Whether you have kids in kindergarten, elementary, middle, or high school, having a solid morning routine is so important when it comes to starting the day off right – especially when it comes to distance learning. While you may have the perfect homeschool setup and all of the latest electronics and gadgets at the ready to make remote learning as simple as possible, it will all fall apart if you don’t have a proper schedule in place. If you want to keep your kids motivated and accountable this school year, these morning routine tips for online learning will help!
10 Morning Routine Tips For Online Learning
1. PLAN AHEAD
If you’re looking for morning routine tips for online learning, my first suggestion is to get back into the habit of preparing for your day the night before. I know this isn’t ground-breaking news, but the key to a smooth morning is making sure you’re prepared. Many of us were in the habit of packing school lunches, selecting outfits, organizing school bags, and laying out breakfast dishes each evening pre-COVID, but once we started to shelter in place, it seemed unnecessary.
Now that distance learning has become a long-term reality for many parents, planning ahead can save you heaps of time in the morning before your kids log-on for their first class of the day. Load/unload the dishwasher, prep breakfast and set the table, make sure your children have their homework completed and their log-in information ready for the following day, and do anything else that will avoid a rush when you wake up.
2. WAKE UP EARLY
When schools were initially cancelled in March 2020 and our lives were thrown upside down, we quickly got into the trap of staying up way too late and sleeping in way too long each morning. This seemed like a luxury for a little while, but I quickly started to feel like I was constantly racing against time. Not only was my work life suffering, but my daughter was almost late to every single one of her school Zoom calls. Now that we’re back to waking up early, I feel more productive, organized, and accomplished, and everyone is calmer, which goes a long way in starting the day off on the right foot. If you’re struggling to keep it together in the mornings, try to set your alarm 30 minutes earlier and see if it makes a difference.
3. DO ONE THING YOU LOVE WHEN YOU WAKE UP
If your kids are learning remotely and you aren’t physically leaving the house in the morning, chances are you have a little extra time to play with before your kids log-on for the first lesson of the day. Another one of my favorite morning routine tips for online learning is to start the day doing something you love. This could be snuggling with your kids in bed for an extra 10 minutes, having a family dance party while you’re getting dressed, or making a proper sit-down breakfast to enjoy together. Or, if your kids are older and more interested in hanging out with their friends, they may want to FaceTime with their BFF while you practice yoga. The point is to block off a little bit of time for everyone to do something that brings them joy shortly after they wake up so they are motivated to get out of bed each day.
4. TURN OFF DISTRACTIONS
From checking social media, to catching up on the news, to responding to emails and text messages, and everything in between, there are tons of little things we do first thing in the morning that seem small on their own, but collectively become huge time-wasters. If this sounds like you and/or your children, consider cutting off access to these things until everyone is ready for the day. Close your email program and internet browser, turn the TV off, and put your phone on airplane mode to help you resist temptation.
5. SIMPLIFY YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGES
As parents, we all have certain things we struggle with most throughout the day. Whether it’s lack of time, tired children, or a dog that needs to be walked, there are almost always things we can do to make these issues easier so we can be more patient and present with the ones we love. The challenge is finding the motivation to change! If you’re looking for morning routine tips for online learning, make a note of the things that cause you the most stress, and be honest with yourself about how you can streamline things to make your mornings smoother and more efficient. Commit to an earlier bedtime, learn the art of meal planning and prepping, delegate like it’s your new full-time job…there are tons of options available if you’re willing to think outside the box!
6. CREATE A MORNING CHORE CHART
If your kids have a tendency to dawdle before school (ahem…), having a visual reminder of what has to be done from the time they wake up until it’s time to log-on to their first lesson can make all the difference. You can simply write a list of action items on a clipboard, or get fancy with a customized magnetic morning checklist, but the point remains the same: kids need to know what’s expected of them, and if you have it all laid out before their eyes, they will be much more likely to pitch in and help.
Which leads me to my next point…
7. EMPOWER YOUR KIDS
Another important thing to remember if you’re looking for morning routine tips for online learning is that kids are more likely to pitch in and help out when they are empowered. A little responsibility can go a long way in making a child feel as though they are a contributing member of the family, and when we praise our kids for a job well done, we are teaching them that they’re capable, that we trust them, and that their contributions matter, making them more likely to help in the future. And since moms and dads need help more than ever right now, don’t be afraid to delegate morning chores to your little ones.
8. SPEND QUALITY TIME TOGETHER
I know. I know. Finding ways to spend quality time with your kids is hard enough, and trying to do it BEFORE school sounds downright impossible. But in order to feel happy and secure, your kids need to feel a connection with you. This is especially important right now when their worlds have been turned upside down and they can’t physically see their friends. While you may be doing a stellar job at protecting your little ones from all of the horrible things that are happening in the world, this situation is far from normal and your kids are undoubtedly feeling uneasy.
Remember that spending quality time with your children before they log-on to their first lesson for the day doesn’t need to be an Olympic event. You don’t need to pull out all of your board games, put together a 1,500-piece puzzle together, or play dress-up. You just need to carve out 5 to 10 minutes of time to remind your kids that they matter to you. Put your phone down. Look them in the eye. Talk to them about the things they are looking forward to at ‘school’ that day. Ask them about their friends. Brainstorm ideas for a fun (socially distanced) family outing that weekend. You get the idea…
9. LEARN HOW TO MANAGE EVERYONE’S ENERGY EFFECTIVELY
In case you haven’t noticed, I have a THING for productivity, and one of the best tips I ever read was to learn how to manage my energy effectively. The idea is to pinpoint when you are at your most productive, and then organize your schedule such that you can take advantage of that time to tackle your most important tasks. I have found this helpful not only in my life, but in my daughter’s as well.
If you’re looking for morning routine tips for online learning, an important part of this involves structuring your days such that you can tap into everyone’s energy as effectively as possible. For example, you may find it helpful to get up before your kids to focus on items that require you to concentrate and then use the time they are online with their class to catch up on mindless tasks like emails and administrative stuff. Your kids, on the other hand, may have an easier time focusing on their schoolwork after eating and moving around, so you can strategically plan snacks, outside time, and brain breaks throughout the day to help break things up so as to maintain their motivation and concentration. Arming yourself with this information will help you plan your days accordingly, and will inevitably make your mornings run a lot smoother!
10. GET YOUR KIDS MOVING!
The final item on my list of morning routine tips for online learning is to make sure your kids move their bodies before they sit down at their desks. Whether it’s running around in the backyard, throwing an impromptu dance party in your kitchen, bouncing a balloon back and forth to each other, or doing a few yoga poses, giving them an opportunity to get their wiggles out will result in improved attention and focus, increased retention of material being learned, improved emotional regulation, reduced behavioral problems, improved gross motor skills, increased motivation, increased inclusion and cooperation, etc. CLICK HERE for some of our favorite brain breaks for kids, which you can use morning, noon, and night!
I hope this collection of morning routine tips for online learning prove useful to you! Remember to plan ahead, find ways to make the morning special, empower your kids, prioritize a little one-on-one time, manage everyone’s energy as best as you can, and get those wiggles out before your little ones log-on for their first lesson of the day!