uh oh

I’ve spent the day trying to get even remotely caught up on all that will be happening this week.

Like the kids first day of school on Thursday.

So I called the transportation department to make sure they know to come by and get my kiddos on Thursday. You know, the ‘gang’ of kids waiting at the end of the driveway?

Yeah. Them.

And the very kind lady helps me out and confirms that yes, the bus driver will be there. And she proceeds to tell me what time the kiddos need to be at the curb.

All 5 of ’em, waiting and ready to go.

At 6:31, y’all.

That means my kids will have to get up at 5:30 every morning.

That means I’ll have to get up at 5:30 every morning.

Is 5:30 even considered morning? Or really the night before?

Because my kids are going to wonder why I’m waking them up when it’s still pitch black outside.

Seriously. I’m in big trouble.

Short of dressing them in their clothes the night before and encouraging midnight snacks of Pop-Tarts left on their nightstands, any recommendations for helping me retain my sanity?



  1. I think I would consider driving them myself!

  2. WOW!!! That’s so early!!! I’m so sorry..for all of you!!
    They must be the first stop on the route?

    No adivice here since this momma homeschools and thinks 5:30 a.m.
    is still the night before. :-)

    Praying all goes well!

  3. Wow, that is early! I’m sitting here stressing about my kindergartener getting dropped off at 4:20, and you’re dealing with the crack of dawn…puts things in perspective.

  4. Agreed with Bev ^^. I would seriously be in trouble. Sometimes it is spiritual but I had to start homeschooling to save my kid’s school the trouble of writing us tardy slips everyday. And I only had one in school then. 😉 You will definitely have to do a lot of night bfor prep fo sho.

  5. 2 words. Home school. HA! I’m so sorry. That really, really, REALLY stinks for you and your kids! Put them to bed early tonight and work on it all week. That’s all I’ve got.

  6. that sucks, but what’s the alternative? driving them to school? could be something to consider if it buys you lots of time. what time do they actually START school?

  7. that was my suggestion…do you have someone there in the morning that you can leave the littles sleeping and drive the bigs to school??? to heck with 5:30am!! That’s for Black Friday and only Black Friday…..

  8. Does your school start THAT early???? I would send bus breakfast….breakfast burritos (made the night before) or cheese toast, etc…along with a water bottle. Then you could just concentrate on the clothing. IF you aren’t allowed to bring food on the bus…..then I think YOUR suggestion is the best. Sleeping in clothes and midnite snacks. Sorry……

  9. My kids once had the same scenario. I had five on the bus that early. I soon realized it was totally worth driving them. By the time they got to school, they were ready for a nap. Good luck…poor kids and momma getting up at the butt-crack o’ dawn (that what we call it around these parts) lol :0)

  10. I feel so sorry for you. They would have to be in bed by 7:30 each night,huh. My family couldn’t do it. …I couldn’t do it for sure. Yep, you might have to drive them or homeschool. :) The idea of sleeping in their clothes might just work..haha.

  11. Very early bedtime!

  12. That is crazy!! I might opt to drive them myself depending on how far you are from the school. Obviously alot of organization for breakfast ,lunches etc. to help you out. Just throw on a pair of cute sweats, comb your hair brush your teeth, put on some lipgloss and go to it! You can do it Steph!!

    Hummm my daughter has tried that trick of sleeping in her clothes. It doesn’t go over so well with Momma…. They are all wrinkled. LOL


  13. I’d definitely drive them if you can. Either way scatter wake them so you have 5 min intervals to get one up and started and then move to the next one. Can you do a buddy thing between the bigs and littles? Give them each a partner to help them? Good luck. I have to drop off by 8:25 and it’s only 5 blocks away

  14. Crazy! Must be one long drive? Are they the first bus stop of the run? Have all clothes out the night before, have a chore be to set the breakfast table the night before (all cereal bowls and spoons out, box of cereal on table…) so as to streamline every possible moment. Heck, I can hardly make it to the bus stop at 7:50 with 2. No idea how you are going to manage! What time do they get home?

