Do Mornings Well part 2
Everyone needs to define for themselves what a successful homeschool morning includes and in my experience, the definition can vary with each season of life. I had a different standard during my night-time nursing years than I do now with a seven-year-old as my youngest. As you are pondering what a successful morning looks like, consider what others do, try what might work for you, and leave the rest.
We don’t run a rigorous homeschool, but I like to be productive and can get discouraged when the hours float away with little to show for it. I am on a constant quest to improve our mornings and am a firm believer in the idea that winning the morning is key to winning the day; those days become weeks and months before you know it.
In part one, I wrote about Homeschool Morning Time/Morning Baskets as part of a successful morning; you can read about that here.
Habits help your mornings.
Another key ingredient that I aim to include in our mornings is good habits. If we were to all sit-down and share our visions for a successful morning, none of us would include spending 20 minutes looking for the grammar textbook before starting the grammar lesson! Instead, we should be building in ourselves and our children some foundational habits of orderliness. Good habits are important, and your morning habits set you up for the rest of day; poor morning habits have a way of reaching into your evening, and poor evening habits reach into the next morning (morning girl hates late-night girl).
Values and Habits
You need to decide for yourself what habits are important to you. Start by thinking about what you value and go from there to build habits in yourself and your children. We don’t all value the same things, in the same order of priority and that’s ok. There are many categories of habits: health & wellness habits, spending & financial habits, social & relationship habits, cleanliness & orderliness habits, productivity habits…the list goes on. It really is worth sitting down, thinking things through, and coming up with a plan to incorporate the habits that align with your values.
What works for me, might not work for you.
I’m someone who values orderliness and so in my world, washing the breakfast dishes right before having to make lunch is a madness maker but really there is no law that says breakfast dishes must be washed immediately after breakfast. I believe what’s important is that you have a plan and live with a quiet confidence in your plan. Those breakfast dishes need to get done and if washing them at noon fits better into your day then go with that. What I think is hard to live with on a day-to-day basis is to arrive in the kitchen at noon and realize, “Oh right, I haven’t done the breakfast dishes yet”.
The morning is key!
As you work through the process of identifying your values and then deciding on what habits need to be worked on, focus on morning habits for now. There is no need to tackle an entire days’ worth of habits or every single beneficial health and wellness habit all at once. Instead, focus on what you want your mornings to be like and evolve from there.
Training your Children
Your children are building habits whether you guide them in this or not and they will be habits that will serve them well in the future or compound the challenges of life.
Training the habits of children is challenging and sometimes slow going. If we were enjoying a cup of tea together, I would encourage you to start young but with a long view in mind; avoid too much too soon as small changes over time make a big difference. Begin with a few foundational habits that are important to you, master them and then add more; be gentle but consistent, and inspect what you expect.
Classical Education Books carries a stack of resources to help you with your habit training.
by Adrianne Curwen
Adrianne is a wife to a public-school educator/administrator and a homeschooling Mama to seven children, ranging in age from 7 to 23. She believes that we have a unique opportunity as homeschoolers to design individualized education that suits giftings, interests, and passions. She and her husband have used a blend of registered homeschooling, enrolment with independent DL schools, and participation in public trade school programs to design individualized programs for their children. She is passionate about using as many read-alouds, picture books, novels, and conversations to educate her children but also gets excited by the amazing homeschool-designed curriculum that’s out there. Adrianne is thrilled by her new role as Communication Specialist for Classical Education Books and is grateful to have an opportunity to learn something new. She is grateful, every day, for her saviour, Jesus Christ, and has no greater joy than when she sees her most important missions field walk with Him.