***See the all the tips from the Fantastic Family Series here.***

Morning DevotionalWhat if you had a place and time every day where you could connect as a family, share values, discuss great ideas and instill greatness in your kids? Wouldn't that be lovely?

There is so much of truth, literature, cultural and familial identity, history, geography, memorization, music, language, and so much more that we could pass on to our children... if only we could carve out the time during our daily schedules to devote to it.

Our moments together should be filled with dialogues about great ideas and people, yet sometimes the idea of doing it seems so daunting. When and how?

This week we're going to share one simple technique that makes it doable.

That's what #FANTASTICFAMILYFRIDAYS is all about!

There are certain 'habits' and 'rituals' that can seem very small and almost insignificant. Yet if they're practiced on a consistent basis, the long-term effects are -- in the words of the Mastercard commercial -- priceless.

What we're discussing today is one of those priceless family habits. Putting it into practice teaches persistent lessons that will become the foundation of our children's character and education (especially the type of education we are concerned with.)

Last week we talked about the Morning Ritual -- the one habit that can make every day just better.

This week's ritual is something that, over time, can eventually teach and model all the things we value and want our children to learn.

Isn't that awesome?

What's your default?

We all have routines. Last week we discussed how critically important our personal Morning Rituals are for our personal development, and for creating a mindset that leads to successful, happier days. Establishing up this morning ritual leads to long-term success.

Today's topic is a continuation of that morning ritual. It's about establishing a daily default, so that no matter what the circumstances, you have a 'fall back' habit ensuring that what matters to you is passed on to your kids, and that habits are developed which bring the results you want.

The Family Morning Routine

PARENTING TIPS #5Just as the personal Morning Ritual is important to setting your daily mood and contributing to your personal success, the Family Morning Routine is critical to facilitating cooperation, developing habits of work, transferring cultural literacy and family values and generally contributing to the development of your family.

Depending on the duties and responsibilities of each family member (work, school, etc.), your Morning Routine may be long or short, but having it in place helps to ground and center your family.

Our morning routine can last until lunch time, because our children are educated at home, and so it becomes a part of their study routine. Yours may be a short tradition that happens before everyone parts their separate ways.

No matter what it looks like, putting it in place and continuing with it day after day, year after year, can produce incredible results.

Establishing this routine can be difficult in the beginning, but overtime it really helps the family to flow, and, step-by-small-step, helps you to achieve your family goals. Deciding to forgo it should not be done lightly.

So what does this routine look like?

Your Family Morning Routine will be unique to your family, because it will focus on helping you to reach your family goals. But I can share with you what our family routine looks like (along with why we incorporate each aspect), to provide an example. Please don't think that this is how it has to be done.

  • The Family Morning Routine begins with each individual following their own personal Morning Ritual (as we discussed last week.) Even our children have been taught to follow a morning ritual, because beginning the day in this way is so crucial to individual success and contributing to an overall peaceful feeling in the home. (If you haven't yet watched the video on the Morning Ritual and what it includes, please do that now! 🙂 )
  • Next, our routine includes breakfast. This is made by one or more members of the family. For a long time, it was made by just mom. At other times, it was made by mom and a child or two, as they were learning how to cook as part of their 'Adult Skills Class' (this is incorporated into the morning routine, because it offers them a regular time and place to learn important skills.) As the children have gained confidence with cooking, breakfast, and other meals may be made alone. Dad also does a large part of the cooking, especially after a new baby is born, or mom has work and the kids are studying.
  • During breakfast, we incorporate a morning devotional into our routine. The devotional is simply a conversation or discussion that takes place during breakfast. It provides a place for us to teach our children things that are important to us. We might memorize poems or scriptures; read from the Dictionary of Cultural Literacy and learn about Shakespeare, the Harlem Renaissance, or the highest mountain in South America; practice conjugating Spanish verbs; read from spiritual books or great literature; discuss cultural events, right and wrong, and what is truth.
  • Morning chores are an important part of the morning routine. Here's a place where children can learn to work, an important element of real education, and best learned in the home, while young. Each child has a responsibility for clean up after breakfast, and other 'zones' in the house, and this work is done before school studies begin.

The above elements could be the basics of a morning routine, especially for those who go their separate ways. We continue our morning routine into Study Time and include:

  • Mommy Fun Time is when I get the opportunity to share with my children anything that is of personal interest to me. Whether it's learning more about okapis, the history of classical music, or playing Scattergories, this is a daily ritual where I can have fun and learn together with my children.
  • Study Time is just what it sounds like. It's when our children get the chance to pursue their personal studies. What the study is in a large part up to them, but we ensure this time is effective by limiting certain activities -- for us that includes video and computer games (we don't own any anyway), friends, movies, etc. We do try to provide inspiration where and when needed, and encourage some academics before other projects, but we like to offer plenty of freedom. This gives our children the chance to develop discipline and learn to prioritize, while also pursuing topics of interest.

These things may seem simple enough, and getting into the the habit of doing them on a regular basis may not seem all that important. Believe me, they are vitally important. 

Having these habits set as your family's 'default' can make it so easy to instill values, discuss important topics and learn basic facts and information. The long-term effect of this practice is incredible for moving you toward your family goals.

Start tomorrow morning with a Family Morning Routine by choosing a topic you'd like to discuss, or a book you want to read from together.




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