Back to School Time-A Smooth Start
So it is just about that time-Back to School Time, that is! Some go back in August, others after Labor Day. Either way…it’s time. Some of us parents are saying “Yeah!” others are dreading the rustle and bustle of daily school life. I am hear to share with you my tips and tricks on making “Back to School Time” a great and organized time! (well, my opinion of organization) Really? Yes.
So picture this. Beep Beep Beep BEEEEEEEEP. Hit snooze. Beep Beep Beep BEEEEEEEP. Hit Snooze. Several minutes pass. Jolt out of bed. Grab the alarm. Shouting” Oh no, we are going to be late.” Running through the house mom and/or dad, “Kids wake up!!!!” Ripping off the blankets, turning on the lights. Kids are groaning, moaning. “Nooooooooooo.” The little crabby zombies finally arise. As you try to find them something to wear, as they brush their teeth half asleep, can’t find the hairbrush, and the morning continues. Every minute counts this morning. It’s time to go, and you realize you didn’t make them lunches for school! So you quick tell them they have to take hot lunch that day, but one child hates the choices. So you quick throw something in a bag. Oh wait, breakfast! Who has time for that? One wants cereal, one is demanding pancakes and another refuses to eat altogether. Well, it’s time the bus is honking outside. You kiss them all one by one, as they frantically run out the door. Okay, you are thinking well at least they made it on time. Only to realize that you still haven’t got ready yourself, and now you are going to be late for work. Oh joy.
Alright, alright…I really hope most of you don’t encounter mornings like this. But I am sure that some of you encounter parts of it every single school morning. Am I right? (How did she know, you ask?)
Try these time savers and ways to make they day more efficient and happier:
- Bedtime. Introduce school bedtime 1-2 weeks before school actually starts. It maybe be gradual, even try 15 minutes earlier each night until you have them to their bedtime. It makes the new school week, much better and their body is more accustomed to the routine.
- Homework. Designate a set-area for your child to do his or her homework. Talk about it now. Whether it’s the kitchen table, a desk, or the coffee table. It doesn’t really matter, but ensure the space is available when it’s time to do homework. It makes it easier and less challenging when they have a spot to work at.
- Lunch. Hot or cold lunch? We do cold lunch in our house. I choose to make the lunch at night-that way there is no rush, I can take the time to make healthy choices, and even write my daughter a note each night. Click here for a free printable to show your child some lunch love. If your kids prefer hot lunch-ensure you are looking over the choices the night or week before so they know what there is to offer. Depending on the age of your child and how picky they are, you may need to make other lunch arrangements. Especially hot lunch doesn’t always offer the most healthiest, quality choices.
- Routine. Start the school day routine a week before school starts-if at all possible. This includes the bedtime, tv time, bath/shower routine (night before or morning of,) reading a story at night, talking about they day at dinner, and more! You get the idea. It will make for an easier transition into the mode of Back to School Time!
- Get-up! Set your alarm. Well obviously. But don’t hit that snooze button more than once! Even better, set it for earlier than needed, this allows for a few minutes to spend with your child with the rush. Quality time.
- Clothing. My best advice-have your child (or you, depending on age) pick out an outfit the night before. This allows time for creativity, better choices, and less rush and hassle. If you/they are really feeling motivated try picking out outfits for the whole school week at once and set them aside! I have done it and it’s pretty awesome.
- Get Organized. Lay out backpacks, jackets, shoes for outfits, etc. Think about what you are having for breakfast they next day, is there anything to prep? Having coffee in the morning-fill the grounds, set the timer. Does your child need something signed? Sign it the night before to ensure it gets into their folder or bag-I promise this is a huge time saver and a great way to not forget.
- Rules. Set them. No free time in the morning unless everything is done: bathing, getting dressed, brushing teeth, grooming, eating breakfast. Then if there is time, which there should be, give them a few minutes to play game or whatever they wish. This goes for after school as well! With my daughter, she knows what needs to be done after school, she comes home, has a snack, she tells us about her day- then she does her homework. We also give her one chore each day. She gives us her folder or any papers that need to be signed or read. After all that she is free to do what she would like for awhile.
Following most of these has worked for our family-we have had the above scenario too often beforehand. At the end of the day if all else fails, go to bed and start all over again. Just tweak and adjust to fit the needs of your family.
Please feel free to share your ideas, tips and tricks to adjust to back to school time.