  15. My daughter has triplets who started school today – yes, she was crying when I called her. They were to catch the morning bus at 8:02 – school starts at 9:00. She thought that would probably not be too wise for the boys or the bus driver. Then she got a note that said the bus would come at 8:20. She thought that might work. This morning she noticed her neighbor running by the house and she yelled that transportation called and the bus was to come at 8:03. Back to mom taking them to school. They were to ride the bus home and Dad was to be there, but he is a homicide detective and we have had 5 deaths within a few hours that he has had to investigate so I went over just in case three boys got on three different buses…….. As my son-in-law was investigating the death of one 5 year old little boy, he had three beginning their day…..I do think the 5:30 wake up call is pretty close to abuse. :)

  16. We have four children (our fifth will hopefully join us this winter from China). We’ve done public school until this year and we’re taking the home schooling plunge. I’ve found the idea of homeschooling our kids less stressful than sending them to school. How did that happen? I know homeschooling (and adoption and many other things) isn’t for everyone — and wasn’t sure it was for us for a long time — but the tide’s turning. Having more time with our kids, being able to cater their education to their individual bents, not having to deal with the pressures and ridiculousness that SOLs bring to education, having more margin, not having to pack lunches or snacks anymore (!), not having to glean from my kids what’s going on at school with projects and due dates, fostering a love of learning in them…the list goes on. I can’t believe we’re here, but hearing you talk about that time of the morning affirms our decision to give homeschooling a try. Sometimes I don’t get why our approach to education has gotten the way it has — kids out the door at o-dark-thirty in the morning, to be there all day long, and come home whipped in the afternoon. At least that was our experience. It’s taken me four years of talking with the Lord about this and I’m finally convinced that this is where He has us for a reason. However, having said all that, it seems if anyone can get five youngins’ out the door at the crack of dawn, you can! Keep us posted!

  17. ugh!! I feel for you! Should make for quiet evenings though. :0)

  18. move.to.new.school.district.

  19. I’m a single mom of two, one from China(age 6) and another from Haiti (age 2). I teach an hour away from my school and the kids come with me. My oldest gets up w/ an alarm clock at 5:30 and my youngest is potty training. She is more my morning girl. We pick out our clothes the night before, lunches are made and breakfast consists of granola bars, cereal w/o milk, gogert, sausage biscuts and anything else able to take and go. It isn’t ideal, but it is doable. Bedtime is the key. 7:30-8pm the latest. I’ve been making this early morning voyage for 5 years with kids in tow.

  20. There oughta be a law against that!
    My kids get up at 6:40 to be at the end of our lane for pickup at 7:10 … and some mornings it’s brutal getting them ready to go–especially once the newness wears off their tennies and the winter winds start blowing.
    And breakfast at that hour? I’d say the school better spring for FREE breakfasts for the kids once they arrive at the VERY least.
    SOOooooo Sorry!

  21. Sounds like my house…….invest in REALLY strong coffee…that’s the only way I can survive. :) Hang in there Stef!!

  22. Oh WAY to early!
    Other than driving them to school yourself (does their school start at 8am?) I will just have to send my sympathy b/c I think that is too early for little ones and mamas! You might have naps in their future now after school?

    If you have to have them ride the bus then same suggestions as others shared; lunches made the night before, clothes set out w/ shoes ready to go, backpacks by the door w/ homework in them already…coffee maker set to go on for mom w/ strong coffee? Good luck Stef! Please let us know how it goes!

