Back to school means waking up early and trying hard to get the kids out the door before they miss the bus or before they are late for school. Social media has allowed people to view back to school celebrations in different time zones and I personally find that to be very entertaining. It’s neat to see how some kids have been in school for a while now yet others still have plenty of summer time fun ahead of them.
My own area has been back in school for a while now so I’ve had some practice with the early morning routine of getting kids out the door and ready for school. This is my son’s first year in elementary school and my daughter’s first year in preschool. That also means it’s my first year at home by myself. I’m not sure how I’m handling that yet. It’s been odd, to say the least. I’m not allowing myself any down time to focus on the quiet house or else I would just melt into a sea of tears.
Tips For Getting Kids Out The Door In The Mornings
Breakfast To Go
Schools in this area start anywhere from 7:45 till 9 depending on whether the child is going to public school or private school and then varying again according to the age of the child. The bus for my son’s school runs by our house at 7:13 in the morning and the school district request that all children be at the bus stop at least 5 minutes before time for the bus to run. This means that many kids end up eating breakfast at school. Even then that option is the best option for every student as each family has unique needs. We’ve discovered that breakfast to go is really the best option for us and it doesn’t have to be anything fancy either. For instance, I’ll often make up a big thing of sausage balls on the weekend and then pop them in the microwave for a few seconds for the kids on school days.
Lay Out The Clothes
If you are still doing all of the laundry by yourself may I please suggest that you stop and start letting your kids help you? Okay, that’s another topic for another day but it’s exciting when kids learn how to help with their own laundry. Each and every night while the kids are brushing their teeth I will lay out the clothes for the next day. Once your kids are old enough they can do this for themselves but my kids are still at the age where it’s just quicker for me to do it for them. In less than the amount of time it takes them to brush their teeth, I have the next day’s clothes picked out and waiting for them to put on first thing in the morning. This includes setting aside socks because we all know that a sock battle can make a morning go sour.
Have A Shoe Spot
The only thing worse than a sock crisis in the morning is a shoe crisis. When we moved into our new house we put a small bucket like this one from Better Homes and Garden at the bottom of our stairs. When any of us get home from being out this is where the shoes go. As shoes pile up and over I’ll move them into the bedroom closets. This just prevents all of us, my husband and I included from kicking off our shoes whenever we feel like it. Having it right next to the door is extremely convenient for us but having it in a mud room or near the garage may be more convenient for others.
Have A Hair Station
Y’all, my daughter has a wild head of hair. If I were to let it run its course it would be all over the place. Instead of letting it run wild I’ll often braid it, this is very time consuming first thing in the morning but I know it keeps her from battling it throughout the day. If I had to search for a hair brush, detangler, hair bows, and all of the other items we use for her each and every single morning the two of us would probably resort to yelling at each other. The simple solution is that all of those items go in the same place every day. At one point I had a small tote that migrated from room to room but even this caused frustration in the morning because we would miss place the bucket. Now, it’s simple and when it’s time to do her hair we both know where to go.
Have A Place For Backpacks
In the middle of our living room, we have an old antique shift robe that we have repurposed to hold our backpacks, umbrellas and craft supplies. Each and every day when the kids come home from school they know that’s where their back packs go. During the winter season their jackets, gloves, and hats go in the same location.
Check For Papers The Night Before
Since their bags go in the same location each night I’m not screaming like a mad woman trying to find out if they have homework or papers from their teachers. They come home, eat a snack and unwind for a bit while I check the bags. Then it’s homework time at the table. I use the moments before dinner to check for notes and such. Granted, I am a stay at home mom so we are blessed with those extra hours but checking for papers in the evening is a great way to avoid the morning rush of signing papers and permission slips in the car pool drop off line.
Pack Lunches The Night Before
Each and every night after the children go to bed my husband and I stand around the kitchen island and prepare lunches for everyone. This is basically the last thing we do each night and I’ll admit there are many nights I would rather just go to bed but when I think about the hassle of preparing lunches in the morning I always opt to prepare them at night. Doing this without the kids is a great way to not hear everyone complain about what’s in the bag. Of course, mine are still younger and I’m certain at some point it will be easier to have the kids help with this process but until then we will keep preparing lunches at night. Another sweet side effect of this is that it allows my husband and I to spend some quality time with each other talking. Those moments are rare jewels for us since we stay so busy so I’ll gladly accept those moments whenever I can find them.
Shower Before Bed
Teenagers. No, I don’t have any yet but I remember being one and I always wanted to shower in the morning but do you know what that does? It causes the entire family to be late or forces people to wake up earlier. If you like your sleep and you are okay with out freeshly washed hair in the morning then I strongly recommend showering at night.
Set A Timer
We recently received three timers from Oriental Trading. One of the many benefits to blogging is the free items that you get in exchange for writing a blog post about it. It wasn’t my intention to write this post and include a link to the products Oriental Trading sent us but these little apple timers have been a major staple in our house since getting them. They come in a pack of three, I’ve got one that I keep downstairs, one that I keep upstairs and one that we sent to the school as a teacher gift for my son’s teacher. My kids love to beat the timer so when they are going too slow at any task I set the timer and tell them to try and beat it. It works wonders! I use it the night before during shower time and then again in the mornings when ever things like putting on their shoes seemingly take forever.
Be Slow To Anger
This one is one that I had a hard time with last year. It can be hard to not yell and scream at the kids when they are moving slower than turtles crossing the road. However, as they are growing up it’s becoming more and more apparent that my time with them is limited. They will have memories of me before school, after school and on the weekends. Yet those moments are basically laid out for us and we are often trying to get from one moment to the next so I’ve made it a priority of mine not to fuss at the kids in the morning and I can tell my husband is doing the same. I know they don’t want to get out of bed but when I’m understanding of this they do get up and tend to be in a better mood. When I’m snappy and short tempered they will still get out of bed but there will be crying, screaming and yelling. Then their whole day is off to a bad start. So, my advice to you would be to stretch your long-suffering in the morning, play a little bit of music instead of turning on the TV. Smile and be slow to anger. You might even be able to get out the door faster since you won’t be preparing for battle.