Late, late, late. I am always late. One of my biggest challenges is getting my children to school on time every day. Many days I am stressed because I have just seconds (I am not joking here) to get the children to their classroom before the tardy bell rings. It seems like at least once a week the tardy bell rings when I am standing in the parking lot. Late again. Then I ask myself, why am I late today?
Some people say I like to be late. Okay, maybe when I was younger being late seemed cool or it was “my thing” you know like, “Oh Rachel, she’s always late.” No one would have expected me to be on time. But now that my children are getting older, they notice when we are late, and they don’t like to be late (they really don’t like having to run down the hall to just barely get to class on time every day).
I have decided I need to change my late ways. I need to change my schedule to be sure I leave early enough to get my children to school on time every day.
A 5 Step Plan to Be Sure Your Children Are Not Late for School
Prepare lunches and backpacks the night before
Be sure all the lunches are made and backpacks are packed the night before. The morning is no time to be making last minute lunches or looking for lost homework.
One of the biggest reasons time is lost and we get behind in our schedule in the morning is looking for lost items. Have your children back their lunch and double check their backpack before they go to bed each night.
You could even plan lunches for the whole week and then just grab and pack each night. For some lunches, this does not work (like peanut butter and jelly sandwich), but for snack items like grapes and crackers, you can easily pack a week of snacks and just have them ready to pack each night. If I buy grapes or small snacks, on Sunday night I usually package them into snack bags so I am ready for the whole week.
Choose your clothes for the day the night before
The night before school/work decide what you will wear and place those clothes in an easy place to reach. Be sure you have socks and shoes ready too (lost shoes or mismatched socks will make you late), don’t forget the belt if you have a son (my son’s belt is always missing, you guessed it, in the morning).
My children have to wear uniforms every day, but you would be surprised by the time wasted in the mornings with conversations like this…. “I don’t want to wear that black shirt!” or “I don’t like red skirts!” For me, I am just thinking all the shirts, skirts and jumpers are exactly the same, what difference does it make? Please get dressed. Best to make these decisions the night before.
Decide what time you need to leave for school, then set a time to get up
If you want to be ready to leave on time, you can’t just guess what time to get up. You need a plan. Review your morning routine and how long it takes to get ready. Then add 15 minutes (for all the unplanned things that will happen). Now, you know how much time you need to get ready, set an early time to leave and count backwards. for example, you need to leave at 7:30 am and you need 1 hour and 15 minutes to get ready, then you need to get up and start getting ready at 6:15 am.
No hitting the snooze button
When I was younger, I would always hit the snooze button. I would think, I just need to sleep 10 more minutes, because 10 more minutes would somehow change my day or give me more energy. If you are too tired in the mornings, go to bed earlier. Trying to sleep an extra 10 minutes is not going to add extra energy to your day.
If you are tempted to hit the snooze button, move your alarm clock to the other side of the room. Once I moved the alarm, I never hit the snooze button again.
When it’s time to get up, wake up and get moving.
No changing the departure time
Once you set a departure time, don’t change it. One thing that makes me late is thinking, I need to leave at 7:30 am, but actually not leaving until 7:40 am, because I think, I can still make it. Wrong, I won’t make it! I will be standing in the parking lot when the tardy bell rings – late again!
Don’t change your depart time!
To get my children to school on time every day, I have to change my late ways. It’s going to be a challenge, but I am going to be on time, every day. What about you? To get started being on time, prepare lunches and backpacks the night before, choose and outfit to wear ahead of time, set the right time to get up, no snoozing, and don’t change your departure time – no excuses.
Gotta go, it’s time for me to get ready and take my kids to school!
How are you going to get your children to school on time today? What changes have you made to your morning routine to be sure you leave for school on time?