Even a homeschool family feels the pressure of back to school time. Well, this family does anyway. My kids attend classes and getting up in the morning is not something we are used to as a daily routine. It can be especially hard to get going after the summer break! I’m not a morning person myself, so usually end up rushed. I don’t have time to make everyone a nice home cooked breakfast along with all the other things that need doing to get ready for the first days back at school.
How to prepare for the back to school morning rush
(scroll down for tips to move sleepy kids along)
Lay out clothes the night before on the end of the bed or over the dresser. For kids that have a hard time making a choice of what to wear, give them two options and have them pick one outfit out of those two. Only leave out the chosen outfit.
Find both shoes! Otherwise one of them always seems to go missing right when it’s time to leave in the morning.
Have backpacks packed the night before, except for lunches, and set near the door or in a designated place where they won’t be overlooked when it’s time to leave. It really helps when everything is in the same place each day and no one has to search for it at the last minute. Double check that all necessary school supplies and full water bottles are packed. I always include a handkerchief in a small pocket as my kids seem to need one as soon as we hop in the car!
Cooking is often out of the question on early morning class days. We need something healthy and filling, but quick! The kids are old enough now to pour their own bowls of cereal so I make sure the things they need for breakfast are clean and easy for them to reach. If you get up early enough to cook, even once in a while, great, otherwise make breakfast time as easy as possible.
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Line up each child’s lunch box, open on the counter. Fill all of them together one item at a time in each. For example, a cheese stick for each, then carrot sticks for each, and so on. This way you can be sure each child gets a balanced meal and you didn’t leave something out of one, which can easily happen when you focus on just one lunch box at a time. You may think you already put carrots in, when in fact that was the prior lunch box you filled.
Tips for Moving Sleepy Kids Along:
Wake them up with ample time to get ready each morning
Yes, they probably could use a few extra minutes of sleep, but giving them those extra minutes while you have your coffee, leads to more stress trying to rush them to get ready in less time when they are up! Get the kids up with at least an hour to do everything necessary to be ready to leave.
Absolutely no T.V. in the morning. If you want your kid to move, do not turn it on. If you want a sleepy lump on the couch you have to continue to nag at to go brush their teeth, be my guest.
Play only after completely ready
My kids will constantly begin playing with toys or goofing around, but I do not allow them to stop and play unless they are completely ready to walk out the door. They need to be dressed, have eaten, teeth and hair brushed, shoes on, and gathered any items they will need to take with them, such as a sweatshirt. If all this has been accomplished and we still have a few minutes, by all means, I let the kids play. They earned it!
To help them know if they are ready, without my having to go over the list each day, I created a chore chart or To-Do List for kids. My kids are young, so I drew simple pictures of each thing they need to do in the morning. They can refer to this list which hangs on a wall in our kitchen to check if they missed anything or what to do next when they are too tired to remember. They are used to me allowing play time once they are ready and this motivates them to get everything checked off that list quickly so they can get in some play before it’s time to head out the door.
I hope these tips help you to have a less stressful morning and get into a smooth routine for early morning prepping for the day. These suggestions work well for any morning you need to leave the house early with kids in tow, not just to go to school, but for anywhere you need to go.