Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Morning Rush to Morning Flow

"Get dressed, eat breakfast, brush your teeth, don' forget to put your school work in your bag...., did you remember to....".
Ahhhh, the morning routine of a household with a 7 year old girl.

You know what it's like. As a parent, the morning can be an anxious filled time. We are not only trying to get ourselves ready, but, mange our kids too. I find the way I start my day impacts the rest of it. I want a peaceful start of the day. I do not want my cortisol levels spiking so early.

If we put ourselves in our kid shoes, this might seem overwhelming. So much to do being ranted off, and sometimes in no particular order. Everything seems urgent. This is not a positive start to the day. More often than not, the chaos of the morning results in getting out the door later than we wanted to, adding more rush and stress.

There is a better way. Raising kids to be Agile. Let me share how not only did I bring calmness to my mornings, but, also have been successful in raising a self-directed 7 year old daughter (well, lucky so far, parenting is an emergent business!)

I have been using Agile with my daughter since she was 3 years old (see Bedtime Scrum).

Agile with my daughter embraces the same elements of Agile Classrooms.
Making her activities and goals visible is probably the most powerful element at this age. We make learning and work visible by using Canvas and Cards. The Canvas shows the flow of her work and so her progress is transparent to her and her parents. She knows what to do, in what order, what she is doing now, and what she has completed.  The Cards are small chunks, each Card represents a separate activity.


Since my daughter is now learning to surf, I took the opportunity to update her Canvas to a surfing theme. She loves it! We put "Surfing One Wave at a Time" to get that sense of calm and focus we wanted.

We created Card Decks that represent the common tasks she has at different parts of the day.
She has a Morning Task Cards, After School Task Cards, and Bedtime Task Cards. I keep the task cards in separate envelopes so we pull them out easily. The Canvas and the Card Decks all go into a folder.



In the morning, she grabs the folder, and sets up her board. She flies through the tasks on her own, and she loves it, and so do I. She feels in control of her world which gives her confidence the rest of the day, as well as getting us out the door with less stress and on time. It is a wonderful way to support self-direction in our kids.  As a parent, I can get her lunch and myself ready with a Zen-like peace (ok, that is a stretch). We do the same when she gets home from school.


Flow of Cards

If you want to shift from the morning rush to a more calm morning flow, give this a shot. In fact, my daughters friends asked me for a copy of these. They and their parents are loving it.

If you want these, they are yours to download for free.

Download the Surfing Canvas and Cards Here



Enjoy surfing one wave at a time!
Please send me a note if you use it. I would love to hear how it has helped you.

Thanks,
John Miller
@agileschools









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