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Our Before School Routine

Updated: Mar 1, 2022

Routine… what does that even mean? It is more like what helps us function to the best of our ability. Still a hot mess express over here. Still imperfect. Still trying to discover new ways of making mornings make sense. But finally, we have found a rhythm… most days anyways.

Four kids and two parents working from home means a lot of chaos when we wake up. We hit the snooze sometimes too often, and regret it every time. The kids attend different schools and I spend most of my mornings and afternoons driving from place to place and making sure everyone arrives and gets picked up on time.

We have spent a lot of years training the kids to pull whatever weight they can. We need the extra hands around here. Don’t be afraid to give your kids doable chores! It helps them take responsibility and shows them what it is like to be independent. Paislie needs full care. Jace does not. We have this running like a well-oiled-machine now (at least I like to think so… for a family like ours anyways).

We are all up by 6:00am or before. Aaron gets Paislie up, I wake up the youngest girls. I lay out outfits, help them find socks, and chat a bit. One of us will bring Paislie in the bathroom to shower her. Paislie only goes number two at night in her pull up… almost every night. We have to remove that and use a hose to spray down her body, get her washed up and clean for the day. She needs hand over hand assistance for dressing, brushing teeth, and washing her face. I head in and get myself ready for the day. I don’t skip it. I might be in jeans and a hooded shirt like I am now, but I will always put on my cute boots and do my hair and make up at least a little so I feel like Kacie… if I don’t, the day goes downhill and so does my productivity. While we are upstairs, Jace heads to the main floor to prep lunches for the girls. He makes sure each backpack is ready and gets ready to style his sister’s hair.

You see, Jace is fascinated with hair. Ever since he was a toddler, that is his sensory toy of choice. He likes the feel of hair, the movement of hair, and now his brain gets to go to work with the engineering mind he has and style with the mechanics of hair. Braiding is so stimulating for him. It is easy for him to understand… like his joy in building a marble run, he can study the curves and mechanics, and catch on with one glance. So Jace gets sensory play by helping do Paislie’s hair. And he is so good at it.

We take turns putting on Paislie’s shoes and getting her coat zipped. The kids will work at getting theirs done as well. Aaron is off to work in the office by now, and I double check the backpacks and the shoe situation before we line up. Paislie is in charge of throwing away her apple cores and wrappers, and then I check Jace. Does he have his buttons buttoned and snaps snapped, or does he need help… maybe his shoes need a re-tie. At thirteen, you’d think this would be second nature, but it is still a challenge for him. The kiddos form a single file line on their way out the door!

After we pile in the car I chauffeur these sweeties to where they need to be! Walking some to their classrooms, and others being picked up from the car! We drive towns apart to make sure everyone gets the opportunity to learn in the best place for them, regardless of convenience. Jace grabs a Starbucks with me and we head back to the house where we start his homeschool day. I get him set and then I am ready to do my best work. Did you know that your most productive time is usually between 9-11am? I find that to be exactly true. By noon, I am already falling asleep. If you read my blog about our nighttime sleep, you might understand why.

I am so thankful that we have come to the place where the kids find ownership in their day. I waited too long to implement the help we needed within these walls. I always felt this need that it was my responsibility. But I failed at it… every day. It was too much to do it all, and it was not in the best interest for the whole family. Responsibility is a good thing to learn… and even if your child has autism, they can contribute somehow. Every ounce of help counts and mama, you will have more energy to tackle the other important things in the day if you can find ways to make things a tad easier.


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Hi, I'm Kacie Ko

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