My biggest worry about going back to school after Gretchen was the mornings.
Corey leaves at 6:45 am, so I'm on my own for most of the time.
They've actually been going pretty well. We have a good routine down and make it out the door most mornings around 7:20.
I needed some kind of motivation (aka: bribery) to help keep me sane. The first one I used was sticker charts. The kids could each get up to 4 stickers each morning (1 for getting dressed quick, 1 for going to the bathroom (Lawson) or getting hair brushed without being sassy (Sophie), 1 more for getting shoes on right away and a 4th one for an overall good attitude.
When their sticker chart was full, they could choose either mommy or daddy and something special to do together. Lawson and I went to McDonalds for an ice cream cone and then to Wal-Mart together. Sophie wanted to go to a cute store downtown and buy something. I told her that I wasn't going to buy her anything (the idea was just to spend time together) but she could spend her own money.
She thought about something from here... but the only things that cost $5 didn't have any S's left. (Love the polka dots and initials!)
Now we're trying something different. We have a big change jar that Corey throws dimes and nickels in. They are using those coins to fill these little jars.
I started these because we were having lots of problems with Lawson staying in bed at night. He would get out of bed 3-4 times, just to stall and waste time. He was staying up way too late and we were tired of seeing him come sit at the top of the steps several times each night. Each night he puts 2 coins on the bannister at the bottom of the stairs. If he stays in bed once we tuck him in, he gets to keep both coins. So far he's only lost 1 coin. Sophie can get 2 coins for following directions right away at bedtime and not being sassy.
They can each earn 2 coins in the mornings or at various times during the day. (Eating supper well, being helpful, having a good attitude, etc.) They can also lose coins. We've done that a lot.
My thought was that we would have the kids use part of this money for church, some for spending and some for saving. But I haven't quite got that all figured out yet. They did each take lots of coins out to put in their Rice Bowls for Sunday School last week and this morning they both got some coins out for offering.
So our mornings haven't had near the drama I was afraid they might. Thank goodness. Corey goes back to 10 hour days next month, so he'll be gone before any of us are out of bed yet. I may need to get some bigger jars. :)