By contributing writer Angie
In our home, school mornings have been mostly leisurely for the last six years. Although my oldest children started out in school, we began homeschooling after a few years, and our mornings became more relaxed. This year, however, my youngest child decided that she wanted to try going to school outside of our home, and it has made it vital for us to have more organized mornings.
Although we’ve only been back to school for six weeks, we have definitely found some things that work to make our mornings move more smoothly and other things that have hindered our morning progress.
4 Ways to Make Getting Ready for School Less Hectic
Lay Out Clothes the Night Before
Laying out clothes ahead of time is especially important if you have a child who takes a long time to decide on an outfit. We have gotten into a habit of checking the weather forecast the night before and then picking an outfit. While our daughter, age eight, picks her own clothes, we still like to approve her choices.
Since she lays them out the night before, this means that we don’t all have to panic about making a change at the last minute if she shows up for breakfast wearing jeans and a long sleeved shirt despite a warning that the high for the day will be 90 degrees.
Ban Television and Electronics in the Morning
While this wouldn’t be an issue for every child, it’s been my experience that children move much slower if something like a television show can catch their attention. Without the distractions of electronics and media, morning routines are more likely to flow uninterrupted.
Our only morning so far that my daughter was almost late for school was the one where she was running ahead of time by so much that I told her she could turn on the TV for a short time. While I did other things around the house to get ready, she stopped all attempts to get ready because she “just wanted to sit for a minute and watch.”
Create a To Do List or Picture Chart
For a child who has difficulty staying on task with your morning routine, write a morning to do list for a reader or a picture chart for a non-reader/developing reader with the tasks they need to do in the morning before school. Items on the list might include things like getting dressed, brushing hair, eating breakfast, and brushing teeth.
Prepare Backpacks the Night Before
Make sure your child has everything they need for the next day ready the night before. Once everything is ready, set the backpack and other items in a spot that you will walk right past on the way out the door. A morning can get a lot more hectic if it includes a voice from the back seat saying, “Where’s my backpack?” just as you’re pulling into the school parking lot.
What are some of your best tips to make getting ready for school less hectic?