Easy Morning Routine System – Self-Sufficient Kids

How many of you have a morning routine system for your family?

Maybe mornings at your home look similar to how mine did 6 months ago.  You know, the little creatures wake up and hang around in the pajamas until you lose your cool and start yelling.  Don’t you dare tell me that my kids are the only ones that have the propensity to go into super-slow mo while whining and complaining about getting ready?! Ha!

I was so sick of nagging the kids to get ready.  I needed a solution.

easy-morning-routine-chart

Look, if you have little people running around, (or laying around) not doing anything to get going, it gets frustrating fast.

Personally, I’d tell them multiple times to do something as simple as get dressed or put dirty laundry in the hamper.  For real, these are such simple tasks but my kiddos outnumber me.  And let’s face it, I’m busy trying to get my day underway too.  So I had to figure out a way to get them on board with a routine.   Scratch that, I needed to find a way to get them excited about getting everything done.  AND I had to remove the nag-factor.

My very intellegent friend gave me a SUPER simple and effective tool that has been awesome for my kids!  My *almost* 11 year old even gets into this and I’m no longer the nagging mom.  As a bonus…this is easy to throw together and basically no fuss. (like really you can write this on a blank piece of paper…so read on)

Here it is…

How the Morning Routine System works:

  1. First determine what time you need your children to have all their tasks completed. (for us this is 8 am)
  2. On a piece of paper, list their names, routines, and any special jobs for each child.
  3. Place the routine paper on fridge or somewhere in a central location.
  4. Gather reward stickers and prize bucket.
  5. Explain to your children how it all works, what’s expected, and the reward.
  6. Remind them for a day or two, (especially for littles who can’t read) and watch them gain ownership of their morning.
  7. At the designated time, check to see where your children are with their morning routine.  If they’ve accomplished everything, they get a sticker.
  8. On the 4th day, they get a sticker and a prize from the prize bucket.

So what’s in this prize bucket??

prize-box-balloons

Yes, balloons.  My kids LOVE balloons.  ($0.01/each)

 

prize-box-books

Coloring books and activity pads ($1/each).

 

prize-box-candy

Candy!  Now’s a great time to steal back that Halloween candy for the prize box. (FREE)

 

prize-box-stickers

Sticker sheets.  We just added Christmas stickers. ($0.18/each)

 

prize-box-toys

Dollar store toys. ($0.50 – $1/each)

Some more ideas…

Gum, quarters, a media pass (10 min. or more), sticker sheet, etc.  Make it inexpensive but something your kids will look forward to earning.

Introduction Phase

The first couple of days, my kids, (especially my 2 littlest) had a hard time getting the concept.  I gave them quite a few reminders but they still didn’t do their tasks.  They figured out pretty quickly when they didn’t get a sticker and that means no prize.  HALLELUJAH!!

*disclaimer* This ONLY works if you enforce the routine and sticker chart.  You have to take 3 minutes to check what they did and assign the stickers.
(I realize this is a no-brainer but I found that I got a little relaxed and my kids reverted back to their old habits)

Customizable & Printable

Just to save you a couple of minutes, I’ve uploaded a customizable routine chart, (made in excel) for you to tweak till your heart’s content.

Customizable Routine Chart

All the boxes are there and the shading for the reward day, you just need fill in the information to suit your needs.  (If you are curious about my font, I used  Archistico Bold for the bold font and Dawning of a New Day).

You can seriously take a blank piece of paper and draw out your routine if you don’t want to type anything (so don’t let that get in the way).

I’d love to hear if this is working for you, so please share if you implement this!

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Easy Morning Routine System

Tin Whistle Case Tutorial

We are venturing into the land of Tin Whistle with Classical Conversations.  Today I’m sharing my tin whistle case tutorial. This pattern is super easy and fast if you have more than one to make.  The cases are just the right length for your tin whistle and have fleece for added cushioning.