  23. what we do to make morning’s less stressful is shower hte night before and i french braid my daughters hair before she goes to bed,. this A) gives us a chance to talk about her day with no distractions B) stops alot of the tangles/knots that little girls hate and C) is one less thing to do in the morning. we’ve been doing this since she was a baby and she’s 8 now.. it’s a nice routine for us. she also picks out her clothes the night before (socks, underwear, etc) and i approve it so there are no fights in the morning. this gives her a chance to talk to me about why she wants to wear something i might not agree with (not that there is much, but sometimes her outfits are….interesting) without me freaking out in the morning about the time we are wasting. we also pack lunches/book bags the night before. it was a huge hassle for ME to get used to this routine (i am so not organized) but it stops so many tears… we’re working on doing the same thing with my son who will be 3 in october. I also try and figure out our schedule by the begining of august and try and get everyone on a “school schedule” sleep wise ahead of time. not that it works.. but i try! lol
    as for breakfast.. my kids LOVE nutrigrain bars.. like could eat a box a day if i let them.. so if we’re in a real rush, i let her grab 2 to go..
    can’t wait to hear how things go.. :)

  24. We had very early bus pick ups and/or school started early as a kid (I’m the oldest of 5), as in before 7am (and our high school started early, fall meant band practice at 7 am, winter was swimming at 6am, spring school started at its “normal” 7:30). Closet organizer things. Such as http://www.walmart.com/ip/Mainstays-6-Shelf-Organizer/15566813 Each Sunday night, each child (or with an older sibling or parent depending on child’s organizational ability), had to have 5 complete outfits, 1 in each cubbie. When I say complete, I mean underware, socks, shirt, pants, any accessories (unless it was used earlier in the week, then at the end of that day, it was to be placed in the cubbie for the next needed time). I suppose you could do this each evening, however, my parents did it on a weekly basis. Each night before bed, each person’s lunch was packed and in the refrigerator. All of us liked cereal and milk, so each person’s cereal bowl and spoon was set out, and the 1 or 2 options for cereal was left on the table. Milk was quickly brought out (along with the lunches) each morning. Backpack and shoes (or boots as the season dictated) were left by the door. My parents really had it down after a while… although I remember the first few weeks being painful for all each year.

  25. Oh Stefanie… That’s horrible! Either school starts way too early or their going to be spending WAY too much time on the bus. My schedule is a bit nuts this year, too. I’ve got to drive one to & from pre-k three mornings a week, one to elementary and back every day & my oldest is homeschooled but still has classes across town one morning per week that I have to take to & back. ~*~*~*sight*~*~*~ Does that make a 6:31 pick-up feel any easier? 😛

  26. Early mornings are part of my life. We are up at 5:00 so we can leave by 6:15 each morning. (I teach at an “early school” that has a 7:30 tardy bell, but have to get my daughter to her before school care since she and I are not at the same school.) Mornings can be a little hairy around here sometimes. To reduce some of the morning craziness, I have learned several things over the years.

    1) Pack lunches the night before. Any cold stuff can be sitting in the fridge, ready to be thrown in the lunch box.
    2) Showers the night before.
    3) Clothes picked out the night before and hanging on the closet door.
    4) My daughter prefers hot breakfasts, so I will cook the whole package of bacon on a Sunday afternoon. Then we can warm a few in the microwave in the morning while an egg gets scrambled. I also make and freeze pancakes and waffles in single-serving packages. (I have to make ours since we eat gluten free due to health issues.) All dishes and utensils are out and ready before I go to bed. (unless the cats get to them during the night…well, really it’s just one of them. The other one sleeps on top of me!)
    5) Momma has to have a daily dose of caffeine, in the form of a Coke, each morning in the car.
    6) All bags packed and waiting by the door, ready to be grabbed at 6:15.

    Fortunately, my daughter is a morning person and pops right up at the first hint of the alarm clock going off. That helps get me out of bed, but it doesn’t mean I like it! I have learned to appreciate the early morning hours because I get to see the changes as the sun begins to come up.

    Now for a question…if they are going that early, do they get out early too? We dismiss at 1:45, which leaves lots of afternoon and evening time before the 8:00 bedtime.

    Good luck!

