Getting out the house to go to school can be a challenge for many parents. Read these 5 tips to make for a smooth morning routine for school.
So, you’ve finally gotten your kids ready for back to school. You bought their clothes, the gear, the supplies. You’ve been doing “homework” and getting out of the house at a regular time, and you’ve even visited the school campus to get them familiar with it.
But the true test—the reality check—that summer is over? Dealing with school mornings.
Perhaps your kids are going to different schools, with the same pick up and drop off times. Or one of them is going to school for the first time, complete with jitters. With an hour to wake them up and get them dressed, fed, and out the door, you have your hands full.
It’s safe to say that going back to school might be a bit challenging this coming fall.
Tips for a smooth morning routine for school
I’ve been enjoying the summer leisure these last few months. We don’t have to wake up early or pack school lunches.
But I know that within a few short weeks, the morning madness will start up again. Sure, once the kids are out of the house, I’ll have time to myself. But during that one hour between waking up and getting out the door can feel a little hectic.
Over the years, I’ve learned how to streamline our mornings to make them less stressful. Take a look at these must-do tips to help you make your school mornings smoother:
1. Get everything ready the night before
I always tell myself: No matter how tired you are in the evenings, you’ll be even more tired in the mornings. And I get it—you feel like you’re “wasting” your evenings preparing for the next day. You’d rather watch a movie or read a book, not pack school lunches or think about what your preschooler will wear.
But the more you can get out of the way in the evenings, the smoother your mornings will be. Make sure kids’ backpacks include everything they needs to bring, such as:
- library books to return
- spare change of clothes
- lunch and snacks
- water bottle
Extend this advice not only to your kids but to yourself, as well. Take a shower the night before, iron your clothes, or pack your work bag along with your lunch. Preparing the night before can save you loads of time the next morning.
2. Keep breakfast simple and predictable
Oatmeal five times a week? That’s one way to run on auto pilot while still making sure you feed your kids. Pick your typical breakfast food and stick to it every weekday. You can add variety by offering a different side of fruit each day.
Or, stick to the same types of breakfast depending on the day. Think oatmeal on Mondays, yogurt on Tuesdays, cereal on Wednesdays, and so forth.
And stick to a simple breakfast. It takes a few minutes to make yogurt, but several more to make pancakes and eggs.
Run your mornings on autopilot, including your breakfast. That way you don’t have to complicate your mornings further.
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3. Get a good night’s rest
Make sure you get your eight hours of sleep while your kids get 10-12 hours, especially the first days of school. Tired parents and kids too cranky to function are the last things you need come school mornings.
“Like food and shelter, a child’s need for sleep is basic. The healthiest, happiest kids are the best rested. A child’s ability to learn, imagine, create, and socialize are all linked to getting a sound night’s sleep, as rest gives a growing body and brain a chance to consolidate experiences, archive the day’s memories, and process emotions.”
4. Wake up earlier than the kids
Waking up before the kids is crucial for any parent who doesn’t want to drag her way through the morning. This is the time of day when you can get yourself ready, tend to things you need to, and be fully alert before they wake up.
Waking up early allows you to take care of your needs first. You can also do things you’d rather do alone like packing lunches to getting dressed. And you can use that time to prepare breakfast and avoid hungry and cranky children.
As your kids get older, they’ll be more patient in the mornings. But for younger kids, waking up earlier than they do saves time and makes your mornings run smoother.
5. Follow the same morning routine every day
One of the many benefits of implementing routines is they do the “nagging” for you. Kids run on autopilot when they know what’s next.
For instance, they’ll wake up, dress themselves, and eat their breakfast. After that, they’ll wash up and brush their teeth before playing for a few minutes. When you announce it’s time to leave, they’ll head to the front door to put on their shoes and grab their bags.
In most cases, the kids know to do these things without us telling them because they do the same thing every single day.
School mornings can be some of the most chaotic for any parent. You’re rushing out the door, forgetting things to bring and the kids are slow to put their shoes on. No wonder you’ve been late or cranky by the time you drop them off.
That’s why it’s important to get ready the night before and keep breakfast simple and predictable. Get a good night’s rest, and wake up earlier than the kids. And finally, follow the same routine every day—that way you won’t have to nag them any longer.
Dealing with school mornings may be the biggest reality check that summer’s over, but now they don’t have to feel stress anymore.
Get more tips:
- What to Do when Your Child Doesn’t Want to Go to School
- How to Create an After School Schedule at Home
- How to Deal when Your Child Cries at Drop Off
- Preschool Pros and Cons: Should You Send Your Child to Preschool?
- How to Get Your Child Interested in School
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