This momma loves a good list. To help our mornings run a bit more smoothly and reduce the number of times I have to tell the kids to brush their teeth or put on their shoes, we created a morning checklist that I added to our family command center.
After a few weeks into the school year, the kids pick up the routine and know to look at it for reminders on what to do.
Our deal is that if the kids can get through their list before we have to leave, they can have some time to play or watch TV. That’s a big motivator to get them moving! Many days they have no time left or just a few minutes. It’s a rare occasion to have enough time to get through a whole cartoon.
What I love about the list is that the kids helped create it, so they had to think about what all needs to happen to get ready for school. I used Microsoft Word to create the list within a table. I added clipart to help Mr. 4-year-old “read” the list and color matched the art and text.
Now that we have the list, the kids have a bit more freedom to manage their time. Certainly, with the kids only being 4 and 6 years old, my husband and I are not hands off. But, we’re are not reminding them WHAT they need to do. Instead we’re asking them what is next on the list or reminding them that they only have 20 minutes left. We’re trying to teach them to be aware of their own time and responsibilities and build some independence. We try to say things like, “You’re normally done brushing your teeth by now, but today you haven’t even started.” And then avoid things like, “Hurry up! We’re late!” (Though I do say that too when I get exasperated!)
Overall, the morning checklist has worked out really well for us. We haven’t missed the bus or been late to school yet, so I’ll take that as a win!