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Raise your hand if you LOVE getting your kids ready in the morning!

Yeah, me neither. There’s a club and we’re all in it. However, remember the piece I wrote about how being a teacher has made me a terrible parent? I can redeem myself somewhat: In June I learned about a hot new teaching technique called Flipped Classrooms — and I’ve come up with a great way for parents to help their kids stay on track in their morning routine.

The main idea is that you use short teacher-created videos to deliver content — and save precious classroom time for personal interaction and deep learning experiences. Considering how much time I waste in class hosing my students with a water-cannon of knowledge made me think about how to improve our morning routine.

The paradox of having a child with ADD is that it made some things easier for us. For one thing, our morning is extremely routinized so that he has a chance of keeping up.

I have a list of tasks with cute little icons that is prioritized — so that he can go back to it whenever he starts spinning in circles. But this doesn’t work every morning, because it requires me to stay on top of his distraction. Which is a job in itself.

FLIPPED PARENTING

BEFORE

For my first experiment in ‘Flipped Parenting’ I flipped the morning routine into a video. The idea is this: Blake can use my smartphone in the morning to watch the video, pausing as he completes each step.

Then we can use the time we’ve rescued from boring, content-driven conversations for fun morning interactions!

FLIPPED PARENTING FLIPS THE SCRIPTS ON MORNING ROUTINES

AFTER

_____________________________________

How To Make a Morning Video

 

  1. Decide What Absolutely Has To Be Done Each Morning. My original list included things like “make your bed” and “do your chores.” While those things are important, they’re not as essential as “brush your teeth” and “get dressed.” Simplifying the list will help to unclutter your morning and help your kid get used to the new regime.
  2. Fool Around with Visuals. For Blake’s presentation I used a mix of photos and pictures from the internet. I put it together with a free, online version of a zooming presentation program called ‘Prezi’. You can make a video, use PowerPoint or other slide shows for your computer, cut things out from magazines — or film your own puppet show. Do whatever makes sense to you.
    (My original Prezi is here, including a song that I didn’t use on the video for copyright reasons.)
  3. Record a Voice-over Track Giving Instructions. I used Smart Notebook 11 to go over the presentation and record audio because that’s what’s on my school computer. You can use movie-making or audio programs, whatever’s available to you. There’s a free online service called Screencast-o-matic that will help you put together a video.
  4. Spend Your Morning Having Meaningful Conversation! We haven’t fully switched away from reminders to open the blinds or flush the toilet, but I’m hopeful that we’ll get there.

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