As our school mornings are sometimes incredibly intense and frustrating, I have started to problem solve. Here are my five tips for how to survive the chaos!
1) Wake up 3 minutes early, and glance at the Bible verse you put on your nightstand the night before. The first thought of the day being the Word of God makes, perhaps, all the difference. This is not a time commitment, as 3 minutes fall within the margin of error. Then, do Morning Prayer after you drop the kids off at school or, if you are a homeschooling mom, at your first break.
2) Have a time (eg. 7:15 am) all kids need to be in the kitchen. Reward each one who makes it with a fitting reward (for young kids, a sticker or a sugar free candy to put in their lunch box; for older kids, internet or phone privileges, etc.). Do the same for getting in the car (or being at the homeschool table, if you are homeschooling). Instead of yelling, nagging, or fussing, stay quiet. Never speak in louder than a whisper. But if they are not there, they do not get the reward.
3) Pay a dollar to anyone who puts away all the breakfast and lunch-making foods and still makes it to the car (or homeschool table) on time. A dollar is a small price to pay for a clean kitchen!
4) Vitamins and hair brushing: I have put a gallon-sized bag of duplicates of all our vitamins in the car. So, if they have not taken their vitamins at home, they can take them in the car. A hairbrush in the car helps with emergency hair needs as well.
5) A Bible verse in the car (or at the beginning of the homeschool day): As your children are taking their vitamins and brushing their hair, say together a Bible verse that you have picked for the family to memorize. Then remind them: They are missionaries to all the people they encounter. They are called to be the self-appointed “Class Chaplain” (or the “Family Chaplain” if they homeschool). Being a beacon of light to their classmates (or family), and having a prayerful response to all class (or family) trouble, drama, and conflicts is their role. Say a quick prayer with them, such as a litany with their favorite saints, and root them on!