Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Morning Round-Up, Revamped

I have been struggling for awhile with getting going in the morning and making it consistent. 
I am not a morning person, and with my kids now being 8, 6 and 3, they tend to leave me alone and just play until I get up. 
So, while that can definitely be nice on days off, it really aids in my tardiness on school days. 
And how can I expect the kids to do things on time and consistently when *I* can't do it?!?

Another struggle I have been having is how to get the kids to do their morning routine of their own accord 
without me having to remind them every 10-15 minutes to get their chores done. 
Well, for whatever random reason, I had the brilliant idea of setting little alarms. 
I set my iPad alarm for 7:30 every school day. 

This is the signal for kids to eat breakfast (if they haven't already) and then get started on their morning chores. 
At 8:25, another alarm goes off as a 5-minute warning. 
At 8:30, it goes off again, at which time all (including me!) need to be at the table ready for Round-Up. 

A secondary benefit to these alarms is that I am now more aware of how long our Round-Up takes. Pretty much an hour later, we are finished. 

Included in this Round-Up:

  • Bible reading/Devotional
  • Prayer
  • Memory Work for the day (Bible verses, Hymn, Poetry, Songs, Map Drill)
  • Spanish lesson (includes Calendar work)
  • Geography topic (if scheduled)

So about 9:30 we are wrapping up and head straight into Math Drill for 5 minutes.  
Usually we can get about one reading done after Math Drill before the 10:00 alarm goes off, signaling snack time. 
I chose to include an alarm here because I just got so tired of kids asking for snacks all morning long!!! 
Now I can just say we have to wait for the alarm to go off at 10:00. This has worked like a charm!
At 10:15 another alarm goes off to let us know it's time to get back to work. 
And anywhere between 11:00 and 11:30 we stop to fix lunch and eat. (No more alarms) 

The structure set by all these alarms has really increased our consistency and productivity as well. 


And so what happens if the kids aren't at the table by 8:30 for Round-Up? 

Well this happened on Day 2 of the new alarm system. 
So I just told them to continue until all their chores were finished and I would count how many more minutes past 8:30 it took to finish up. 
This time was assigned as cleaning time they owed me during the lunch break. 
So when I started fixing lunch, they started cleaning baseboards. 
Another time when they weren't ready to get back to work by our 1:00 afternoon start time, 
I had them clean cabinets and sweep behind places that have needed a good TLC for awhile. 
Anyway, all this to say it has (so far) been a win-win for me and the household!

So how are things going over at your place?


  1. I met up with another CM homeschooler a few months ago, a lady I had known online for years but hadn't met yet. We were at the park and chatting while the kids played, and every so often her watch would go off. "Oh, that's just to tell me that should be the end of math!" "Oh, I'm supposed to hear Emma's narration now." (Obviously they had the day off, so she wasn't breaking from our visit to do schoolwork! ;) But she had it all set up to hold herself accountable to their school day and I thought it was a great use of time. We have too many interruptions from the toddler and baby here for this to work for us right now, but I am filing it away for a later date! I really like how it simplifies the role Mom has to play in the arrangement of the day.

    1. How cool :-)
      Yes, I can understand how little ones can control the pace of the lessons! Fortunately the 3yo is doing ok with playing by himself *mostly* or doing something alongside us so we can keep our morning on track till about 11:00. Then we get the rest done during his 1:00-3:00 nap time!