Getting the kids ready for school schedules and responsibilities can be a challenge after a lazy summer. Want to make those school mornings easier?
With 4 kids I learned some tricks to keeping school days moving smoothly with a minimum of stress. Here’s what I learned.
- Get Routines Down Pat Before School Starts
- Start bringing bed times closer to what they will be for school to make an easy transition. Nothing is more important to your child’s school success than getting enough sleep. It’s even more important,than food, believe it or not.
- Get kids in the habit of laying out their clothes for the next day the night before. No more wasted time in the mornings!
- Have the kids make their own breakfasts even if you have to help them get used to it. You can make French toast and freeze
individual slices for a quick, nutritious breakfast. The kids can put them in the toaster themselves.
- Have the kids pack their own lunches each day the week before school starts.
- Give everyone an alarm clock and set it earlier each day as the first day of school gets nearer until they are getting up at the time they have to for school. I like electric clocks that don’t have to be wound at night.
2. Do Everything the Night Before as Much as Possible
- Get all planners signed, permission slips signed, and papers that need to be returned in their proper folders.
- Backpacks should be organized and put near the front door.
- Showers taken at night free up the bathroom for teeth brushing, etc. in the morning.
- Set up the breakfast table. Cereal boxes, bowls, silverware, cups, vitamins, bread, peanut butter, etc. can be set on the table for easier breakfast times.
- Make and pack lunches. If some items need to be refrigerated, put them in an easy-to-find place in the fridge. Consider putting small plastic bins (from the dollar store) with each kid’s name on it for lunches in the fridge. Then they can grab and go!
3. Create Designated Places for Their Stuff
- Show your kids where their book bags should go when they get home. It can be on a kitchen chair or on a hook or shelf. The important thing is that they don’t drop it just anywhere.
- Make a particular shelf be just for library books. No more frantic searches!
- Shoes, coats, hats, mittens, etc. should also have a designated place. No more dropping just inside the front door.
- Set up a box or “In Box” for all papers they bring home for you to read or sign. Have them do this before they have their after-school snack.
You can make a list for your kids to see what they need to do each morning and each day after school. Put it on the refrigerator or where it will work best for you.
I know this involves parents a lot at first. Trust me, these routines will save you so much stress through the school year. Do yourself a huge favor and put in the time getting these habits established. It will save your sanity many times over!