Dear reader, if you are CRAVING CALM for your Homeschool mornings, then this mini-series is for you!
- Homeschool Morning Makeover: from RUSHED to RELISHING! Saved *from* the bell and enjoying the journey!
- Stay tuned for: 12 Ways to “SLOW-START” your Homeschool Day!
I believe mornings should be the most intentional time of day. For one thing, mornings are beautiful. God’s mercies are new every morning, and it’s wonderful when we can take a few minutes to appreciate the miraculous beauty of the new day He has given us. For another thing, mornings are powerful. The way we choose to spend our morning sets the course for our entire day, which . . . if you think about it . . . ends up determining the course for our entire life, or shapes our child’s very future! But unfortunately, mornings (especially school mornings) are often the most hurried and harried time of day, leaving precious little opportunity for an intentional and inspired start.
Perhaps your Homeschool mornings have become hectic like for so many families . If so, I invite you to join us in taking back our mornings! Join us in choosing slow, so that we have the time, energy, and presence of mind to cultivate calm, connection, and creativity in our Homeschool journeys.
What does a “SLOW START” Homeschool Morning look like?
Picture a “regular” or “standard” school morning for most kids:
Perhaps you know (or remember) these mornings well. The word that immediately comes to my mind is RUSH. Kids are woken up —bleary-eyed and visibly tired— and then hurried to dress, hurried to eat, hurried to load their backpacks, hurriedly kissed, and then hurried out the door. There was hardly time to breathe, let alone connect, create, or enjoy . . . . much of anything. This is my very least favorite kind of morning. And I’m so incredibly happy that we don’t subscribe.
Then you have your typical Homeschool morning:
This often involves a stressed out mom nagging or yelling for her kids to “hurry up and get dressed” because “we have to start school on time today . . . we just have to!” (I’m not judging . . . I’ve been here. A lot.) She calls everyone to breakfast and then sees that her youngest has made a Ninja turtle tornado in the living room. She hurriedly helps him clean up the mess and . . . the toast burns (just me?). She scrapes the toast off into the sink, then glances at the clock. Fifteen minutes late, already! That’s when the baby starts to cry. Mama tells everyone to eat and rushes to get baby. When she comes back, she finds the breakfast table a mess, the kids (still in pjs) fencing on the furniture with wrapping paper rolls, and then she realizes in horror that her oldest never even got out of bed! Hands go up, coffee gets brewed, and “tomorrow” she says to herself, “TOMORROW we will wake up earlier and get it right.”
Enter a “SLOW START” Homeschool morning. Imagine it with me:
You and your kids awake, naturally.
You enjoy yoga and journaling while the kids wake up one by one.
You crawl back into your bed to share early morning snuggles . . .
your son shares the Peter Pan and Captain Hook dream he had last night . . .
your toddler “braids” your hair . . .
you ask your kids if they are ready to start the day.
Some days they jump up and shout “YES!”
Some days they snuggle deeper under the covers and whisper “not yet.”
Whatever the answer, you follow their lead.
Your oldest gets up to make his bed . . .
your littlest stays to help you make yours.
Beds made and still in pjs you read together in a cozy corner.
You all enjoy an unhurried breakfast.
There is no clock. There is no bus. There is no bell.
Snow begins to fall outside and your kids jump up and run to the window.
You all watch a family of deer crossing through the backyard . . .
your son runs to get his binoculars.
Breakfast is finished and you clear the dishes . . .
the kids start their morning chores.
Everyone gets dressed. Eventually.
The dishwasher is unloaded, laundry is put away, floors are vacuumed . . .
the day starts to look fresh, and clean.
You turn on a lovely classical music playlist . . .
your daughter goes to her dollhouse . . .
your son opens the paint cupboard . . .
and you brew yourself a second cup of tea.
You sit and sip . . .
watching your daughter play and your son paint . . .
you quietly write in your planner.
You get up to switch the laundry.
When you come back, both kids are seated at their desks . . .
one drawing an elaborate pirate map . . .
one scribbling a family of kittens.
Your son finishes his map, turns to you, and says he is ready to start school.
It’s 10:32 am.
You ask him if he’d like a cup of tea while you go over the first lesson . . .
he smiles and nods.
12 Reasons to Consider “SLOW-STARTING” your day:
1.) If you and/or your kids are tired.
A slow-start morning is incredibly restorative. It allows not only for a possibly later wake up time, but it also facilitates a more centered, more grounded, more intentional, more creative start to the day. In short, a slow-start morning nourishes the body, centers the mind, and soothes the soul. Fertile soil for learning to take place.
2.) If you or your kids groan (even silently) when it’s time to start school.
Think about your past or present job. How do you begin a work day? Do you like to wake up and go right to your desk . . . making phone calls and writing emails? Or do you like to ease into your day first? A run? Hot breakfast? Lengthy shower? A slow cup of coffee . . . or two? A chat with your spouse or co-worker? A few minutes to read or write in your journal?
If we like to ease into our work days, why should we expect that our kids would be any different?
3.) If the house is a mess or the chore routine could use some help.
A slow-start affords you the time to make the home environment and chore-time a morning priority.
4.) If your child often asks for breaks during lessons or school work.
Slow-starting your day will open up morning hours for your child to play with that toy he can’t get his mind off of, or a chance to paint that castle she woke up thinking about . . . before starting lessons.
5.) If you and your child are currently lacking connection or going through a rough patch.
Early morning snuggles for littles, or a chance to drink a cup of tea or coffee and chat with your older child may be just what the doctor ordered for restoring your connection.
6.) If your child is struggling to “sit still” or focus during lessons / school work.
Slow-starts allow for more *wiggle* time before “school.”
7.) If your Homeschool mornings feel rushed, stressful, or chore-like.
I would rather start school after 10am and feel prepared and at peace than start at 8am and feel flustered and frantic.
8.) If your kids are engaging in too much “screen-time.”
A slow-start is NOT for including morning screen-time. Rather, it’s a window for experiencing, exploring, and expressing. It’s a window for art, music, talking, reading, dreaming, resting, sipping, imagining . . . It’s a window for the body, mind, and spirit to be nourished before being put to work.
9.) If creative arts, practical life-skills, or special projects just aren’t happening during your Homeschool days.
If art and music blocks are falling off at the end of your school days because you are running out of time. . . STARTING with the arts or other specials may ensure that they actually happen, and . . . as a bonus . . . they will help your child work through anything he or she may have going on prior to starting lessons, which may actually speed the lessons along in the long-run!
10.) If you are doubting your Homeschool style, process, or losing faith in the whole thing.
Rushing has a way of sabotaging the journey. Oftentimes, you just need the time and space to see your way clearly.
11.) If you are feeling behind, out of energy, or short on peace of mind.
It is hard for me to focus on Homeschooling when the house is a mess or before I’ve had time make myself “fresh” for the day. Give your house and heart a boost by giving yourself permission to take a long morning to get things in order.
12.) If you and/or your kids are feeling “off,” “blue,” or generally uninspired.
Nothing soothes the soul like beginning the day with time for creativity, inspiration, and introspection.
If several of the above reasons resonate with you, your family (like ours) may greatly benefit from slow-starting your day! Maybe you should give it a try!
You’re invited . . .
Love, ~Our Holistic Homeschool~