Helpful Habit – Before 8:45

Last week of the ER visit, I spoke of good intentions and three basic helpful homeschooling habits. This week we gently folded in and fell back into our morning routine. Habits help.

Before 8:45

This checklist from HSLDA’s Vicki Bentley and her Everyday Homemaking helps us focus. And if your children are like mine, they need a bit of reminding to brush their teeth and get dressed. Made your bed? Cleared your spot at the table? I don’t have to remind because the Before 8:45 does it for me. (Psst. I’m seeing the older three do their own laundry most of the time too.) Be assured that this is a guideline. There are often mornings it is a Before 9:45 :)

A reward! If before 8:45 is completed well, 15-30 minutes on the computer, browsing Everyday Learning Links to Feed a Brain.

During this time I work with our younger two: Reading practice with youngest girl and her Early Reader’s Bible. Answers for Preschoolers, maybe an activity for Lil’ Buddy from Slow and Steady Get Me Ready.

Next week I’ll share about Morning Room Time for Lil’ Buddy. It’s the answer to the question I get most from homeschoolers: What about the little ones? What do your younger ones do while you work with the older ones on their school work?

Homeschool Highlights from the rest of the week:

Nature/Science: Easter Nature Study from Shining Dawn Books. Cindy West shared a free download for an Easter Story in Nature. We had a wonderful time right after lunch one day this week. We looked for purple, a large rock, something with thorns and tuned our noses to fragrances. There’s still time to enjoy this simple activity: Easter Story in Nature.

from the Handbook of Nature Study Outdoor Hour Challenge: Year Long Tree Study – maybe two

No week would be complete without mud, of course. *sigh*

Cooking Fun: Two-Ingredient Lemon Bars, Buttermilk Fried Chicken by Southern Living, and No Bake Cafeteria Peanut Butter Bars (made with Sunbutter® of course!).

Art: The children participated in Sketch Tuesday and Nana’s pastel lesson, Macaroni and Cheese was featured in Heart of the Matter’s new April Digital Magazine!

A couple of reviews: Enjoying Answers Magazine by My Backyard and Thomas Kinkade’s Drawing Basics at The Curriculum Choice.

Spring Sing!! A wonderful celebration of children’s choirs at our church. My youngest girl sang with her choir, This Little Light of Mine (complete with light up Japanese lanterns) and Joy, Wonderful Joy! (complete with tambourines…

while Middle Girl sang God of My Life and Joshua Fought the Battle of Jericho with her Young Musicians Choir.

Both earned trophies for memorizing the hymns for the year! And I sure enjoyed being one of the teachers in youngest girl’s choir.

Easter Activities: Resurrection rolls, Food Coloring Flowers by Middle Girl, Handprint Easter Lamb by Nana

The ending of Amon’s Adventure: we get to find out the ending to this wonderful family storybook. How we have anticipated each and every night reading. What we’ve learned! How this story has made Easter come alive for us all! Get you one for next year, get you one of the trilogy for Christmas!

Coping Skills: I got to go to our monthly homeschool moms meeting this week. What fun we all had sharing and laughing together.

Friends, it is one of my passions to help other parents in the day to day in a practical way. I thought I’d point you to a post I shared at Passionate Purposeful Parenting this week. “I’ve almost found solace in coffee or chocolate 50 times and it’s just 2 pm. It’s Tuesday and the ‘to do’ is a lengthy one. The parenting challenges are multiplying, having a ripple effect. I’m disappointed in myself and in the children. Yet coffee and chocolate aren’t the answer. Everything’s falling apart on me, God; put me together again with Your Word. Psalm 119:107 The Message”

Click Terrible to Terrific Tuesday

And, finally, no week would be complete without a little bit of chaos. In the weeks ahead I’ll be sharing more of the habits that are tools to curb the chaos  :)

Help! I'm Homeschooling ebook by Tricia Hodges

The best of our habits for the heart of homeschooling compiled in one spot!

Have a wonderful Easter weekend!


  1. 1


    I am amazed at all you fit in during the week…especially Easter week! I like the Easter Nature Study. I don’t think I can fit it in this year…but there is always next year. I can’t wait to try those lemon bars…I do love lemons. Everything…the flowers coloring, the Easter projects…everything. I love your weekly wrap-ups.

    • 2


      Phyllis – Oh I could surely say the same about you! You do so many wonderful things with your children each week. I always look forward to and get inspired by your weeks :) But you do know that I have to keep these children busy! My middle girl, in particular, is very much a hands on learner. What can we do next, Mama?

  2. 3


    Love all these ideas! It’s never too late to start a tradition, so today, my youngest girl and my niece and I made Resurrection Rolls. My niece explained the process to my older two as they came in later. She added that, after the Resurrection, the whole roll goes to heaven…represented by her mouth!

  3. 7


    Thanks for the reminder about the resurrection rolls! We’re planning to make them this Easter. And I love the fact that your Before 8:45 list sometimes is not completed til 9:45. That’s life at my house, too! Blessings, Tricia, and Happy Easter!

  4. 8


    Oh, my goodness. You and your gang accomplished a whole lot more than we did this week! Wonderful week. And I don’t know why it never occured to me that a REWARD would make the whole Before 8:45 thing a whole lot more effective. 😉

    • 9

      Laura says

      I was struck by the same thing – a reward for our morning routines would be a great motivator. Duh! Off to try that this week. :)

  5. 11

    Julie R. says

    This entire post was very helpful, but you have no idea how encouraging the last picture was….you know, the chaos picture. Our family is not only homeschooling family that has toy chaos at times. I needed to see that picture today. Thanks!

  6. 17

    Kelly says

    Question: I’m loving the before 8:45 idea. What is your list of things that are on the list? The link isn’t working. Thanks!

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