Morning Routines: Consistency, Love & Structure.
Q: Mornings are awful in my house! I have such a great kid, but she’s a monster in the morning(!) … clearly not a morning person. What does the morning routine look like in your classroom? What can I do at home to make the day start off on a more positive note?
A: Well, mornings at school are clearly easier to manage than mornings at home … in a house there are too many variables.
However, whether at home or at school the recipe for a successful start to the day consists of the same three main ingredients, & they are as follows:
One must offer:
Consistency, Love & Structure.
(A) Our Morning Routine in the Classroom (- teacher created)
- Hang up your coat and backpack.
- Put your lunch away.
- Put your homework in the appropriate bin(s)
- Make sure to give me any notes from home.
- Check the job board & complete your assigned task (e.g. sharpening pencils, floors, chairs, tables, cubbies, calendar, etc.)
- Next Step: a) Before 8:50AM: Put a ruler, pencil, eraser & highlighter on your desk & go out to play. b) After 8:50AM: Put a ruler, pencil, eraser & highlighter on your desk & read the Smartboard for your instructions. Begin!
- Ask yourself: “How am I going to start my day today?” The answer to this question is determined in part by the instructions as posted on the Smartboard and in part by your attitude/approach to the day. It’s a choice!
(B) Your Morning Routine at Home (- parent & child created)
- Make it a team effort! There is strength in numbers and in ownership! Sit down with your child to establish a morning routine – one that you can both live with. Don’t forget to talk about the obvious benefits of having a routine that works for the family as a whole.
- Make a list of all the things that he/she must do every morning. Do this with your child. Later, list them in the order in which they are to be undertaken/accomplished.
- Be creative! Make the list interesting, creative, pretty & cool. Then post it in a highly visible area of the house (e.g. your child’s room, the kitchen … whatever makes sense for you and your child).
- You & your child must ask yourselves: “How am I going to begin the day today?” The answer is up to you … You can do it! You rock!
- Do as much as possible the night before (e.g. have your child lay out his clothes; pack a lunch; pack her backpack and leave it by the door).
- Estimate the amount of time that you both feel each task ought to take and then time your child. Were you both being realistic or not? Is your child dawdling? Is she rushing? (When possible: Buy your child an “old fashioned” wrist watch for this step. Telling time, estimating time, & calculating elapsed time are great math skills to build as well!)
- Stick to the routine … but also view it as organic, as growing and ever changing along with your child. Note that it is to be altered only when absolutely necessary.