  27. Early bedtime and get whatever you can done the night before……I am NOT a morning person but we have to be up and out early to and this works for us. The girls are in a routine now because we have to get out early in the summer too. Backpacks emptied and packed again as soon as we get home. Clothes for the next day ready while I am making dinner, lunches and snacks picked out, made while I make dinner. You might want to see if they serve breakfast at school so they can be more awake before they have to eat? That will save you some time too. Coffee pot all set and a timer so it is ready when the alarm goes off……or K-cups… Good luck!

  28. Holy moly. My kids get up every day by 6:00pm (in fact if they sleep till 6:00 we feel like we won the lottery), and that would be brutal even for us. Where is the time. What on EARTH must be the reasoning for that?!?!?!

    I have no suggestions for you- but lots of sympathy. That just plain stinks.

  29. Of course, I meant that my kids are up at 6AM- because if they got up at 6PM that would make them vampires! (oy vey….see that’s what happens when your kids get up so early, you brain in FRIED by 8PM.)

  30. that is just wrong– seriously???

  31. I agree: get some good coffee. EVERYONE goes to bed EARLY! Wake the stragglers up first – give them all something “fun” to do in the morning to get them motivated.

    Pray lots.

  32. Are you serious? Oh my gosh, I would just fall over. We have to set the alarm to get the girls up at 7 to get ready for 8am school and even that is NO FUN. The first day of school I woke the girls up, helped them into the bathroom, and told them to brush their teeth while I ran to brush mine. Returned to find Ree asleep on her bathroom stool. Gah! Wishing you huge good wishes. And hugs. Seriously huge hugs.

  33. My girls and I leave each day at 6:45 to go to school. Our first bell (and when I have to be at school) is 7:30.

    We try for early bedtime (8ish) but it’s hard the first few weeks of school since the girls really aren’t tired. But after a bit, they are! I make all lunches the night before. Clothes are picked out as well. All this is done before dinner. Otherwise, I’m too tired to do it. Breakfast is either cereal or frozen waffles/pancakes. We’ve got it down to a routine now. On the rare day that I choose to leave closer to 7, it’s like we’ve won the lottery. =)

    Good luck……6:30 is a really early start time.

  34. Sue Mom of Two says:

    My kids got on the bus at 6:20-6:25 every day for years. Four secrets that saved our sanity….get clothes ready the night before, have backpacks all ready, notes signed, etc., have lunches ready to go the night before, and get the kids to bed early so they aren’t so tired in the morning.

  35. Oh my. That is so early. :( I get up at 5 to get our 3 (soon to be 4) 😉 ready and off to school with me by 7:15…I can’t imagine having to have them ready by 6:30! Eeek! Is driving them to school an option? Don’t know where you’re at now but maybe that would be easier on them and you. :)

  36. WOW! I can not even imagine! We had to have our nine in our van by 7:30 last year, and it just about killed us! Seriously! We were late SIXTY THREE days!!! I Know. You’re all laughing. It’s a good thing it was a private school. Even so, imagine having that on your high school record! We are homeschooling this year, and I am SO thankful! :)
    What time will you all have to go to bed?!?
    I’d like to be encouraging, but I think you need a miracle!!!

    I will pray REAL hard! :)

    • Diane, you are my hero. :) Sixty three days?? That’s so stinking funny! And I’m only laughing because I can totally see that being me. We start out all fresh and timely, and then about two months into the school year when it gets cold and dark, we’re the kind that barely make it out the door with seconds to spare.

