Does your morning routine for school days feel like you are always trying to beat the clock? Do your school mornings sometimes feel like a sprint to get everyone ready and out the door on time? For me, school mornings are stressful if we don’t follow a routine. If you struggle in the mornings on school days too, try this easy morning routine for kids to start your school days stress-free.
When my children were toddlers and early elementary, the morning routine for school would be crazy for me. I was trying to get myself ready for work and 2 and then 3 children ready for school.
Most mornings were chaos, I would finally be ready to go, but then I had about 1 minute to diaper the baby, pick out matching clothes and find tiny socks and get the older ones ready too. As anyone in my family can tell you, I am not a morning person.
My husband suggested many times that I set out everyone’s outfits the night before, but I could never get into the habit of doing this every night (or even every week). I would have the diaper bag ready which helped, but I would not plan on breakfast taking 15 minutes instead of 5 minutes, kids not waking up fast and being ready to get dressed, and any number of other morning delays that happen.
Finally, I found a system that did work.
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What is a good morning routine for school?
A good morning routine for school allows you enough time to get yourself ready and your kids ready without stress and allows margin time for the unexpected. A good morning routine for kids is well planned and is not haphazard.
How to prepare your morning routine for school
Start preparing on Sunday night each week
On Sunday night decide what everyone will wear for the whole week. Set aside complete outfits for each child.
When the kids were young, I used hanging sweater shelves in the closet to organize their outfits each day. I placed an outfit and socks/underwear (and sometimes I would include a diaper, if needed, to make my life very easy) on a shelf for each child.
Each child had a hanging sweater shelf organizer for their clothes. In the morning, once I was dressed, I would go to the kid’s room, grab their clothes for the day and dress them or get them started dressing themselves.
We would be off to school and work much faster and with less hassle. No more scrambling for matching clothes and socks.
My children are older now attend a school that requires uniforms. We still have a similar process. All the uniforms for the week are neatly folded or hanging together in each child’s closet. When they get up, they are able to pick a shirt and pants or skirt to wear for the day. All the uniform tops/bottoms are mix and match.
Make breakfast simple with limited choices
Breakfast can slow the morning routine down. Breakfast slows the morning routine for kids because it takes them too much time to decide what everyone would like to eat or because they just sit and eat too slow.
Make breakfast simple or only offer a few choices like 2 kinds of cereal or oatmeal or yogurt. The more choices offered, the longer breakfast will take. We also usually require that everyone gets dressed and be ready first, then eat breakfast. This way, even if they eat breakfast slow, they are still ready to go.
Pack bags early and have everything ready to go by the door
To reduce the stress of lost papers in the morning and the mad scramble searching for missing books, keep all book bags prepared the night before and placed by the front door (preferably hanging up if they are not too heavy).
We make sure all books, homework and gym bags are ready to go when we are. No hunting for last-minute papers and books when it’s time to leave. Lunches are prepared the night before and kept in the refrigerator till morning when they are placed with the book bags.
Get up at the same time every day
To make a morning routine for school successful, you need to get up at the same time every day (it’s also good to go to bed at the same time every night so you and the kids get plenty of sleep).
If one morning you get up at 6:30 am and the next you are getting the kids up at 7:15 am, it sends them a mixed message that they can stay in bed until 7:15 am. Usually, if the kids stay in bed too long, it makes the morning routine a mad scramble.
Get everyone up early and have a set time every day to get up. I suggest you allow at least 1 hour to wake up the kids (I find kids don’t jump out of bed excited for school most days unless it’s a field trip) and get ready to walk out the door.
If you have a little extra time, you can breathe easy, but most of the time, you will probably need an hour to get ready. Remember, even though it’s possible to get everyone ready in 30 minutes, it requires cooperation from them (which often doesn’t happen in the mornings). Give yourself the extra time.
Many moms, myself included, find it’s helpful to get up before the kids and get a few things done before I wake them up.
Allow margin time
Even when we plan and prepare, things happen.
I remember one morning we were doing well, everyone was ready to go, we were on our way to the car and someone didn’t close the door fast enough. You guessed it, the dog ran out.
So, then we had to spend 5-10 minutes chasing the dog around the yard and down the street.
Without margin time, a simple mishap like the dog running out can become a big problem.
As you make your morning routine for school, be sure to add margin time. Expect the unexpected. Give yourself an extra 10-15 minutes every day for all the unplanned moments of life that always happen in the mornings.
Last tip, morning routines with kids take discipline and discipline is usually not fun. But teaching children simple discipline when they are young will produce big results for them as adults.
Discipline is what helps us excel when others quit.
The right morning routine for kids takes so much stress out of your entire day. Try it for a few weeks and see what a difference it makes.
Easy morning routine for school days:
- Plan what everyone will wear for the week on Sunday
- Make breakfast simple with limited decisions
- Have all your bags and lunches packed and ready the night before
- Get up at the same time every day
- Allow margin time
Morning routines make life easier for your children and mom, too!
Take your mornings to the next level
Are you ready for a total morning makeover?
Are truly ready to end your morning chaos and be productive every morning?
Wouldn’t it be nice to look at the clock at 10:00 am and think about what you have already done, not be stressed by how much you have to do every day?
Learn how to make the most of your mornings with Smart Mom Smart Mornings – a 30-day plan to makeover your mornings and help you get the most out of your day.
What is your morning routine? How do you start your day?
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