Tin Whistle Case Tutorial

Supplies:

  • 1/8 yard fleece
  • 1/8 yard cotton fabric
  • thread
  • button
  • elastic cord **See my note below**

 

**NOTE: I originally used the elastic cord but due to the fact that the cord is so narrow, it’s difficult for the stitches to “grab” the cord.  I repaired a couple of cases with thicker, (but still narrow elastic).  The pictures below show the elastic cord but I highly recommend you use 1/8″ wide elastic instead.

Directions:

  1. Cut both the fleece and cotton fabric to a 3 1/2 inch strip the long way of the fabric.
  2. Trim both fleece and cotton to be 27 inches long.
  3. Cut 3 inches of elastic cord, set aside.3 inch elastic cord for tin whistle case
  4. Layer fleece on bottom and place cotton on top of fleece strip with the right side of the cotton facing the fleece.
  5. Mark one end of fabric layers with a semi-circle. (I used a mason jar to outline.)Flap marking for tin whistle case
  6. Take your cut elastic and fold it in half.  Place the looped end inside the fabric layers.  Secure it in place with 2 pins, one on each side of the elastic. Sidenote:  I NEVER pin, but in this case it’s important to pin in order to stop the elastic from shifting during the next step.
  7. Leave the unmarked 3 1/2″ end open and sew a 1/4″ seam allowance. When you reach the semi-circle marked end, curve around using your marking as a guide.  Reinforce the elastic by sewing back and forth directly over the elastic like a crazy person.  Seriously. *smile* This is very important for making sure it is secure.1/4 inch seam allowance for tin whistle case
  8. Trim the curved end of fabric, leaving the excess cording, (just in case any repairs need to be made to cording).Elastic end and flap on tin whistle case
  9. Turn your fabric right side out and iron (I also NEVER iron unless it’s absolutely necessary…it is in this case).
  10. Tuck fabric ends under and sew a 1/4 inch seam to secure the open end closed.Tin Whistle Case Sewing Ends
  11. Lay your case down and fold it so that the pocket opening to the end measures 12 inches.12 inch length on tin whistle case
  12. Turn top flap over and mark where your button will be fastened.  You want to mark for your button hole just a little past where your elastic loop falls.Button hole placement on tin whistle case
  13. Sew on your button by hand.
  14. Line your case up so that it is 12 inches long (for the pocket) again.
  15. Starting at the pocket opening, sew at 1/4″ (make sure to backstitch at both left and right openings) all the way around the case including the opening flap.  Your stitch should stop where you started to sew.Sewing Start Point for Tin Whistle Case

That’s it!  You’ve finished.

I tried to be very detailed in how I made these.  I made about 30 of these for a fundraiser in our community and this was fastest and easiest way I came up with.

You could add a tag to write a name…customizations are endless on these!

U.S. Presidents Miniature Cards – FREE Printable

This year is our first year doing Classical Conversations and we’re learning the U.S. Presidents and their order.  I needed something handy and with one President per card so today I’m sharing the U.S. Presidents Miniature Cards – FREE Printable I made up.

U.S. Presidents Miniature Cards - FREE Printable

We’re listening to the CC Song and they are learning the order…soon they’ll be using the cards to place them in the correct order.  I know we are early in the year but I like that we can be prepared ahead of time.

The last page has a card containing the answer key…because you know…I need to know the answers.  (My children are smarter than me).  Ha!

U.S. Presidents Miniature Cards - FREE Printable Answer Key

So without further adieu…here are my U.S. Presidents Miniature Cards for your viewing and printing pleasure.  Click link below to open PDF file for printing.

US Presidents Mini Cards – FREE Printable

 

 

 

Classical Conversations Cycle 3 YouTube Playlists

Today I’m excited to share with all of you fellow CCers my Classical Conversations Cycle 3 YouTube playlists.

Classical Conversations Cycle 3 YouTube Playlist

 

First – My Disclaimer

I’ve gone through and watched most of the videos on my playlists, BUT you may find some of them inappropriate for  younger children.  Basically…please use your discretion.  I recommend you view the videos before you show them to your children.