      • I know, Cindy. It IS funny because it is so HORRIBLE!. :) I’m still laughing. I really did try to get them there on time though. If I figure there are 180 days in a typical school year, I was there with nine kids in tow 117 days! Now, that’s pretty awesome, don’t you think? :)

  37. I’m a single mom to a third grader from China and a first grader from Ethiopia and I’m pretty much a morning person. I have to get my girls up early because while they don’t start school until 7:45, I have to be at work at 8 in the complete opposite direction, so I drop them off early with my first grader’s teacher. The third grader helps her former teacher in the mornings, and my little one gets a little time to finish up or get a jump start on homework. I usually get them up at 5:45 am. Everything is done the evening before: they pick out their clothes, finish assignments, get me to sign notes, do the reading, they pack their lunches, etc. – it’s the only way. We could actually stay in bed 20-30 minutes longer, but they like to get up and watch goofy old shows like Full House or Family Matters while they eat a quick breakfast, because there’s no time in the evenings for TV. We get home from work/school after 5 pm and they need to be in bed with everything done by 7:30-8 for it to work. It goes just fine until we have an orthodontist appointment or I have to work late – then, well, we have a lot of FUN…

  38. Oh no! You poor thing! We get up at 5:30 a.m. during the summer and I always dress the kids the night before. It makes life sooo much easier in the morning! Good luck!

  39. Elizabeth says:

    I agree with everything that Anne and Sue said, great advice. Everyone else is just a bunch of whiners :-) 6:30 isn’t that bad. Also, make anyone in 2nd grade or older pack their own lunches the night before. Really, I don’t think it will be bad, I know you have your act together since you do so well with all those kiddos, you will figure out what works.

  40. Our school system just flipped the school day so the elementary kids go to school early and the middle and high schoolers get the late shift. Before this year, my kids had to leave the house at 6:30 to make the bus for a 7:30 start time. It was horrid in the winter. Many days my husband would take them to school on the way to work.

    This year, it was time for Caroline to do kindergarten, and I just couldn’t do it. There’s only a full-day option, and, with just her at home right now, it wasn’t one I wanted to do…and there’s way more to the story. I love our elementary schools, but the early learning centers are not where I want Caroline. So we’re homeschooling for one year, and then the early-morning curse will be upon us for six years.

    I feel for you, though. I don’t know if I could do it. Okay, I could do it for maybe a week…or a day…but all year????

  41. Imagine the bliss you will feel when you hear that bus go whizzing past your driveway at 6:31, and you are still in bed, thinking about making your first cup of coffee, knowing that HOMESCHOOL doesn’t start ’til around 8:30. Or 9. And you don’t have to get out of your PJ’s for it, unless you want to. If you think it’s early in August, imagine how early 6:30 is going to feel in February when it’s still dark!

  42. I am a long time Mom of soon to be six kids and I hate early school mornings! I have a PLAN now that has made the early morning race to school less stressful. Happy Day!!!!

    1. each kid has his/her own clothes basket in the laundry room that contains five sets of clean underwear, socks, shoes, eye glasses, and book bags. Above the baskets are each kid’s five sets of clothes hanging on a rod, all matched up and ready to slip on fast.

    2. tooth brushes, hairbrushes, and all bows, hair clips are stored in the downstairs bathroom so that I can “SEE” them brush their teeth and hair the right way (this leaves only one bathroom to clean up too!)

    3. Baths are taken the night before.

    4. All lunch money is placed in envelopes with each kid’s name on them and placed in the book bags every Friday night for the upcoming Monday (I take the week-end off from School duties!)

    5. All homework and notes from school are placed on the kitchen counter each afternoon, after school, to be checked and put back in the book bags at night fall.

    6. I gave up on the bus. It takes me less time to drive the kids to school and I use the drop off/pick up line as a point of daily communication with the School’s staff. I get to know them and they now know me. Many problems have been stopped before they grew, by the minutes spent in the car rider line. I also have made friends with many of the parents waiting .

    7. I use the early drop off time to drive into town and conduct business, shop, and many days to give myself a much needed “fun time” to do whatever I want to for an hour or two! I am starting a new work out routine this week at the park located beside the school, sweet.

    8. Pick up time is a great time to speak with a child’s Teacher if needed, meet the kids and parents in your child’s classroom, and learn about any up comming events at the school.

