It’s time for a new school year around here. In fact, my two oldest start tomorrow. So, it’s time for us to revisit the morning routine. I would be lying if I claimed that it was all smiles and happiness every day as I steer the kids through the morning routine and out to the door. But over the last couple of years, I have found a few tricks that work great for us.
- Plan breakfast the night before. Even if you just do cereal every day, to wake up and find you’ve run out is not a good way to start the day. I have quite a few recipes that I like to make ahead of time that can be pulled out for breakfast in the morning.
- Have the kids lay out their clothes the night before, including shoes so there are no last minute scrambles for missing items.
- Wake up before the kids. I so wish I was 100% about this because the days when I do get up and get myself going before the kids get up go so much more smoothly for everyone. So, it’s a constant goal that I’m working on, even if I’m not perfect at it 🙂
- Know what time you need to be out the door. I know the latest time we can leave and still be on time BUT the time we shoot for is the time that will get us to school at the earliest that they will allow the kids to be dropped off.
- No tv before school. It’s a rule my mom always had for us and now I completely understand the reason for it. Keeping the tv off keeps the kids from becoming distracted and losing track of time. Even if they’re ready for school, keeping the TV off keeps away arguments over what show to watch or of watching a few more minutes before getting in the car. It just makes life easier!
- Kids that aren’t going to school are kept away from the ones that are going. Since I have a mix of school age and younger, this one is crucial for us. If I allow the younger kids upstairs in the bedrooms with the older ones who are trying to get ready, either they’ll get distracted by playing together or they’ll start fighting.
- Get dressed before breakfast. When my oldest started going to school, we always had a problem with him taking too long to get dressed. Then I made the rule that they don’t get breakfast until AFTER they’re dressed. Now they all rush through getting dressed because they’re all STARVING as soon as they wake up.
- Have a routine posted. My oldest knows the morning routine like the back of his hand. But with another kid starting school this year and after taking a few months off, I figured it didn’t hurt to post the routine for all to see. You know what was funny? When my husband saw it he loved the idea too, so that on days when he is home during our morning routine, he can refer to it and help keep the kids on track. I just used a frame and wrote it out with a dry erase marker, adding a simple picture next to each item so my kindergartner who can’t read all the words yet will still know what each item is.
BONUS: Create a fun tradition! This might not be something you can do right away. For me, I had to think a while in how to add some fun to our morning. Then, one day it just came to me. Now, right after we say family prayers, which is the last thing we do before walking out the door, we all put our hands together in the middle of the circle and shout “seize the day!” as we throw our hands up in the air. The kids love it and it really adds a positive energy to our morning.