After a long summer break, getting into a back to school morning routine is never fun (especially with kids that are slow in the morning). Today, Amber from Amber I Am is sharing 5 tips to make mornings smoother. Start these tips a week or two before school start to ensure a smooth transition back into your school morning routine.
Every year, it seems like summer flies by quicker than it did in the past, which can make getting into a back-to-school routine a little bit difficult. Here are five ways to help your family get into the back-to-school mindset and make mornings a little bit smoother for everyone.
5 Tips to Make Mornings Smoother
- Ease into bedtime: When my brother and I were younger, my dad used to make us start going to bed a little earlier each week. By slowly resetting our internal clocks 15-30 minutes a week, it wasn’t such a shock to our bodies when we went to bed early the night before school started. Start implementing a bedtime a few weeks before school starts and make the bedtime a little earlier each week until your children go to bed at their regular bedtime.
- Give everything a home: I’m pretty guilty of being scatterbrained and disorganized, despite having multiple planners and a smartphone that tells me when I need to leave for appointments. One thing that has helped me tremendously is to have a home for all of my items. Instead of throwing my keys anywhere, I have a hook they hang on. Instead of putting my purse on the floor, it lives in a cubby. You can use this principle for your children and their school items too. Make a command station where backpacks, empty lunchboxes, and all school-related paraphernalia live. Include some sort of basket to hold papers that need to be signed and a large yearly calendar to write events on (bonus points if you cross off each day on the calendar that way you can see how close the field trip/event/assignment actually is).
- Prep, prep, prep: By now, most people know that it is easier to get things ready the night before, rather than waiting until the morning. However, this is something that can always be reiterated! Have everyone choose their clothes the night before (or at least narrow it down to a couple of outfits for children to choose from), set the table for breakfast, pack as much in lunchboxes as you can, and make sure that there aren’t any future science experiments left in backpacks. This helps makes mornings run more smoothly, plus it alleviates stress on those inevitable mornings when you oversleep.
- Avoid morning meltdowns: Have a child that has to do a certain thing every morning? Build that into your morning schedule! If your child is old enough to understand telling time, sit down with her and go through what must be done every morning, how long it usually takes, and the amount of time she has from when she wakes up until she has to leave. Then, work together to figure out if there are one or two fun things that your child would like to do every morning, like reading a chapter of a book or playing a favorite game for a few minutes. If your child knows that the faster he gets ready, the faster he can have a little free time in the morning, it may motivate him and help avoid the “but I just wanna play for five minutes” argument. If your child doesn’t quite grasp the concept of telling time yet, you can still do this, but it may not have the same effect as it does with older children.
- Do a practice run: I know this might sound incredibly silly but just humor me here! Once you’ve put the four other techniques into place, choose a day to practice everything. This means, have everything ready to go, go to bed on time, and go through your morning routines. Leave for school at the time you normally would or have a timer set to go off at the time with the bus or carpool pickup usually occurs. This will help you figure out where the snags are in the mornings and how to correct things before the stress of back-to-school begins.
No matter how much you prepare, the first few weeks of back-to-school time are going to be an adjustment to your family. Give yourself grace and keep trying things until you find the routine that works for your family. With any luck, you’ll figure it out before it’s time for Winter Break!