    9. I had years ago, neighbor Moms that loved carpooling the kids. We changed weekly driving the kids to school. Now on days that my schedule will not allow for me to drive, our 18 year old son is so happy to fill in for GAS MONEY!

    I am not a Home Schooling Mom. I wish that I could be, however, as an Artist/ Writer, I need the school hours to create. I think that Home Schooling is a great concept and I have many friends that are very happy Home Schooling their Kids. You may want to check it out?

    It was great when I was on the Naval base years ago, the school was two blocks away!

    If your public schools are too far away, do you have private schools near by? Most churches offer private schools and transportation to and from the school.

    One last thought, Buses take the longest route to service all of the roads, trails, and many neighborhoods. Can you ask your Bus Driver at what time he/she arrives at a mid point in between your house and the school? You will be surprised at the amount of time it takes a bus to reach the half way point to the school each morning. It may be helpful for you , time wise, to get an hour worth of extra sleep and drive your kids to a mid point bus stop.

    PS love the post in honor of your oldest son and what a great help he was to you in China. I know how it feels to have great older kids that we can look up to. Makes a Mama proud! Blessings-Joy

  43. Good Luck! Ours is at 6:42 this year!! Because of the budget cuts we don’t have our own bus anymore!

  44. I guess driving them to school is not a practical option? I’m sorry, I don’t have any good tips or advice. I just had to say this really made me laugh. I’m an early bird (and, unfortunately, so are my kids). Thanks for the 6 a.m. chuckle. And good luck!

  45. Julie Anne says:

    Anna gets picked up at 7:00am so she can make it to school that starts at 8:30 am. Anna’s school is 45 miles from our house though and she is the only one on the bus. The kids are asked to arrive between 8:10 and 8:25 so they are ready to start learning at 8:30 am. I’m really looking forward to next year when she will hopefully be mainstreamed and the school is only a mile from our house.

    We pick all clothes out the night before. Pack lunch, when we can remember to and have her backpack all ready to go. 6:20 is when I ususally wake her up. She is so not a morning person so it is not pretty. Today was her first day back at school and we were ready and waiting for the bus when it pulled up to the end of our driveway.

    I’m not sure how you manage to get five of them ready. One is enough of a struggle some mornings.

  46. Hey now – I’ve been out of bed for half an hour by 0 dark:30!! It DOES mean an earlier bed time – that might be something of a bonus in supplying the adults an extra half an hour or hour of quite time w/o all the kiddos underfoot!

    Seriously – I do well if I can get to bed between 10 and 11 and get up at 5 – and think of how much time you’ll have during the day – for you anyway there might be nap time when the younger’s are ready for their ‘naps’!

    hugs – aus and co.

  47. Yikes! That is all I can say! :)

  48. Yikes! I thought putting my kids on the bus at 7:25 (the time I woke them up for school last year) was bad. But 6:30?? Is it a super long bus ride or does school start ridiculously early?

    Since we live in a teeny tiny town, the bus takes all the kids elementary through high school at the same time in one shot.

    Other than that, kids should be kids. School should start at 9 and mom’s should get to sleep till 7:30 everyday!

    I’m dreaming but it’s all I’ve got left.

  49. Homeschool

  50. good gravy!! that is not right!!! what time does your school start??? i have to get my kids up tomorrow for their 1st day and i feel so horrible that they have to wake up by 7:30!!! our 3 will be in PS this year and our oldest will be homeschooling (4th) for the 1st time! why? because of the schedule insanity. a 7pm bedtime would solve the dilemmas but that is not possible in a world with 4 kids, homework and school activities.

    homeschooling for everyone is probably in our future!

  51. Ouch! And I thought 6:55 was early…

  52. That is an insane time to have kids up and ready! You’ve gotten so many great suggestions (a few that I’m going to steal) to help ease the morning routine, but honestly, I think we’d go back to homeschooling. It would be so stressful and exhausting to my kids, some who still have interrupted sleep post-adoption. They are hard to get to sleep, some still toss and turn and have nightmares, etc., and then others have issues when you wake them in the morning (we know better than waking those children!).

