5 Ways to Ease the Hectic Morning Routine During Back to School

k-12

Back to school is a frenetic and exciting time for students and parents alike. If you're dreading the inevitably hectic mornings to come, check out our five tips for how to ease your morning routine.

Hectic School Day Mornings

For parents, the back-to-school season is both a blessing and a curse. On the positive side, you get back your weekday babysitter and no longer have to arrange activities for your children every single day. On the other hand, the back-to-school season brings with it the challenge of hectic morning after hectic morning and cranky kids who haven't had their fill of summer vacation. That's why we've compiled the following five tips that can help you ease your way back into the school morning routine.

A mother helps her son pack his backpack for school

1. Pack the Day Before

One of the most challenging parts of school day mornings is making sure your kids get out the door with everything they need in their backpacks. Doesn't it always seem like folders and pencils are disappearing at the last moment? That's why we recommend taking care of packing the night before. Make sure that each child's backpack is ready to go and save yourself the stress of wondering whether or not your son or daughter's homework will make it to school with them. You can even assign this task to your children as a nightly chore to teach them responsibility (and make the routine easier on you).

2. Meal Prep Breakfast or Lunch

School day mornings can be tough because you have to think about not just one meal but two. Your kids (and you!) need a healthy breakfast to energize them for the day, and you have to make sure that your children have a nutritious lunch to look forward to later on. For that reason, we recommend advance prepping at least one of these meals the day before. Making and refrigerating the next morning's pancake batter or PB&J sandwiches ahead of time ensures that you'll have at least one meal taken care of when you wake up in the morning, which can help to ease the day's chaos and make your morning routine that much easier.

Children eat breakfast on a school day morning

3. Choose Tomorrow's Outfit Today

Noticing a pattern here? The more you can do the night before, the easier your morning routine will be. Before your children go to sleep, take some time to choose their clothes for the next day together. If you take this task out of the context of a stressful morning, it can even be a nice bonding activity for you and your children. And it will allow you to save an extra 10 or 15 minutes the following morning. Just make sure to check the weather forecast ahead of time.

A child puts on his shoes in the morning before school

4. Make a Checklist

One of the worst feelings in the morning is the niggling sense that you've forgotten something. Avoid this feeling by writing out and printing a routine checklist that you can hang by your door and reference to make sure that you and your children have gotten everything done, including:

  • Getting dressed
  • Brushing teeth
  • Making the bed
  • Eating breakfast
  • Grabbing backpacks and lunches

And don't forget any other special considerations your family might have, like bringing cleats for soccer practice or a clarinet for band. If you can check each thing off the list before you leave, you'll have the relief of knowing the morning was successful.

5. Give Yourself Enough Time

We know that nothing's more tempting than an extra 10 minutes of sleep in your warm bed, but getting up with enough time to achieve everything you'll have to (and an extra 15 minutes just in case) goes a long way in reducing morning stress. Instead of rushing from one task to another, worrying about traffic, and passing your frazzled energy onto your kids, allowing enough time for you and your children to get out the door gives you a chance to relax and maybe even enjoy that special time with your kids before the busy day begins. It might be hard to drag yourself out of bed, but it'll be worth it.

Permission to Be Calm

Ultimately, you'll be the one to determine how the back-to-school day mornings go. Sure, some things, like spilled juice and torn pants, are unavoidable, but your attitude toward your children and preparations for them will make all the difference. Do your best to wake up on the right side of the bed and face the day with positivity and calm - you and your children will both appreciate it! We hope these five tips can help ease your back-to-school transition.

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By Daisy Rogozinsky
November 2018
k-12 back to school

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