For many of us, the kids have started the school year — and if not, they will be soon. The few hours before school on weekdays can be pretty hectic and stressful. Maybe you’ve got a good routine down but if you don’t, I’ve got a few ideas for you.
Now, as we all know, every family is different, so these ideas might work for you and they might not. But by sharing a whole bunch of ideas I hope that there’s one or two that might be able to help you out.
Tip 1: Do as much as you can the night before. Make the lunches, prep for breakfast, pick out the clothes, lay the clothes out, have the kids shower or bathe. The less you have to do in the morning, the better.
Tip 2: Put together an outfit cubby. I bought a sweater organizer that has five cubbies in it and I hung one in each of my sons’ closets. I put a complete outfit into each cubby- shirt, shorts, underwear, and socks. With there being five cubbies, there is one outfit for each day. After breakfast, I send my sons upstairs to get dressed and they can easily dress themselves.
Tip 3: Make your child a visual schedule. A visual schedule is basically what it sounds like, a schedule with pictures that show a child what to do. Younger children who are pre-readers can use the pictures to know what to do and older children can quickly glance at it and know what step comes next in their routine.
Tip 4: Stock up on some easy breakfast options like yogurt, fruit, and cereal. If you prefer something hot like pancakes or egg casserole, then make them ahead of time. Make a big batch of pancakes ahead of time or make up an egg casserole and then just reheat them as needed the next few mornings.
Tip 5: Prep your own stuff the night before. Sometimes I get my kids’ stuff all ready to go and then I scramble to get ready.
Bonus Tip: Try to inject a little bit of fun into the morning. As stressful as trying to get out the door on time can be, I don’t want my kids walking into school all stressed. So I try to play some fun music while we are getting ready or have a kid’s podcast ready to go for the ride to school.
Whatever you do, if your school day mornings are stressful, try something new just to see if it helps. And if you totally rock at smooth school day mornings, then please share your secrets with the rest of us in the comments!