    I don’t know how you manage it all to begin with so I think if anyone can accomplish this feat, it would be you! Good luck!!!

    Can’t wait to see pics of you new place!

  53. You can do this. I only have 3 (ages 2,4,7). I am at work by 7:00 — which means all the littles must be at Granny’s by 6:30–out our door by 6:15.

    Go to be early — this means you too. Once the routine is established they will be ready to be in bed by 7:30 – 8:30. Go to bed shortly there after (or with them on some nights). Make sure backpacks are prepped and at the door, clothes are laid out, and coffee pot is set. Get up early (my clock is set for 4:30 but I’m an early bird), quick breakfasts are great or breakfast at school works too, and get them on that bus. Once the routine is established, everyone will be more than ready for an early bed time because the day has seemed so long. (No after school napping is important- if this happens early bedtime gets complicated.)

    Hot breakfast tip– make pancakes and bacon ahead and microwave through week.

  54. My best advise: Invest in a Keurig Coffee Maker. I cannot live without mine. The best cup of coffee ever in less than a minute. Than the rest will fall into place! LOL!

  55. That was my schedule in high school, and I am not a morning person so it sucked.
    Get as much as you can done the night before.
    And you should learn to get dressed in the dark. Sounds weird, but it makes getting up easier.

  56. Nicole A. says:

    Ohmyword!! As if you don’t have enough on your plate. I seriously could never do that!

    Anyway, I’d say have early bedtimes, everything ready (packed and laid out) the night before, and if possible ~ drive them yourself! It seems like it would be such a hassle with three littles, but I started driving my kids to school a few years ago, simply because the bus time was so long. Once you get in the habit, it;s not so bad, and the kids will love it, plus you undoubtedly would get extra time in the morning to get them ready. If it’s not too far to school, the littles could still be unfed and in their pjs in the car, and maybe they would all nap earlier then for you.

    There is a study (no idea how to find it right now) that says that no school should start before 8am, because they studied the effectiveness of teaching students of all ages, and found that it was almost worthless to begin teaching that early. As a result our (very good) school district back in Ohio reshuffled all the start times a year or so ago so that the high school still starts first, but not until 8am. (That did push after-school activities back even later, though.)

    Our school district here in LA does have high school and middle school starting around 7:15, which is so early! My sixth-grader is doing well with it, but it’s so early! Fortunately hubby can drop him off on the way to work. Otherwise, he’d have to catch the bus in the dark! Elementary grades here start between 8:15-8:30.

    Good luck! Let us know how it goes!
    All the best,
    Nicole A., now in LA

  57. There are so many great strategies people listed on your comments! I love all the practical advice.

    And I think anticipating a new routine is oh, so much worse than doing it. Once you get in the groove you’ll be great! The upside of an early school day is that they are home early. That will give you the afternoon to spend time together when they would otherwise be in school. We have friends whose kiddos are home by 2:30 because of early start school and they love the schedule and cannot imagine it any other way. I think we all become accustomed to our routines and can’t imagine it being different. Once the change happens, it becomes a rhythm of daily life and doesn’t feel awful or terrible anymore.

    We get up early early ourselves, and while it was terrible and horrible the first few weeks, now I just love it and wish we’d started that routine earlier!

    So I have no wise ideas for you, but do offer the encouragement that you will do it beautifully and well {unto the Lord}, and soon it will not feel so ugly and awful! After all, it isn’t a tragedy, just a bump in the road, right? Call upon the farm girl in yourself…or make her up, and rise and shine! You’ll be a cute early bird. Same with that passel o’kids!

    I love how you always have great perspective on things. Intrepid is a good word! It will be fun to hear back later how the mornings are going for you all {people from the north just can’t do the contraction on that word!}.

