If you want to reduce stress during the morning school routine, I have some tips for you. I have worked in an elementary school for several years and raised my own two kids, and thought I'd share some tips that have helped us reduce the occurrence of hectic mornings during the school year.
Tips to Streamline the Morning Routine
- Ask your kids to gather the items they will need for school the night before. Even young kids can learn how to do this and it is a great way to teach them how to plan.
- Plan clothing the night before and include any sports clothes or uniforms and equipment
- Keep a binder or bulletin board for important school papers that will come home.
- Allow extra time to get to school especially the first week. There will be new students and parents that are not familiar with the drop off routine and it may take a little longer until everyone gets back in the groove.
- If packing lunches, pack non-perishables the evening before. Have snack-sized portions ready to go in containers in the cupboard and refrigerator. Packing lunches will be a breeze.
- Designate a spot or area in your home for backpacks, jackets, etc when they come off after school.
- Go over pick up or meeting spots for after school ahead of time. If the school is new for your student, take some time over the weekend prior to school starting to walk the campus with them.
- Plan some make-ahead breakfasts to make on Sunday and reheat during the week.
- Go over homework assignments with your students each evening. Sign any required paperwork then, so you are not rushing to get it signed in the morning.
- Start getting the kids up early a few days before school starts, so it is not such a shock to the system that first day when anxiety and excitement are at high levels.
- Ensure that your student has a planner and show them how to use it. Schools are getting better at teaching kids this important process. When I was in school, I was not taught us how to plan and schedule projects with a calendar or planning system. Kids are able to manage time more wisely with a system.
- Go over the school calendar for the following week sometime over the weekend. Preferably not on Sunday night, because that is the worst time to have to run out and get a needed item or have to bake cupcakes at 10:00 pm for the next day. I know personally that it is not that easy to find a storyboard on a late Sunday evening.
- Put important dates like Back to School night, Family Nights, and Open Houses on your family calendar. Add non-school and minimum days so that you are not surprised later. If your kids are in high school, add test dates for the PSAT, SAT, ACT and AP exams, and block out the day before.
I hope you found these tips helpful. They can help you and your student save time, reduce stress and anxiety while teaching them great planning habits. What tips do you have for making the mornings smoother?