How do you get your homeschool day started? I'm guessing a good percentage of homeschool moms would say, "With coffee." Some of you don't really do any homeschool in the mornings, but start your work later in the day. Regardless of the amount of caffeine required, or when, HOW we kick off the day really matters.
Whether it's breakfast or lunch, fueling up those bodies really helps before we ask them to concentrate on learning. At our house, everyone grabs their own breakfast. Moms of littles might have to spend more time helping with this meal. Making sure there are some healthy choices and most importantly, some protein for them to grab before they begin is a great recipe for success.
Beginning the same way each day is so helpful in establishing a routine. No one is left scrambling for what book they need. Everyone knows what to expect. Rounding up all your morning materials in one place cuts down on wait time. Some families begin their day right there at the kitchen table, while little ones are strapped into high chairs and preoccupied with food. Others gather in the living room on cozy couches and chairs and begin their day that way.
Many families like to start with their "all together" subjects during this morning time before everyone splits up to work on their own subjects. History, Bible, read-alouds, and even science can be done with multiple ages at one time.
For the last few years, our family has used a Morning Basket. Morning baskets were made popular by Jessica from The Waldock Way. Even though we didn't have an actual basket, we kept our materials for our morning time on our fireplace hearth and everyone sat in the same spot in our living room every morning just like little old church women. I was able to do this even with an 8-year age gap between my students. More about what we did later, but morning baskets can be a super way to kick off your day. You can find out more at the link above.
If you have very active children, who wake up ready to climb a mountain, or if you have high-energy boys, you may need to begin your day with something physical. I don't have boys, but I've heard they are better able to concentrate on academics when their bodies are tired out. Trampoline time, farm chores, a workout on TV, a quick swim in the backyard, some jump roping---whatever you need to do for them to be able to sit still better. My older girls woke up ready to snuggle and read, and exercise was better for them after lunch. You know your children best.
Some moms (probably especially introverted moms) need to fuel up before they can face a day of homeschooling, with all of its constant interaction. These moms need to sit quietly and sip their coffee, read their Bible, and just soak up some peace.
Taking a few minutes in the morning, or possibly the night before, to look over the day's lessons, make copies, gather materials or books, and just prepare for the day can be such a help in things running smoothly. I cannot tell you how many times I have needed something for a science experiment and didn't have it, or realized I was supposed to check out a book from the library and hadn't. Oh, I can wing it pretty well, but really it's common sense that being prepared will help, right? I'm talking to myself here as well!
However you decide to begin your homeschool days, have a plan and keep to that routine. If things go awry, you can never go wrong with pulling out a good book and kicking the day off with reading while the kids draw or play Legos. Remember, one reason we homeschool is to enjoy time with our children, so if you start your day together, you are winning already.