It is back to school time and your morning routine in the house will take a dramatic shift. You probably got used to lazy mornings without a set time you need to leave the house. You slept in or the kids slept in and only when you got hungry you would lazily get up. Even then, you might let the kids saunter around in the their pajamas for a couple of hours.
It’s time to get back into an efficient morning routine, so you don’t fall into a mad panic 10 minutes before you have to leave for school. Here’s how to get the kids out the door on time for school every morning this year.
Secure a wake-up time
It seems simple, but putting into a place a wakeup time for the family is very important. But don’t be too optimistic. You want the kids to rest as long as possible. Giving yourself as much as an hour before you have to leave might make your mornings less efficient, because you know in your head you have more than enough time. Half an hour before you have to leave for school is plenty. Having a little less time to get ready means your morning will be much more efficient.
Make a list
Make a list of everything that needs to happen in the morning. Get up, get dressed, brush hair, make breakfast, pack lunch boxes, get books together etc. Also indicate how much time you will need for every task. Make it more fun and inclusive by including the kids in this process. Ask them what they need to do in the morning and work out a logical order in which to do this. During this time you’ll also be able to work out a time for each person in the house to use the bathroom.
Doing all of these things yourself while also getting ready for the day means you’ll have to get up much earlier than everyone else. If you kids are a little but older, try delegating some of the tasks. Perhaps they can get dressed and brush their teeth themselves, saving you time to get other things done.
Choose outfits the night before
You’ll be amazed at how much time you’ll save in the morning if you get the kids’ clothes ready the day before. Even if they wear uniform, simply putting everything out, from headbands to socks, will allow for a much more efficient morning. This will also help you to notice whether they’re out of clean underwear. If you’re dealing with girls, having an outfit ready for the day might motivate them even more to get out of bed. This rule also counts for shoes. Make sure the shoes are ready at the door so you can quickly zip up and get out.
An early bedtime
This is perhaps the most important step to securing an easy morning with your kids. If they go to bed too late, you’re guaranteed to have groggy, moody kids in the morning that refuse to brush their teeth, eat their breakfast or put on the clothes you set out for them.
Prepare the night before
You’re tired in the evenings and all you want to do is relax in front of the TV after the kids are in bed, but doing your preparations in the evening will make the mornings considerably less frantic. Pack lunch boxes, or at least get the ingredients for the sandwiches ready. Run to the 24h supermarket if you see you’re out of milk. Sign the permission slips and put all the books in their respective backpacks. Make sure there is fuel in the car. All these things will ensure a smooth morning.
Make mornings fun
You might not be in the mood for loud, cheerful music first thing in the morning, but it could help getting the kids energized and motivated to get ready. Put on their favorite songs or simply radiate energy and cheerfulness. If you’re grumpy and slow, it’ll definitely rub off on them.
Have a dress rehearsal
Have a dress rehearsal during the last week of the summer holidays. Do everything as you would on a school morning – including lunch packs and book bags. Head out the door and go do something fun like visiting the park and having a picnic with the lunch packs. This will help you to sort out any kinks and it will help the kids to adjust to the morning routine so much more easily.