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If you find your school mornings tend to be one chaotic scramble from bed out the door to school then you need to read this story! None of us needs to start the day off in a whirlwind of crazy. The key to a smooth morning routine begin the night before and involves the whole family.

Make it a nightly ritual just like dessert after dinner or brushing teeth before bed. It doesn't have to be a chore to get ready, it can be a great time for the whole family to get on the same page for the next day. The process helps kids take responsible and ownership of their school obligations. Mom and Dad, we aren't just talking about the kids here. You should take this time to get your own day organized too. 

We have a few ideas and shortcuts to creating your new Nightly Morning Routine going:

  • Have kids clean up before bedtime. It's hard to get ready in the morning if you can't find your backpack!
  • Picking school clothes the night before with help save time and head-off those morning throwdowns with the picky dressers. For younger children, group outfits that match on hangars and include ribbons and socks that coordinate with the outfit.
  • You want your kids to eat their lunches, well, let them pack the food themselves. Put lunchbox-friendly items like pre-cut vegetables and fruit, individually packaged snacks, juice boxes in the fridge such as.
  • Children can place school notes, newsletters, and notices in a specific basket or file set aside for that purpose.
  • Shower and bathe the night before. This will save valuable time in the morning.
  • Load and place backpacks at the door so they will not be left at home.

You can help your kids by providing a place for the endless amount of papers that come home in their backpacks. To assist children and parents with notes, schedules for sports or after school activities, permission slips, appointments and lunch menus, an organizational center is necessary. The center can consist of a basket for all notes and school correspondence. Children place those items in the basket and parents can read all notes in the evening. Anything that needs to be returned to school will be ready by morning as long as you keep up your end of the routine and go through the basket each night.

A large whiteboard or a calendar with big squares will allow parents to record important dates and events. This calendar will need to be seen by all family members and should be in a central location in the house such as the kitchen or computer area. This is a great place to place chore lists as well. Using a calendar will help make kids back to school responsibilities clear.

School mornings do not need to be a source of stress for parents and children. Planning ahead will keep all involved organized, and the morning will be calm--maybe even pleasant. A nightly routine, along with an organizational center will keep the family running smoothly and efficiently. Maybe the beginning of school won't be so bad after all.

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