Morning Routines

I try to be as organized as possible, which actually begins the night before. I make sure that the kids' school bags are packed and lined up so there's no hunting around for school bags in the morning.

The night before I take out the clothes for the younger children and the older children are encouraged to take theirs out so they know exactly what they are wearing. As far as school lunches go, they have a choice of taking their own or eating in the cafeteria. If they pack a lunch, they do it the night before. My 7th grade daughter will pack the lunches for any of the little ones who want to take lunch and their names are marked on them and placed in the refrigerator the night before.

I wake the oldest child first to take a shower, and when he is finished he will wake up the next child, and so on and so forth. Staggering the wake-up times really helps out in the morning. The kids know exactly what they want for breakfast, so they eat after they get dressed and off they go.

In the afternoon I am home when the elementary school kids come home and we'll sit down and have a snack together and start doing homework. We don't do anything else until the homework is finished then they are allowed to watch TV or go outside and play.

I hear horror stories from my friends about their mornings being chaotic and screaming matches going on, so I must be doing something right because I don't have that chaos in the morning at all.