My Simple & Realistic Morning Routine

I’ve tried so many things. When I tell you I’ve tried, I’ve tried!!! I really have! I read all the articles that told me to wake up early and I could NEVER ever do it. I knew logically that it would be the savior to my LONG days, but I just could not get the motivation to actually DO it. And when I did, it was short-lived and lasted all of two mornings. Really.

It’s hard, mamas. I get it. It’s hard to wake up early when you’ve been up late the night before doing all the mom things after the kids are in bed. Believe me, I know how good it feels (at the moment) to “doom scroll” or just watch TV and snack, or finish up the chores. I. GET. IT. But you’ve got to somehow find the self-control to stop at a decent time every night to then get that nice 8 hours of sleep. Some nights, that might not be possible, but let’s work on making those nights the exception and NOT the rule.

As a homeschooler, I’ve taken advantage of my fair share of “sleeping in” mornings, but let me tell ya – it gets harder and harder for me to wake up at a decent hour when I stay in bed too long, and for too many days.

It’s ALL about self-control, and I’ve had to work really hard to get to this point where I can wake up early now – because I want to! Not because I have to!

And that mind shift is a game-changer for me.

Here is an example of a balanced, yet flexible morning routine for this homeschooling family:

6:00 AM – I Wake Up

I turn off my alarm. I’ve deleted all my other alarms (no longer am I snoozing or setting alarms for 6:09, 6:15, 6:30, 7:00 just in case.) I removed my just in case and literally set ONE alarm for myself at 6am.

While I am giving my brain time to wake up and process the day, I grab my phone and read my Bible app.  I have found for me, starting my day with God sets the tone. It’s 5-10 minutes of intentional time with God reading His word. Currently, I am going through the Bible in a Year with Tara Leigh Cobble and her Bible Recap.

Once I’m done with that, time for a cup of coffee, water, and a quick workout. I honestly use the word “work out” very loosely. By “quick work out,” I’m talking 10 jumping jacks, 10 crunches, some yoga stretches, some knee touches – something quick and easy to get the blood pumping. For me, it has to be something QUIET because I have a small house, and if I start to move weights around, or fiddle in the kitchen, lo and behold, there’s a small child behind me. Waking up early for ME is for my “me time” – a time when I am in control of my own health. I’d prefer a much longer span, but I’ll take what I can get because I personally cannot wake up any earlier than 6am.

Then, if there’s still time, this is when I’ll hop in the shower for a 5 minute COLD SHOWER. I know. WHAT? For real? Yep. That burst of cold water on your body is enough to wake you up if nothing else you’ve done has worked. I’m not talking a full on hair-body-washing sesh. Just hop in the shower, use soap if you’re so inclined, and hop out. Try it one or two mornings and report back to me! Once you get in the habit of doing this, your workouts may start getting more intense, and a blast of cold water will feel even better. Game changer, y’all.

7:00 AM – Kids Wake Up

Children wake up and start their morning routine – brush teeth, wash face, and get dressed for the day. I allot ample time for this because in the same vein where I don’t like to instantly wake up and “do stuff,” I give my kiddos a break to allow their bodies to wake up also.

While they’re doing their thing, I’m starting on breakfast.

7:30 AM – Breakfast

A healthy family breakfast is served. Sometimes. I don’t want to paint this perfect family photo of a huge spread every single morning, because that is absolutely not the case, but the non-rush of waking up to get somewhere right this minute or catch a bus totally allows for a nicer breakfast in our home.

Nicer as in slower. Nicer as in a great time for casual conversation, discussing any dreams from the night before (the kids tend to really enjoy doing this, and the toddler starts making up her own also lol), or talking about the upcoming day. If I’m feeling adventurous, I may also use this time for reading a Bible devotional out loud, but that doesn’t happen but maybe once a week. 

8:00 AM – Chores

Everyone helps tidy up from breakfast. Based on the ages of your kids, I have one gather dishes and put them in the sink or rinse them off for the dishwasher.

Another wipes the table down (we use it so it’s imperative for us to have a cleared off kitchen table!) Your kids may also have other small chores like making their beds or feeding a pet. Mine are voracious readers, so one of their morning routine bits is gathering any books from bedtime and putting them back on bookshelves. If we didn’t do that, there would be a huge pile of books next to their beds every single night!

8:30 AM – Morning Walk/Exercise

For us, this is weather dependent. We’ve walked in the rain before, but it felt super forced. I’m a huge proponent of “there’s no such thing as bad weather” and we’ve done the 1000 Hour Challenge and everything, but for my personal preference, we just don’t always do this. Depending on the weather and amount of chores from the night before, the kids may go outside and jump on the trampoline or swing.

A quick family walk around the neighborhood or some other form of exercise to get the blood flowing and brains ready for the day is also a great idea depending on where you live and if this is possible.

9:00 AM – Independent Reading Time

A quiet time for everyone to curl up with a good book. This helps cultivate a love of reading and provides a calm transition into more structured learning. All my kids are big readers, but even then, sometimes they just don’t feel like picking up a book at this particular time. When that’s the case, I just call this “quiet morning time” where they are welcome to choose from a huge selection of quiet activities in our home. A puzzle, Legos, drawing, or just fiddling with your hands. I don’t care, as long as they are not disrupting their sibling! I am 100% okay with them being bored. Trust me, they will find something to quietly do after a few times of “just sitting.”

9:30 AM – Start Homeschooling

Begin with the most challenging subject for the day while everyone is still fresh and alert.

Remember, the best morning routine is the one that fits your family’s needs and rhythms.

Feel free to adjust this schedule as needed – homeschooling is all about flexibility and finding what works best for you and your children. It’s taken me awhile to enjoy this rhythm, without feeling somehow guilty for not doing enough early enough in the day. With this routine, we are done with “school” sometimes by noon, which opens up the rest of the day for other things they might want to dive into! I’ve got one (as of this writing) super into Lego Stop Motion creating, one making paper flip books, and one creating t-shirt designs for fun. The oldest also loves cooking and trying out new recipes that I’ve never cooked before! I love the flexibility and endless possibilities that are open when you are intentionally using your time every day!

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