If left them up to their own devices, in the morning the kids would probably stay in their pajamas and look like they just woke up for the entire day. Maybe they would eat, maybe they wouldn't. And if I'm not vigilant, things can spiral out of control pretty quickly as they get distracted and sidetracked. Reigning them back into a controllable state can be a challenge, especially with homeschooling.
I decided then, at the beginning of the “school year” of homeschooling I would have an easy to follow routine outlined. This would be our guiding light for the start of our days. This is what we came up with:
Our interactive routine chart:
The 8 essentials for the routine chart
I talked to the kids for a couple of days to come up with a list, and we wrote down all the stuff that needed to be completed to consider our day “ready to begin.” We came up with these 8 essential things, and they don't have to be completed in order:
- Brush your teeth
- Wash your face
- Get dressed
- Tidy up the room
- Make the bed
- Greet everyone
- Style your hair
- Eat breakfast
Making the routine chart
Making the chart was easy. I spent a little time in photoshop making the two columns and the text for each row. One column, the one on the left is the “pending” column, and the right side is the “completed” column.
I scoured the web for some matching icons, threw them up next to each instruction and, then finished the whole thing. I printed the chart once for each kid, then I let each kid decorate their names on it.
We laminated them, then added the velcro sticky backs. I also printed a sheet of green checkmarks, which we also laminated and cut into circles. We paired these with the correct velcro, and that yielded the result you see above. This was the first project for which we used our laminator, this laminator is the one we have.
Now in the mornings, when they first get out of bed, they know they are supposed to go to their binders, open them up and begin their little routine. I designated these 8 things to be a requirement before they can do anything else and before we can get started with class.
Once they have completed their routine chart duties or chores, they can reset all the checkmarks back to the left side, leaving the chart ready for the next morning.
It's worked out great so far. They only have forgotten to follow this a few times since we started and it's usually on the weekends or if I let them sleep in really late.
The only downside to this was cutting all the checkmarks. I have to re-think this part, or just deal with it when I create the night-time, and special ocassions routine.
These routine charts have worked great so far. We are making one small adjustment to this one and will reprint them and recreate them. They were easy to make and fun project to work on together. They encourage the kids to follow through and get ready with simple steps. We're now making another version for the night-time routine and we might do some more involved checklists for their house chores, or special occasions, like going to the beach or to the pool.
So far, they're only responsible for keeping up their own rooms and helping with the kitchen once in a while, but I think the checklists and charts are a great way to teach them how to take actionable steps towards the completion of bigger goals.