When parents are asked what they most dread when it comes to school mornings routine, they would have to say the struggle of getting their child out of bed and ready for school.
I have also had my fair share of struggles as a parent over the years.
I’ve learned to adapt and overcome, but there have been plenty of times when I’ve wanted to pack up and move to Mallorca and find a more simple life (if you don’t know, that is where rich people go when they want to escape the rat race). LOL
We all want to start the morning calm and happy, but let’s be real, some mornings are a bit hectic.
Here are 10 ideas for ways to make school morning routines easier.
School Mornings Routine
1. Make it a routine.
One way to make your school mornings run smoother is to create a routine. Routines give your kids a sense of security and help them recognize what to expect for the day.
Making a morning routine is not only fun, but it will help you and your kids get out the door on time.
Sit down with your kids and make a morning routine that works best for your family.
Ask them what they think should be included in the routine and don’t forget to make it FUN!
Decorate the outline of a body with the different tasks, for example, if one of their tasks is to brush their teeth then put it in the area of their mouth.
Be sure to include some kind of reward or incentive for completing each task.
You can give them a star sticker (or whatever you like) after they complete each task and at the end reward them with something fun!
Once you have decided on your morning routine, stick to it! Make sure to go over every detail so that everyone knows what’s expected when.
It may seem unnecessary at first but believe me, once you start following through with this daily ritual you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it!
2. Go to bed at a decent time
Going to bed at a decent time will allow you to wake up early and start your school mornings routine on a great note.
Getting up in the morning is hard enough without having to drag yourself out of bed too. So make it easy on yourself and your kids, and go to bed at a decent time.
I’ve seen a lot of articles that suggest getting up early can help you get more done, but that isn’t always true for everyone.
Some people function better when they’re able to sleep in, which is why it’s important to find a balance between going to bed early and sleeping late.
3. Make breakfast and pack lunch box(es) the night before
Start by choosing a breakfast recipe that can be prepared in advance. Overnight oats (Here are some delicious overnight oats recipes you can choose from- apple cinnamon overnight oats, chocolate peanut overnight oats) granola and muffins are all good options.
Then make a batch of the dish before bedtime. In the morning, all you’ll need to do is reheat leftovers or grab them from the fridge.
The time savings can really add up. If you spend 10 minutes making breakfast instead of 25 minutes, you’ve gained 15 minutes of extra sleep every day—that’s over an hour per week!
Another plus: You can enjoy your favorite breakfast foods without having to wake up early or prepare them while sleep-deprived. A nice warm batch of cinnamon rolls sounds much better than cold cereal or toast, doesn’t it?
Make sure the lunch box(es) are also ready before going to bed. You can always choose the foods your kids can eat cold. So they can be in the refrigerator and all you have to do is to grab them in the morning.
4. Pick out clothes the night before
If you’re wondering what the best school mornings routine is, here it is: Pick out your clothes the night before.
That’s right! It sounds simple, but it can make a world of difference. And we’ll tell you why. You save yourself time and energy by having fewer decisions to make in the morning.
You won’t forget things if you plan ahead and have a designated place for school clothes.
Plus, picking out clothes at night gives you time to look at them and make sure they fit well, that they match, that they are clean and comfortable, appropriate for school, and appropriate for the weather.
5. Stock up on nutritious snacks
While it’s best to avoid all the unhealthy stuff, we all know that’s easier said than done.
That’s why keeping the pantry stocked with some healthier options is a good way to give your kids some peace of mind if their sugar cravings just won’t go away.
Try keeping a variety of snacks in stock, both for variety and so your kids don’t get bored.
Granola bars, nuts, and fruits are always a safe bet! And try not to keep too much candy around—we know it might be tempting to keep your kids off your back, but you’ll be grateful in the long run when they aren’t bouncing off the walls at school.
6. Get them off YouTube & social media
Start the morning with something quiet. Kids love devices, so if you are letting them start their day on YouTube or social media, that’s a lot of screen time to make up for later on.
Instead of starting their days with a screen, start with playtime with you. You can read a book together, or listen to an audiobook or podcast together instead and build in some quality family time by talking about it after it’s over.
If your kids don’t like quiet activities, play board games or do puzzles together as you get ready for school in the morning.
7. Start getting them ready earlier
If your child has to be at school by 8:30 AM, it can feel like a pressure cooker getting them there.
In order for you to make sure that you’re not running late and keep the stress of the morning routine down all around, it’s best to add an extra 10 minutes to the time needed for getting ready.
For example, if you know it takes 30 minutes to get dressed, eat breakfast, have a bath, and brush their teeth, start the morning routine 40 minutes earlier than they need to leave.
If your child is resistant to getting up earlier than they need to, try waking them up 15 minutes earlier than usual over a period of a few weeks. This should help them adjust and make this new routine more manageable.
8. Pack all bags the night before and put them by the door
The number one way to have a smooth morning is to have your children pack their bags the night before.
Before bed, make sure everything is in their backpack and put it by the door. If you do this, you will reduce stress for yourself and your children by not having to worry about finding missing homework or papers.
Your child will also be less likely to forget lunch money, important papers, and other things they need during the school day if they know that they packed everything the night before and it’s ready to go.
9. Put books and workbooks in a separate bag to keep them from mixing with homework that you want to return home.
A couple of years ago, my daughter came home from school with 30 days of homework. Thirty days! One for each day after Christmas. Yikes.
I quickly realized that the most important thing was to keep the homework safe and dry as she carted it back and forth to school every day in her backpack.
But I didn’t want to mix it with her regular books and workbooks, because then they would get all wrinkled and messed up.
So I taught her to put them in a separate bag inside her backpack—a bag that she could simply toss into the laundry basket when she got home, so we wouldn’t forget which papers needed to return to school each day.
This was such a good idea that I went out and found a backpack with a separate compartment for workbooks (this is one example).
Now my daughter can keep her homework completely separate from everything else, without having to dump everything out of her backpack each time she gets home from school.
She just grabs the designated workbook bag and dumps it in the laundry bin, ready for another day at school tomorrow!
10. Have them wear shoes at home, so they get into the mode of wearing shoes when leaving for school, and not spending time putting them on in the morning rush
A good rule for parents is to have their children wear shoes around the house all day so that when it’s time to leave for school in the morning, they will instinctively put on their shoes and be ready to go.
This helps avoid that panicked moment when, in the rush to get out of the house, you realize your kid has no shoes.
Suddenly you’re spending valuable minutes convincing your child that yes, he does need to wear his shoes because “outside” is a different place from “inside” and it gets cold at night.
Buying high-quality winter boots (for example) will help make your life easier during those cold months. If you can find something that looks as cool as athletic sneakers but keeps feet warm even in frigid temperatures, then you’ve won a major battle!
These school mornings routine tricks are really going to help your family achieve stress-free mornings
If you’re trying to get your kids to school on time and make it to work on time, a stress-free morning might seem like an impossible dream. These tricks will help your family achieve the ideal: no more stress, no more yelling, and enough time for everyone to enjoy breakfast or read the paper—or just relax.
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