There are some weeks that have only 1 video some have more than 11. Certain subjects are extremely sensitive given how recent they occurred, (September 11th) and I was unable to find appropriate videos.  These playlists are a work in progress and I’ll be updating them throughout the school year.

To avoid copyright issues, I purposely did not put videos in my playlist that actually contained CC memory work.  I look at these videos as supplemental information for my children.  If you have any to add to a particular week, I’d love to hear from you!

For access to the Playlists, please click here or click the image above.

Classical Conversations Cycle 3 Week 4 ~ Wrap Up

For our Classical Conversations Cycle 3 Week 4, we got to explore the Declaration of Independence. There are so many wonderful videos for this part of our history that we’ve been watching all week.

Here was our week….

CC Cycle3 Week4 Update

History

For my non-readers… my whiteboard.

Cycle 3 Week 4 Whiteboard for Non-Readers

The P with a circle is the symbol for published and the rest should be self explanatory.

(at home) The Story of the World: Vol. 3, Chapter 22, Pg 213-217. 

English

I tried to help explain the different verb tenses by drawing little arrows on my whiteboard coinciding with the tense.  I also incorporated hand motions to explain what the tenses meant.

Latin

For Latin this week, I pulled out some of my hand puppets.  Check them out…aren’t they CUTE?!

Hand Puppets for CC Memory Work

The bear one is named Perhiberet (bear).  Just make sure to explain what bear actually means in Latin – something I forgot to do but later reminded my parents in my email to them. The children got to raise their puppet or object when we said their part.  This was so fun for them and I’ll be incorporating them as much as possible!

I got them a week or 2 ago from Dollar Tree so they may still be there!  Again I followed the helps from “Hissheep” off CC connected and tailored them to my puppets and hand motions.

Science

(at home) We made a model of a spine with egg cups, straws, and tape.  So easy and the kids liked the hands on aspect.  We covered the fact that they are many more vertebrae than 18 in our spinal column and what parts of the model would be parts on their spine.  I also read the the Science Snippets when the model was built and talked about our nerves.

Spinal Cord Model

Fine Arts

Abstract Art.  Oh my…I’ll be honest and say this wasn’t my favorite lesson.  After a brief explanation, I had the children draw a continuous line, a big and swirly line that overlapped. Next I had them color in different blocks made by that line with bold colors.  For their next project, I wrote their names in an abstract manner, (turning the page for each letter of their name) and then I had them color in those different sections.

Science Experiment

For the science project this week, we made a model lung.  So many great lessons from this week from our previous Science grammar!  If you make this model, be sure to use a sturdy water bottle.  We went with a Evian but the plastic is thinner so it would collapse, (Dasani is strong enough).

Review Game

Golf, Tutor May I, & Sprints were our games for review.  I had some energetic children this week and I think it would have been better to reverse the order of the games personally.

So why so many games this week?  Well I’m glad you asked!  As I said the kids were a little more squirrely this week and they got very tired waiting for their chance at Tutor May I.  Next time we play, I’ll let everyone do the action the review question is asked if we have wigglers.

We finished up our review time with the children lining up and me asking them a question one at a time. After they answered the question, I sent them on a sprint down the sidewalk and back.  Ahhhh, what a release for them!

Half-a-Hundred Acre Wood

Classical Conversations ~ Cycle 3 Week 3 ~ Wrap Up

Our Classical Conversations Cycle 3 Week 3 went off without a hitch! This week I delved into my artsy (or not artsy side) for History.

Also, I’ve followed all the wise advice from those who have gone before me in tutoring for Classical Conversations.

Their advice: KEEP IT SIMPLE.

So with that, we are doing pretty much the same thing every week. And for this reason, I’ll only share what we’ve done different from our previous weeks.

Classical Conversations ~ Cycle 3 Week 3 ~ Wrap Up

Here are the highlights from our week….

History

My disclaimer is that I’m NOT an artist. (so NO picking on me!) But here is the “art” I used to convey the message of the history sentence and to try to help my non-readers remember the sentence. The wording has been removed to stay within copyright laws of CC.

