Once school starts, those lazy summer mornings are history. To ensure that weekday mornings run smoothly, it’s best to have a plan. Here’s a list to get your kids out the door with everything they need for a great school day. Once they’re on board, you’ll be rewarded with a moment to catch your breath as well.
- Prepare, prepare, prepare. No sense procrastinating tasks easily done the night before. Ask your kids to choose their outfits and set them out, ready to wear. (Some kids do even better planning a week’s worth of clothes.) Make sure those backpacks contain completed homework and signed permission forms. Lunches and snacks can be waiting in the refrigerator to grab just before leaving the house.
- The best planning in the world only goes so far when folks are overtired. A consistent and reasonable bedtime routine (for both you AND your kids) will set you all in motion when the alarm rings.
- Keep your pantry stocked with healthy and quick breakfast foods, then make a plan on Sunday night for what will be served through the week. Popping whole-grain waffles in the toaster makes for a quick breakfast, as does scrambling an egg and wrapping it in a tortilla. You may not have time to play short-order cook, but anyone can fuel up when you have good foods within easy reach.
- The traditional chore chart is mostly aimed at the younger set, but older kids can benefit from a list of home duties as well. Teenagers might respond better to a morning text reminding them of a.m. tasks: making beds, dirty clothes in the laundry, floor picked up, breakfast dishes in dishwasher. Kids of all ages will feel good about being able to check items off their list. A week’s worth of completed chores might earn them extra screen time or a fun weekend outing.
- Speaking of screen time, it’s not always our first choice for how we want our kids to spend their time, but used correctly it can be solid incentive. Should chores be completed, breakfast consumed and your kids ready for school with time to spare, let them decide how to spend that time. If they want to play a game on their tablet, stream a bit of a favorite show or chat with a friend online, they’ve earned it!