How are school mornings at your house? Crazy, hectic, calm? Yes to the first two? The kids and I had to be out of the house every day last week by 8:30 am. I must admit we were all a bit rusty at getting our stuff together and getting out of the house efficiently. As the first day of school draws near, we need to start thinking about re-establishing morning and evening routines.
Forming good habits will help your kids to: get out the door, on-time, in the morning; create good homework habits; and help them wind down for bed. So, as part of your back-to-school preparations, make it a priority to help your kids develop a schedule that will create consistency and prepare them for what lies ahead each school day.
The challenge to establishing any family routine, is getting the kids to stick to it without a lot of reminders. No matter the task it’s so easy for them to get distracted. To help keep everyone on task, we use visual reminders that are posted in a few key locations around the house. Below are a few of the tools we use.
Morning & Evening Checklists
A few years ago, we started using a morning and evening routine checklist. Then, once my son could read and started to take on more responsibiliites we added in an after school checklist. We tape the checklists to the kids’ bathroom mirrors, so they know what they are supposed to do each morning before school and each night before bed.
After School Checklist
I know kids are ready to just hang out and rest a bit after school. But, it’s so frustrating when everybody just throws all of their stuff down by the door when they get home from school. It’s also a pain to search for lunch boxes in the morning. So we started using this After School Checklist. It’s posted by our door, so everyone knows the tasks that need to be accomplished before they can go outside and play or onto another activity.
The last couple of winters here in Iowa have seemed to drag on. Last year, the kids and I got into many arguments about wearing coats, gloves, shorts, etc. So I decided to create this handy dandy checklist based on our school’s weather policy. Our school seems to be sticklers about not letting the kids go out to recess, if they are not dressed properly. The checklist will hopefully help to curb some of the arguing.
We let the kids select what they’re going to wear, but we have them do this on Sunday or the night before school (depending on how crazy the weekend has been). This is one less battle to face in the morning getting everybody out the door. These Clothes Dividers come in handy to keep their selections sorted by day.
Is there any one thing that you have implemented that has been crucial in getting out the door with a smile? Let us know in the Comments below.