Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Getting 6 Kids Ready for School - Without Drama

Posted by Mandy at 7:15 AM
Most of my readers probably don't "really" know me in real life. How I am daily, what stresses me out, and what I can and cannot tolerate. Let me give you a quick run-down. I despise whining, but even more than that, I HATE being late. It literally makes me feel physically ill if I'm 5 minutes late going anywhere. From getting to church on time, getting the kids to school, or even a casual lunch date with the girls.

Having 6 kids can definitely make being on time harder. Enter: my method of success. I'll stick with our morning "get to school on time so mom doesn't freak out" routine because I know that, for me, it has been the toughest to get right.

Typical wake up time favorite - make the baby laugh!

Before Bed - Set out clothes for EACH child where they can reach them

6:40am - wake up big kids. (Carter, Waylon, Madison, and Emily)
*All kids are expected to be FULLY dressed, socks and shoes included, before exiting their bedrooms.
While I finish cooking breakfast, the girls must brush their hair. Breakfast is held hostage. Until you are COMPLETELY dressed, you will not eat. It's amazing how quickly they hop to it around here!

7:00am - Breakfast is served. All kids must clean their spot at the table (or, from in front of the TV... whatever..) after they eat. Once the big kids are eating I wake up the two littles, Samuel and Dakota. Sam dresses himself, I dress Dakota - then they join the crew for breakfast.

7:20 - Brushing teeth time - this is also when I "do" the girls' hair. I'm getting fast at this now!

7:30 - Gather your stuff (that I line up in the playroom each night against the wall by the garage door) - get in the van - time to go.

This is seriously how our mornings typically go. I don't nag. I don't demand. Madison has almost been left at home because she is my S-L-O-W-E-S-T child. My rule is if you're not in the van at 7:30, then you will wait at home and I will come back and pick you up and take you to school AFTER I've dropped off everyone else. I refuse to let one kid make the entire crew late. I'm thankful that I have the luxury of not having to be at work at 8am so I can pull this off. Never had to do it... I think I do what I say I'll do enough that they believe my threats. They know their mom is a bit off her rocker...

Sometimes Dakota is taking his breakfast in the van.. he's my slowest eater and the one that will tantrum if I try to do the "Here, you can finish them when we get back home in 10 minutes.." talk. What's a few more crumbs in the van, right?

TV is a luxury in the mornings. If they are being too slow, it goes off. Otherwise, I do let them watch cartoons. Can I be for real and say it just makes mornings more relaxing and enjoyable for ALL of us? Yes, I'm "that" mom... and I was the same way when I just had 3 kids. I fully admit to being as lazy as possible - when possible. So there.

This is what works for me! As long as I'm prepared and organized BEFORE I wake the kids up, things run smoothly. What's the hardest "getting ready" time in your house?


Brittany on Wednesday, 09 March, 2011 said...

Well, neither of mine are in school yet, so I guess it would be Sundays. Sunday school starts at 9:30, but since I play in the worship band, I need to be there by 9 to sound check. Shaun gets up first and gets ready because he likes to get there even earlier. (He's the worship minister.) I usually try to get in the shower by 8, but it depends on him. I always either lay out their clothes, or at least KNOW what they're going to wear. They eat breakfast while I get a shower. Then I give the 4 year old his clothes to get ready and I dress the 2 year old. Then i finish getting ready. Most mornings, we get there basically on time. But it all hinges on that shower...LOL. I know that when Natalie gets here (10 weeks away!) then she's gonna rock my world! I remember all too well the struggle of making sure I nursed the boys right before I left the house so that they'd be good until I got out of Sunday school. It will be interesting adjusting to a nursing schedule again!!!

Mandy on Wednesday, 09 March, 2011 said...

Oh Brittany.. I have never been late so many times in my life as when I had a new/nursing baby! Have a lot of grace with yourself girlly! Only 10 weeks to go?! Wow, that's gone fast!!

Sarah on Wednesday, 09 March, 2011 said...

ALL great ideas! ANYTHING that works to keep that morning time from being the "If I have to tell you one more time..." and "Hurry up!" time of day ROCKS! Thanks for sharing!

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