I just started reading The 7 o'clock Bedtime by Inda Schaenen. In chapter one she talks about sleep research and how much sleep kids need, what role nature or nurture play in kids being night owls or early risers, etc. Then she says this:
If your prepubescent child is getting enough sleep, you should not have to routinely wake him up in the morning. Bedtime has to inch backward in the evening until your child wakes up on his own at the time he needs to.
So simple! We are working on getting bedtime schedules smoother and earlier both for Asher and for the older kids. We've managed to get them ready and in their rooms reading by 8 and lights off by 9. But believe me when I say that (with the exception of Olivia who wakes up to an alarm clock) they do NOT wake up easily in the morning at 7 am to get ready for school. I think we are going to have to implement an earlier bedtime. It seems they probably aren't getting enough sleep. 7 o'clock is pretty much out of the question since they each have activities once a week that don't get over until 6:30, but I'm thinking we can be ready for bed by 7:30 and work on getting lights out by 8 or 8:30. Maybe a little later for Olivia.
This might be tricky since they only sleep here 50% of the time so the routine changes at their mom's house. We'll see how this goes.