Do your homeschool mornings tend to be on the rough side?
Do you feel exhausted and run down before you even start school?
Is there too much grumbling, whining, and complaining from your kids…and you (internally of course)?
Do you find yourself wishing for just one more cup of coffee to drink in peace? Or maybe just some time to think or get ready in the morning without your kids fighting or yelling?
Do you find yourself checking and rechecking the calendar to see when the next day off of school is?
Is homeschooling not the peaceful walk in the park you were hoping for?
There are many different things that may be causing your pain, but I think I have a simple homeschool morning tip that can help you turn it all around.
Please Don’t Say Do a Morning Basket!
I know, right?! You cannot get away from the information about morning baskets on homeschool blogs these days!
Truthfully, we started doing a morning time this year and it is pretty great.
I do like the structure of it, but I don’t think it is the definitive answer to the large majority of homeschool morning struggles out there.
Please Don’t Say Wake Up Early!
I know that is often the common solution thrown out there.
If a mom is up early, she has time to exercise, read her Bible, plan her day, and drink her coffee in peace.
I am actually a huge fan of waking up hours before my kids and I have been for years.
But, I don’t think that waking up early (by itself) creates a peaceful homeschool morning.
In fact, waking up early might make things worse.
I know you probably didn’t see that coming.
The homeschool morning solution I have for you is actually not even something you would do in the morning.
It’s not even something you would do with your kids.
My #1 Homeschool Morning Tip: Go to Bed Early
Don’t click away!
I know exactly what you’re thinking, and I need you to stick with me.
I know that your late nights of Facebook scrolling, texting, Netflix streaming, and reading is the release you need after a long day.
But I need you to understand what you are trading by scheduling your decompressing time into the night.
Why Going to Bed Early is Key for the Homeschool Mom
I know that you think going to bed early sounds like a childhood punishment.
You may be thinking: I’m an adult now and I can stay up as late as I want, doing whatever I want, thank you very much.
This is the attitude you have at 9pm.
But don’t forget that at 3pm the same day you would have paid your children in frosting to be quiet so you could close your eyes for just 10 minutes.
Imagine with me all the awesome things that can change if you gifted yourself more sleep:
- More energy during the day to be the fun mom you want to be
- More patience with your kids
- Your morning mood will improve
- More reserve in your tank to deal with tantrums, whining, and school issues…the way you wish you would handle them
- You will be able to handle stress better
- It may help you maintain a healthy weight
- You may get sick less
- Your coffee bill might even decrease
- And most importantly (drum roll please)…If you go to bed early…you can start waking up before your kids!!!
I knew you were going to say wake up early!
Guilty as charged.
Yes, I think waking up at least one hour before your children is key in having a great homeschool morning.
Waking up before your kids gives you endless benefits: time to exercise, read your Bible and pray, look at your lesson plans, get your caffeine levels where they need to be, eat breakfast without having to share it with anyone, get ready for the day, catch up on the news, organize your calendar, think about things like morning baskets and other homeschool stuff you’ve been meaning to try…just to name a few.
All of these things and more fill your own love tank, so you’re ready to pour into your kids and homeschool.
The big mistake people run into is when they try to wake up early while still staying up to watch Jimmy Kimmel.
That is a dangerous combination that creates a tired, grumpy, burned out homeschool mom.
You have to do both – wake up early AND go to bed early.
Well, I could never fall asleep that early
I know the feeling.
All day long you would kill for a nap, but when the kids go to bed…you’re suddenly a new woman!
A woman who doesn’t want to take off her makeup, brush her teeth, wash her face, put on 5 different creams, and go to bed.
You want to bask in your freedom to eat ice cream out in the open while watching TV that has no animated characters or sing alongs.
I get it.
Let me show you how you can do both:
Tips for Making an Earlier Bedtime Work
1.Decide your new bedtime
Do the math and figure out what time you need to go to bed so that you can get 7-8 hours of sleep and still wake up an hour before your kids.
If you are laughing out loud right now because your kids go to bed and wake up at all hours, hang tight. I have a post coming about how I get all three of my kids (8, 5, and 3) to go to bed and wake up at the same time.
2. Be intentional with the time you have
This will not always be perfect, but be intentional with how you want to spend the time you have after your kids are in bed.
For example, my kids go to bed between 7-8pm.
I then spend time tidying up the house, reviewing lessons for the next day, and working on this blog.
I sometimes watch a 20 minute episode of The Office on Netflix to unwind, and then I get ready for bed.
I try to be in bed by 10pm or earlier, so I can be up at around 5-5:30am (my girls wake up at 7am).
Think about how you can divide up the time you have and use it effectively, so you don’t feel completely deprived of unwinding time in the evening.
3. Set an alarm on your phone to remind you it’s time to get ready for bed
Take your new bedtime from step #1 and subtract 30 minutes from that. Set an alarm on your phone to go off daily at that time.
This will give you time to stop doing whatever you were doing, take good care of your teeth and face, get in bed, and fall asleep.
4. Pick up a bottle of melatonin to reset your sleep cycle.
Melatonin is natural and non-habit forming, so it is a great choice to use for a short term sleep adjustment.
***Clearly, I am not a doctor. If you have any health issues or concerns, check with your doctor before taking a sleep aid.
Take them as directed on the bottle while getting ready for bed.
You should start to fall into a rhythm of going to bed earlier and naturally waking up earlier.
You will soon start to feel more tired in the evening and won’t need the melatonin – that’s how you know your sleep cycle is reset!
5. Caffeine is your friend
The coffee bean is a naturally occurring sign of God’s great love for mom’s everywhere.
As you get used to this new rhythm of life, don’t forget to use it’s power!
Have something available in the morning (coffee, tea…or diet soda if that’s your thing) to drink and lift the cobwebs away.
A Warning + Free Printable!
If you follow these suggestions, you are going to start seeing so many positive changes in yourself, your family, and your homeschool.
You will start to see that staying up late is not the self care you thought it was.
Staying up late might actually be causing a lot of the stress and difficulties you are facing during the day.
Gifting yourself sleep, and waking up early in the morning will help you meet so many more of your real needs…and make you such a better homeschool mom.
You will have the energy, organization, and stamina to accomplish your homeschooling goals.
I am so excited for you to start seeing this change!
But I do have one warning for you. The routine of going to bed early and getting up early is truly addicting!
Once you experience the changes and benefits, you will be waking up early on the weekends, holidays, every day! Because you will crave that time in the same way you now crave late night time.
The only difference is that early morning time actually does provide self care…and the late night time actually produces a grumpy bear of a mom in the morning.
Are you getting excited to try this?! Interested in more homeschool morning tips?
You have got to download my checklist – “Start Your Morning with Awesome!”
Two pages of homeschool morning tips to help you be at your best for your kids and your homeschool!
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