A cheerful morning routine can really jumpstart your homeschool day like nothing else. Do your kids seem slower than snails some mornings? Or maybe they’re lost in daydreams and just can’t seem to get started on schoolwork. Well, you can put a little pep in their step and spark motivation with these happy, engaging morning routines.
Ah, that feeling you get as you wake up your muscles with a good morning stretch. Stretching is a great way to ease into the new day and help your kids prepare their bodies and minds for the day ahead. And your kids will be wide-eyed when they learn they can start while still in bed. Demonstrate how to do a spinal twist by rolling to each side and how to pull their knees up to their chest. Once everyone hops out of bed, help your kids try simple neck rolls, arm and leg stretches, side stretches, and easy yoga poses, such as the downward-facing dog, child’s pose, and the cat-cow.
Ideally, you should hold each stretch for about 15 to 20 seconds. All of these gentle movements warm up their muscles and get the blood moving throughout their bodies and boost energy.
Listen and Move to Lively Music
Happy music is powerful—it speaks to your heart, brightens your spirit, and the upbeat melodies are energizing. Pop on some folk songs, waltzes, and polkas even, and before you know it, your kids will be bebopping around the house on happy feet. For an extra treat, keep a basket of streamers, bells, and tambourines handy for your kids to twirl and shake.
And listening to music strengthens the parts of the brain responsible for thinking, processing what you see and hear, and comprehending written and spoken language, as well as creating and recalling memories. That certainly sounds like an excellent way to prepare for a day of learning.
Gather for a Good Morning Basket
Gather your children all around you and pique their curiosity with a good morning basket overflowing with goodies—sorry, not the edible kind. A morning basket is a time when everyone gathers to learn together. If there is a wide age range between your kids, it’s OK to gear the books and materials more toward your older ones. Just by listening, your younger kids will absorb so much. You just might be astonished by the depth of their comprehension.
This is an ideal time for reading aloud. Fill your basket with fiction books, fables, seasonal poetry, Shakespeare plays, and exciting stories from history and other cultures, and so on. You can also practice foreign language and sign language lessons.
It’s also the perfect time to recite affirmations. You can write a couple ahead of time and then model reciting one or two for your kids. Explain the purpose and encourage older kids to write and say their own. Then either you or your older kids can help the younger ones.
Take a Nature Walk
As Henry David Thoreau said, “An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.” Studies show that spending time surrounded by the beauty of nature boosts focus and short-term memory, sparks creativity, and has positive effects on your overall health.
A morning nature walk wakes up all of your senses and can stir up appreciation in your kids. Encourage your kids to look all around them. Point out interesting flora and fauna, bird and animal habitats, and any nests or tracks you may see. Be sure to take along a pair of binoculars for closer observation. If you have time, your children may want to take along sketch pads and nature journals to capture all the awesome sights.
Try walking on a nearby nature trail, at a state park, or on one of the many rail trails—former railroad corridors that have been converted into walking trails—located throughout the country.
Play a Game
Yes, you sure can start your day off by playing a game. Imagine that! Choose an educational game or play a family favorite, it doesn’t matter. What matters is you’re all together, brain cells are being stimulated, your kids are thinking, laughing, and chatting, and it’s fun.
Share a Breakfast Feast
Starting your day with a delicious, hearty family breakfast helps to refuel all of your bodies after a long night of sleep and sets the stage for some quality family time and spirited conversation.
Surely your kids will leap out of bed and race to the table when they smell that bacon sizzling, but how about giving those mini chefs some aprons and enlisting their help with the prep work. Now you’re cooking!
We did this every once in a while on snow days, as a way to ease into Monday mornings, and sometimes just because, but consider making this a monthly event. Your kids will look forward to this yummy, happy morning routine. So tap into that enthusiasm and encourage them to help with menu planning and adding a festive touch with DIY table decorations.
It’s such a blessing that you, as homeschooling parents, can choose to begin your days in such bright and cheerful ways. It’s quite freeing, isn’t it? And knowing that you can ease into your day of learning while enjoying quality time with your kids might just help you sleep more soundly at night.