    Best early morning wishes for Thursday!

  58. No advice. Sounds painful to me. I think you’ve received some great advice here. Good luck girl.

  59. From 5th grade to 12th grade.. we were the first ones (6:30) on and the last ones off (4:00). The bus driver lived across the street from us:( There was only three of us and we got up at 5:30 every morning. We ate cereal for breakfast every morning. Not fun but it just became routine.

  60. No real advice since I don’t have kiddos BUT Have a working coffee pot and a back up just in case (coffee would be my morning necessity) I am often up that early for swim/bike/run…

    My grade school started at 7:30, my mom was a teacher in the same school and she had to be there NO LATER than 7:00…we lived 30 minutes away plus we had to drop my brother’s off at the babysitters…so I was up at 5:45 from 3rd to 8th grade. I am convinced that is why I am a morning person now… and by morning I mean 6:30!

  61. We have to be out the door at 6:30 every morning as well, myself included. My advice… get a routine! I put up a breakfast schedule. Everyday we have set breakfast that I can be prepared for, you don’t like it, you don’t eat! I only have 2, but it seems like 20! I feel for you… I would say I hope the older ones can help out… but I am guessing they will be the harder ones to get up!!!

  62. Good grief… There is something very wrong with that schedule!!!! Get that auto button working on your coffee pot!!!!!

    So sorry Stef!


  63. Wow…my only advice…prayer and caffeine!!! COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE!

    I used to wake up at 4:15am when I was a nurse in the Air Force. I had to be at work, changed into scrubs, by 5:30a.m, then worked a nonstop 12-hour shift. It was hard, I never got used to it…and I only had to get myself ready in the morning back then! Can’t imagine dressing and feeding so many kiddos in those early morning hours.

    You are so funny–I love your blog and so glad you and Poppy made it home safely. So glad she’s settling in so nicely.

    We found out just over a week ago that we are DTC, so I’m hoping we’ll be picking up our boy some time this winter!

    Blessings to you all!

  64. Wow! 5:30? And I thought 6:30 was bad! I’m NOT a morning person and pay backs are…not nice (to say it nicely) because my son is just like me. We’re on day 3 of new school year and they seem to be doing pretty good actually…we’ll see though…like I said…it’s day 3! Good luck to you…I’m sure you’ll figure it out. Can’t they take a nurtigrain bar on the bus or something? lol…

  65. I’m just seeing this and you’ve already got a ton of ideas….but I thought I’d still add my 2 cents.
    My 5 boys are all on the bus by 7am, so I understand the getting up early and being crazy in the morning.
    A few years ago, we started a “Nighttime Checklist”. It is hanging in the kitchen and before bed the night before we tell them to go do their checklist. This has saved us from so many last minute nightmares in the A.M.
    Here it is, copied and pasted for you. Good luck!!!
    Nighttime Checklist
    • Do your homework and put it in your backpack
    • Give us any papers you got at school today
    • Have hats and mittens picked out for morning
    • Have uniform layed our for morning
    • Brush teeth
    • Have any permission slips or late slips signed
    • Shoes put in backpack for school
    • Turn off TV and Wii and lights in the way downstairs
    • Do you need a shower or bath tonight
    • Set alarm for 6:15am
    Have your instrument ready for band days
    • Follow all directions and go to bed good
    • Give mom and dad hugs and kisses!!

  66. I would suggest doing as much as you can the night before (i.e. laying everything out including clothes, have bags packed, do easy breakfasts, have lunches packed, etc.) that way they can get as much sleep as possible.

  67. Just had to add my two cents . . . to answer your question, 5:30 a.m. IS the night before!

    Looks like you’ve gotten great advice!


  68. That is absurd!!! No, I don’t consider 5:30 morning. UGH! I would be in so much trouble if I had to do that. I’m obviously no help with any suggestions for you so I’ll just send you a sympathetic hug and groan.

  69. That’s a really good reason to homeschool!

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