There are 2 keys to a good school morning: having a place for everything needed for school and having a routine. On the days, I don’t stick to the routine, my kids have a harder time sticking to it. When I put on my hat as leader, then life goes more smoothly in the morning.
I can’t say enough about having a routine for your kids. I tell my kids all the time there are 5 of them, and one of me. So…if each one of them forgets one thing, that’s 5 things that can completely derail our morning schedule. Everyone has to do their routine completely by 7:30 just in case something goes wrong when we’re heading out the door.
A Place for Everything
Decide before school starts where school-related items will be stored daily. I think the best spot is closest to the door everyone uses to head to the bus or the car to go to school. This spot should also be near where your kids do their homework. Test the spot out for a week and ask for feedback from your kids and husband.
Hooks are a great option for storing backpacks. Back packs store better hung up, and it’s easy to get into a backpack when it’s hanging up rather than lying down. You can also store a jacket or winter coat with the backpack on the same hook. We have our hooks lined up by the back door in our kitchen.
I store our lunch boxes in a big basket in the kitchen. The kids put their lunch boxes on the counter after school. I empty them, and walk just a few steps to put the lunch boxes in the basket until the next morning. The water bottles stay inside the lunch boxes.
Don’t forget out shoes. Many a kid has been late for the bus because they can’t find their shoes. I have one child who is notorious for leaving their shoes in their bedroom, no matter how many times I remind them. I bought a cheap shoe rack and spray painted it brown, and tucked it into the legs of the desk in our kitchen next to the back door.
Kids do better when they know the routine and your expectations. My kids know they need to eat breakfast, tidy their rooms, bring down dirty laundry, and pack their lunches before they can play or do electronic time. Yes, it’s a lot to remember; my kids help each other remember along the way. I also inspect to make sure my kids do their chores. I learned a long time ago to inspect what I expect.
Inspect What You Expect
Post your family’s routine in a public spot where your kids can easily see it every morning. I keep our routines for morning, after school, and evening posted on our fridge in the kitchen. I also posted a copy of the room cleaning routine in the bedrooms with picture version for my nonreaders.
I like to have everything done in the morning by 7:30 am. I get the kids moving at 8:00 am to drive them to school. The school trip is just under 10 minutes. It takes us about 5 minutes to get in the car. If we’re at school by 8:10, we miss the traffic of the parents arriving between 8:10 and 8:20, the start of school.
Mom’s Morning Routine
Moms need their own morning routine, too. Some moms need to spend time reading the Bible or inspirational books before the kids get up. Other moms get their shower done or their exercise routine. Know what you need to start the day with a positive frame of mind.
Try to get up before the kids. Taking care of your needs first, even just a cup of coffee, helps you be ready to deal with grumpy or tired or sick kids. Know that once the kids are up, your day officially starts.
Start your day the night before. Some moms like to set up breakfast items for the kids and make sure needed forms and checks are ready. Other moms run the dishwasher and empty it. Some like to pull out the next day’s dinner. Do whatever you can to make morning easier in case you run into an issue like a sick child.
Stay off the computer when the kids are up. I struggled with this at the beginning of last school year. After all, I was working on my blog. I had to stay on top of stuff, right? For me, wrong. I would get pulled into thinking about blogging stuff during a time that was for my kids. I couldn’t do both at the same time. I learned to shut off the computer when the kids got up, and go back to work after they were at school.