity 
on school mornings:

1)  Alarm Clocks
As a mom I set mine so that I am up 30 minutes before my children.  Flylady teaches this principle, too.  This gives me time to get dressed, make a pot of coffee and spend a few much needed moments in the word of God before I face the morning with my family.  When I miss this time we all feel it!  It gives me time to ease into the new day with joy in my heart rather than hit the floor running.

My children set their alarms and they are responsible to get up at the established time.  If I have to go upstairs to wake them up they face consequences.  Harsh?  No.  Self Responsibility.  I am raising future adults, not future children.  Kindergarteners are capable of using an alarm clock  and it will free you from years of being the bad guy that has to wake up a sweet sleeping child!  I want to see their smiling face as they make their way down the stairs, not them grumbling at me for waking them up.  Let the alarm clock be the bad guy, let me be the one they greet with good morning hugs!

2)  Clothes

Have the outfits ready.  For my young children I create outfits as I fold clothes so all they have to do is open up the dresser drawer and grab one.  This has been especially helpful for my boys!  The older children can make outfits as they put their clean laundry away.  Planning ahead makes the mornings so much less stressful.  For example, tomorrow my 7th and 8th grader have spirit day at school (first football game is tomorrow night) and they have to wear neon colors.  They came home from school yesterday and got those outfits ready.... tomorrow morning their will be no scrambling!

3)  Back Packs Ready

The night before we get the back packs ready to go out the door.  Homework, papers that needed signed, library books, etc go in the back packs and the packs get hung on their designated hooks by the back door.   In the morning we simply grab and  go!

4)  Lunches

I will admit that getting the school lunch is the easiest way to go on this one.  However, they do cost more and are generally less nutritious than what we can pack from home.  To make lunch prep simpler in the mornings I pre-package as much as possible ahead of time.    I make individual baggies of things like pretzels, crackers, chex mix, carrot sticks, peanut butter balls, brownies, cookies, etc. (I will often make up a big batch of muffins and freeze them in individual baggies)   My children are responsible for assembling their lunch boxes.  Lunch paking if fairly quick.... make a sandwich or grab a container of left over supper, a piece of fruit and pre- prepared baggies.  They can either pack a reusable bottle with water or juice or buy milk at school.

5) Breakfast

I am a firm believer that breakfast is the most important meal of the day..... especially for school age children.  Their bodies and brains NEED a healthy breakfast to help them learn.  They need the energy and brain power that a quality breakfast provides.  They need good protein, complex carbs for energy and fiber to help keep away the hunger pangs till lunch time.

Things we eat for breakfast:
  • whole wheat toast with Peanut Butter (or just a whole wheat PB&J sandwich)
  • whole grain pancakes or waffles (warmed up from the freezer.... I don't cook in the morning)
  • whole grain cereal with milk
  • smoothies (we have several different recipes.... just use what we have on hand)
  • supper left overs (my husband thinks this is weird, but hey if left over spaghetti sounds good to them, why not?)

Our mornings are not *perfect* (nothing ever is)!  However, these 5 things make our mornings much, much, much smoother!  So cheers to school mornings and CHOOSE SIMPLICITY!!!!

Have a BLESSED day, BE a BLESSING! Heather


tammi said...

Peanut butter ball recipe, please!!!

So good to see you here in the ol' blogosphere again! Will you be blogging more often now that school is back in session?

Lucia Metcalf said...

I love to see you're a Christian and you put God first on your day!

wow, you get your kids to do a lot! I hope i can do the same when I am a mom!