Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Morning Checklist

Picture this: the mom in sweatpants, hair pulled back in a pony, looking quite disheveled, the kids bickering back and forth, maybe they have their lunch box, backpacks mostly unzipped, shoes untied, mismatching socks, rushing through the car line at 7:59 when school starts at 8:00.  Sound familiar?

Believe it or not, this is NOT what our mornings look like!  In fact, it's quite the opposite.  How did we get these (mostly) perfect angel children that get ready (mostly) by themselves and are ready to walk out the door and get to school at 7:30? It's the magic of a "Morning Checklist".

The morning checklist consists of the following:

  1. Make bed and turn off all lights.
  2. Eat breakfast.
  3. Clean breakfast dishes and use wipe to clean breakfast area. (This prevents the familiar dried and crusted milk at the bar)
  4. Wash hands and brush teeth for two minutes.
  5. Clean bathroom mess.
  6. Get fully dressed.
  7. Brush hair and set out hair accessories if needed (for our 9 year old girl).
  8. Get lunchbox (which is packed by mom and I'll address tips and ideas for a healthy lunch in future posts).
  9. Make sure room is clean and PJ's are folded.
  10. If you have extra time, read a book.

It sounds like a lot, but believe me, this is a LIFESAVER for everyone.  Not only do they know what's expected of them each day, but the parents don't end up screaming and rushed out the door.  Everyone gets a calm start to the day, which can make all the difference in the world.  Now, I may have to remind them once or twice to follow the checklist, but for the most part I am able to get up and ready at the same time they are without having to stand over their shoulders making sure they are doing what they are supposed to be doing.  It's helpful to have it printed out for them to actually have a visual aid.  In the future, I plan on laminating each child's checklist, putting Velcro dots beside each number, laminating check marks and putting Velcro on the back of each, and letting them actually "check" each item they've completed on the list.  This will help to ensure they don't miss anything and start their day off with an excellent sense of accomplishment.  Besides, what child doesn't love to see a whole slew of check marks?!?!

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