7 Timesaving Tips for a Calmer School Morning

Posted by Jennifer Funden on November 05, 2017

7 Tips for a Calmer School Morning

Are your mornings always hectic? Still don’t have that routine down even though it’s two months into the school year? Do you let out a huge sigh of relief after the kids are dropped off at school?

Many parents face this challenge when it comes to getting the family ready for the school day. Hopefully, these 7 timesaving tips (and included checklist/calendar) will help you achieve a calmer school morning and get you the peace you’ve been looking for, and deserve. 

  1. The Night Before:
    1. Clothing Prep:  Picking out what your children wear that day is one of the biggest morning hassles by far.  My suggestion?  Whether your child has a dress code, uniform or can wear public school attire, it is still a sound idea to layout their clothes the night before. This should include underwear, socks, shoes, hair accessories, pants/skirts, shirts and jackets. It is also a great idea to plan your clothes the night before, especially if you are a working parent (maybe you need a suit that needs ironed for an important meeting). This will save you time and stress by:
      • Eliminating morning arguments of what they will wear
      • Making it possible for children of all ages to dress themselves quickly and efficiently
      • Allowing you to assess the family has everything they need for that day (i.e. if you need to do a quick load of laundry the night before after you realize your child has no clean underwear! Yikes!)
    2. Homework/Backpack Prep:  When your children do their homework after school, check their backpacks to make sure anything important that needs to be turned in the next day is complete and there are no surprises like money due for a special event, a permission slipthat needs to be signed, etc. Once homework and school tasks are complete, everything goes back in the backpack and is placed in a designated area by the front door (see #6) so that it is not forgotten in the morning.
  2. Breakfast Planning:  Since vast research suggests breakfast is the most important meal of the day, it is important that you and your children eat a nutritious meal before starting your busy day. 
    1. If you don’t have time to make hot meals the morning of, there are some great make-ahead recipes on Pinterest you can freeze and pop in the microwave like egg sandwiches or breakfast burritos.
    2. Use cereal containers for easy pouring and freshness and have oatmeal packets easily accessible in the pantry
    3. Have quick protein options in the fridge such as cheese sticks, hard-boiled eggs and yogurts you can take with you to eat in the car.
  3. Lunch Planning:
    1. Use a designated basket in the pantry or on the counter with ready to go lunch/snack items (de-boxed for visibility) and a basket in the fridge with cold to-go items.
    2. Have a list on your fridge of food categories and options under each category your kids can choose from when making their lunch. For example, your categories could include a protein/sandwich, fruit/veggie, snack and sweet. This can make it easier for the older children to pack their lunch and empower them to have some responsibility and independence.
  4. Check It Off:  A checklist and calendar you run through in the morning is a great way you don’t forget anything. This can also build accountability and good organizational skills within the family.
    1. You can customize, print and laminate this already made checklist and calendar: Morning Routine Checklist & School Routine Calendar
    2. Or, you can make your own checklists and calendars by using dry erase boards for both the family and one in each of your kids’ rooms to personalize and manage their schedules.
  5. YOU Are Important Too!:  Maybe you’re struggling in the morning just as much as your rambunctious brood.  Trying these easy ideas might give you that “morning person” relief you’ve longed for:
    1. Drink a full glass of water 1st thing out of bed
    2. Take 3 deep breaths
    3. Try a few quick stretches (seriously, only takes about 30 seconds and so worth it)
    4. Focus on you first:  wash your face, brush your teeth and hair, get dressed and grab your morning coffee or tea
  6. Out the Door with Ease:  Have a designated area by the front door or garage that everyone puts their backpacks, coats and shoes in for that trek to the car or bus. This also should include car keys and cell phones as parents sometimes scramble at the last minute to find them.  To organize these out-the-door items, use a bowl or tray for the smaller items and a coat rack or wall hooks for backpacks and coats.
  7. Putting It Into Practice:  Try doing “run throughs” on weekends and keep at it. A great practice is getting ready for church on Sundays. Treat it as a school day to get the family used to a routine.  Find what really works and what doesn’t and revise your schedule and checklists. I know this sounds daunting as busy parents, but the more you plan and practice, the easier it will be in the long run.

We hope these tips can help your morning routine be a little more calm for you and your family. Don’t rush or stress about implementing everything at once. This will take time and remember that any tip, checklist or calendar will never be a fix all. We are all imperfect and fall short of the glory of God.  He shows us mercy and gives us room to grow, our children give us grace to be better, so give yourself a little grace and mercy. Don’t beat yourself up and give up. Do what works for you and your family and keep growing. You got this!  Tomorrow is a new day.  Praying for you all in your mornings ahead.  Be blessed friends.

Looking for more tips on how to develop your family routine? Check out our previous blog post: 9 Guidelines To Help Develop Your Family's Routine

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Topics: Parenting, Organization, Time Management