CC C3Wk3 Whiteboard for Non-Readers

Another tutor at our community had the children act out the history sentence.  She brought in tea bags and had the students throw the tea at a map where the Boston Harbor is located.  My girl LOVED it!

(at home) The Story of the World: Vol. 3, Chapter 22, Pg 208-212. 

Math

(at home) Now is where I get very real and tell you that I pushed my older 2 kids in the Math department.  They are doing multi-digit multiplication right now but they are struggling with single digits.  We’ve put our books away for a time and are strictly focusing on multiplication.  But I’ve been looking for fun ways to hammer these facts in instead of just drilling.

Enter Speed!

Multiplication Speed Game for Learning Multiplication

My kids have a great time with this, though it is a little too advanced for my 4 1/2 year old who is just learning her skip counting facts.

Learning multiplication through Speed game

Someday, I’d like to create cards to cover 10’s through cubes for week 11 of CC.  I’ll update if I ever tackle that.

Latin

I simply have to share the song I used this week, “Winnie the Pooh.” It was perfect for my 4’s and 5 year olds. The song on CC Connected was uploaded by “carolynsigg” it was incredibly helpful! I also incorporated a hybrid from the helps “Hissheep” uploaded to CC Connected and my own hand motions.

I’ll admit, I was a little scared of this week’s Latin, but the combo of the hand motions, song, and helps made it stick both in class and at home.

Fine Arts

We covered upside down drawings this week. For my little ones, I wrote their names and had them attempt to write them upside down. This was a challenge for them to be honest. I also brought in a handheld white board to be able to flip the image right side up when we were done. I drew a simple turtle image for the kids and we took turns writing on the board for the remainder of our time together. I hit on different elements of drawing to reinforce OiLs.

Science Experiment

The science experiment was lots of fun for the little ones. We took prints off of all 10 fingers and used the file, “modified fingerprint template” by “cdryden.”

(at home) We looked at these animal fingerprints and it was pretty fascinating! Check out those Koala prints!

Review Game

This week we played the cup game with little 2 oz dixie cups. I’m a sloppy writer so I printed my labels on my tiny Avery Labels (05267). I get a sense that my Abecedarian group is not competitive so we didn’t have winners or loser. But the children were pretty motived to get to knock those cups down with my foam Dollar Tree ball.

Half-a-Hundred Acre Wood

Classical Conversations Cycle 3 Week 2 ~ Wrap Up

Here is the breakdown of what we did for Classical Conversations Cycle 3 Week 2.  I’m personally loving the material and extra sources for supplementing our curriculum!

Classical Conversations Cycle 3 Week 2 Wrap UpHere is our highlights for week 2…

Geography

(at home) For review, we printed these super cute maps to color in as we learn all the states and capitals.

Timeline

(at home) I LOVE the “Timeline Tidbits” that the user: bentkitchen put up on CC Connected.  They are perfect for my little 4 1/2 year old.  

History

(at home) The Story of the World: Vol. 3, Chapter 6, Pg 60-69. 

English Grammar

I used the English song for week two from the user, “marykbry”.  LOVE her songs!

Latin

We sang and chanted the Latin grammar this week.  The children and I got creative with it and used “LOW Voice” and “Robot Voice” from I Love to Teach.  I made another sheet following her adorable design.

CC Phonic Chant CardsMath

We sang the math skip counting songs while doing arm circles and stomping our feet.

Science

Basic Format.

Fine Arts

This week it was all about mirror images.  The children really liked this one!  I handed out the images from ArtMadeEasy.com.  Next, we drew on the white board.  I drew one half of the image first, then I chose one of the children to complete the mirror image.

Science Experiement

In class we followed Miss Wizzle’s lab sheet again. (from CC Connected uploaded by user: loriberlie)

(at home) We watched this cool video about the eye, 

 

This post has been linked up at Half a Hundred Acre Wood, to see more for week 2, click below.
Half-a-Hundred Acre Wood