Inside: Help your kids get into simple morning and evening routines
It’s all fun and games until I’m running around like a headless chicken, wishing past me had made life easier on present me. Wishing my kids remembered to put their pants in the hamper without a reminder every morning. Wishing I had an extra set of hands and an army general barking orders so I didn’t have to.
Sometimes I’m a slow learner (or maybe just hard-headed). There’s something about the idea of a set routine that makes me want to rebel, even though I know I need it.
But it became obvious that set, easy-to-follow morning and nightly routines weren’t just things that I needed. My kids needed them even more.
When I gave them structured routines (and made them self-directed), it made life so much simpler.
Our Morning & Nightly Routines
Without a simple flow to follow, our mornings can get hectic, and our nights are lacking. Kids (at least mine) truly operate best when they know what to expect. And I’m the most productive when I have a set time for getting important things done.
So here’s what we do.
What we need from our morning routine:
- easy to follow
The best course of action for me is waking up early. I know it’s not for everyone. Some days, it’s not even for me. But the mornings when I get up sometime between 4:30 and 5:30 are the mornings that go the smoothest and when I feel the most accomplished.
When I can, I like to head straight downstairs, drink a bottle of water, throw some laundry into the washer, get my essential oils going in the diffuser, and have Bible time. Doing those 4 things right off the bat start my day on the right foot.
Next I shower and get myself dressed and ready. If I stay in pajamas or just throw on some sweats, I’m more likely to have a lazy day. Even though that’s needed sometimes, on the typical day, it’s best for me to get myself together.
For the Kids
After that, I wake up the kids and help them get ready/keep them on track.
When everyone is fully ready, we head downstairs together, and I make breakfast.
HOWEVER, this part of our routine will be changing as our time with public school comes to an end.
NOW I’ll head downstairs after getting the baby ready and fix breakfast while everyone else finishes getting ready and doing their morning chores (mainly making their beds, putting clothes in the hamper, and tidying up anything out of place). While chores are happening, I’ll play some worship music in the background to get their day started right.
After breakfast, I’ll do a quick clean-up. Then we’ll jump right in to our homeschooling schedule, which starts with worship, calendar, and Bible before digging into our morning basket then our curriculum.
What we need from our nighttime routine:
- a good wrap-up to our day
- easy to follow
For the Kids
In the evenings after we spend some time together as a family, we let the kids sink into some wind-down activities while they each have their turn taking a bath. Of course, at this point, they also put on jammies, comb their hair, and brush their teeth.
When everyone has had a bath, they all do a sweep of the house, making sure any toys and books they’ve had out are put away.
Before bed, everyone has to go potty. Then we snuggle in for a story, sing “Jesus Loves Me” together, talk to God, do kisses and hugs, and they’re off to sleep. (Other than our baby Aspen, who stays up with me for a while.)
Of course, all of that is best-case-scenario. There are nights when there’s a glitch in the system, and someone has trouble going to bed. But generally speaking, that’s the routine.
During all of the kids’ nightly kerfuffle, I’m either giving them the baths OR Chris is doing baths while I clean up the kitchen/do dishes from dinner. Hubby and I also do a quick nightly cleanup where we throw away any trash and pick up any loose ends.
After the kids are in bed, Chris and I have some unwind time. We usually veg out on some YouTube videos, play a game, or just hang out for a while.
I finish my night with working on blog posts, writing emails, editing YouTube videos, creating printables and all of the other things that go into running this site and our channel. I love to go to sleep early (we’re talking like 8 pm), BUT I usually try to stay up until around 9 or 10 to get a nice work session in.
Routines & Learned Responsibility
Those routines are just what work best for us. Regardless, figure out what that flow looks like for YOUR family.
The main point is to get routines down and help your kids learn them. Doing so means your children learn another layer of responsibility and maturity. Plus you’re setting them up for a lifetime of positive and healthy routines.
I also found that letting my kids be in control of their own routine gave them a sense of accomplishment and lessened the amount of early morning/nightly whining that was usually involved in our day.
Psst…This post on giving kids responsibility, ties right in with the idea of helping them learn to follow their routines on their own.
BUT how can you help them get into that flow?
Keeping it All Straight (Without Constant Prompting)
Even if your child is too young to read, they’ll likely do well with visual cues. That’s why I created cue cards for my kids, along with a checklist to boost that sense of accomplishment as they mark off each task.
And I want to share them with you.
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What does your family do in the morning and before bed? Do you see anything I could tweak to make our processes even better? Leave a comment below!
Until next time,