It’s October, but still seems like yesterday that we were just starting school back in August. One thing I’ve learned since August is that we needed some sort of routine to get out the door on time with everything in hand. With 4 year old twins (who go to completely different schools on different schedules) and a 2 year old, I definitely needed help. Here are a few things that made a world of difference for me and my kids.
- Get up a little early for “me” time. My family thinks I’m crazy for getting up so early, but getting up 45 minutes before everyone else is my favorite time of the day. The house is still and quiet. I can get my shower in without an audience and enjoy my breakfast before it gets cold or soggy. It’s also my time to catch up on facebook, emails, and check out the latest on Pinterest (my new obsession).
- Establish a Routine. I had seen some bedtime routine cards for sale in a catalog, but for $15 I figured I could make my own MUCH cheaper. And I did! For less than $2.50 I created bedtime and morning routine cards that my twins LOVE. Before they get up I set them out on our entry table (we haven’t found a “home” for them yet) and when they get up they immediately check the cards and start doing the tasks. When a task is complete, they flip the card over and move to the next item. If they’ve stalled and I need them to move a little faster, I simply ask “What’s next on our cards?” and someone will run over and check. The last card is a gold star and they love to see who can get to the gold star first. These cards have helped me TREMENDOUSLY! While I’m making lunches and getting backpacks ready, the twins can get dressed, eat, brush their hair & teeth and get their socks & shoes on without me having to remind them 1,000 or do it for them.
- No TV in the mornings. One of the biggest time catchers for us was TV in the morning. They’d get sucked into a show and wouldn’t budge. The kids haven’t missed the TV and actually haven’t asked to turn it on. They focus on getting ready for school. Once the twins have done all their tasks they are allowed to play till it’s time to go so they often hurry to get things done so they can play outside a bit or with their animals before school.
A game plan made all the difference in the world for me, which in turn helped my kids get off to school in a better mood ready to play and learn. To make the cards I simply created Titles/Tasks (such as Get Dressed, Eat Breakfast) and then put a clip art image below it on a 4×6 template in MS Word. You can then print them 4 on a sheet and laminate them. I purchased a pack of 4×6 laminate cards and went to my local copy shop to borrow their machines in the self help section. Couldn’t be easier. I hope this helps you get out the door a bit easier too!