I want to share a little secret I've discovered over the past few years. If I want to have a great school day, it starts the night before. That's not terribly earth shattering, but it makes such a profound difference. For my crew, that means going to bed at a decent time; no later than 9:00. Also included in their "before bed" routine are simple tasks such as laying out clothes for the next day and clearing the clutter off both tables so we can eat breakfast and start working. For me, I make sure I have clean clothes laid out, emails checked, chore lists printed, books located, and breakfast planned. Fewer things are more frustrating than trying to start the school day tethered to the computer, attempting to get it all done at the last minute. You can be sure that's the day the ink suddenly runs dry, all the computer paper is missing, the dog yaks on the floor, a bird gets stuck in the garage and the kids break out in a fight over the last cup of milk! Or something like that. Of course, this is especially necessary if we must head out the door first thing in the morning for appointments, co-op, etc.
Oh, and one last thing: mom needs to go to bed at a decent time, too! After all, cranky mommas make cranky teachers!