Sunday, October 11, 2009

And the stars align

Some of you may remember that last year I blogged about my kid's problems with habitual tardiness. No, it doesn't really matter that we live less that a 2 minute brisk walk from the school - my kids are those habitually tardy ones. I've hated it, I've railed against it. I've put my kids half naked out on the porch with a pile of clothes and their backpacks trying to get them to school on time, I've even driven them naked to school while they hastily scrambled to get dressed in the back seat. Nothing seemed to be effective - they just didn't care Well, that was the before.

This year, finally, the stars have finally aligned and after a month of school, my kids still haven't been tardy yet - we are amazed! Such an improvement from last years all time high of 42 tardies. Yep, 42.

This year, we made some tough decisions and changed our morning routine. One great strategy I've found is to have our kids make their own lunches the night before (then they aren't complaining that they don't like peanut butter) and they lay out their clothes (everything) and pack the backpack the night before. It then becomes a no-brainer. What a simple solution - why didn't someone tell me this before?

The rest of our morning routine deals with my husband and I getting up very early and getting our exercising and getting ready out of the way. Our kids are out of bed somewhere between 6:00 - 6:30. While I finish getting ready, dad is the morning chef (with a kid approved menu). We then breakfast, while reading and discussing our scriptures together, and when dad leaves the girls both have 15-20 minutes to practice their piano. While one practices, the other can finish up homework, make their lunch (if not the night before) and focus on finishing up getting ready. Then they switch.

While kids definitely need their sleep, we found that getting them up earlier has been the total key. We have several evening activities that we've decided not to participate in. While very worthwhile, they end late, and we decided not to compromise on bedtime. It is music to our ears when our kids happily and voluntarily crawl into bed at 8:00 and ask to be tucked in.

While life is never perfect, and I know things will change - especially as our kids get older, I've never enjoyed a schedule so much! I figured I'd probably better record this as a reminder of some of the less turbulent moments when the stars did indeed, seem to align.


Jules said...

Hurray for schedules and stars aligning and stuff like that! Yipee!

Tisha said...

That is great! We are in the same boat, we have had to limit evening activities, so we can get up earlier and avoid ALL the morning chaos.

Amy said...

Thanks for the good advice for my future. I think being late runs in the blood, as does the abhorrence to it. I am going to have to try to implement some of those strategies for Sunday mornings. So glad things are working out better now.