The lazy days of summer are almost over and soon enough, alarms will sound off to get kids out of bed and off to school. We all want less stress and no drama in our lives especially with school mornings. The key is having a routine that everyone can contribute to in order to get out the door.
1.) Do the prep work the night before- Save all the stress for what to wear for the night before school. Choose and lay out clothes down to socks, shoes, and accessories. No more frantically running around to find things. Bonus: Check the weather forecast for the week! This will prevent you from sending the kids out to the bus stop without a raincoat or jacket!
2.) Give the kids responsibility tasks- Give the kids a checklist for tasks to be accomplished the night before to eliminate morning headaches. This could include making sure papers and agenda are signed, snacks, water bottles, and lunch money are packed, and backpacks are ready and next to the door. Even younger children can participate in this and feel free to add tasks as the kids get older. Not only will this save time scurrying around to find things but it will be a teachable moment of responsibility.
3.) Save it for the weekend- I know. The thought of chores on the weekend is exhausting. But take a quick assessment of your inventory on Sunday afternoon. Make sure plenty of laundry has been washed and pantries for lunches and snacks are stocked. This will be a huge time-saver for busy mornings when you realize there are no clean socks or you have run out of peanut butter on Wednesday.
4.) Meal plan- Some kids are making a mad dash out of the door so make sure that they have something that will sustain them until lunchtime. There are so many quick options such granola or energy bars (Cliff bars are a favorite!) and trail mixes. For those who enjoy breakfast out of bowl, set a timer (ie: 10 minutes) to eat so nobody loses track of time watching TV or playing on the iPad. Look into breakfast recipes in the slow cooker, too.
5.) Hire a trustworthy older kid- Odds are if you are a working parent, you’ve needed to leave before your child’s bus has arrived. If you need to leave a few minutes before your child’s departure, consider talking to a responsible older child (and their parents) who rides the same bus to see if they would be interested in taking your child under their wing at the bus stop. Make sure the parents of the older child can keep a watchful eye on them as well. It’s a good buddy system and gives them an opportunity to earn an extra $10 every week.