A new school year brings a change in the morning routine, no matter whether your children attend school in the community or at home. Though you can't always control the issues that crop up at the last minute, it is possible to prepare in advance for a smooth morning. Sometimes a household member will wake up on the wrong side of the bed or occasionally the alarm won't go off. That's just life! But here are 6 secrets for a successful school morning routine that have assisted our family over the many years.
1. Take a few minutes the night before to choose clothing for the next day.
This simple step can save time with children who have trouble matching clothing. Or it can save energy with those who have a mind of their own when it comes to clothing choices.
2. Establish a morning routine that is the same each day.
Keeping the order of items to be accomplished the same each day can empower children to follow the schedule. Having a picture schedule can be a great way to help younger children understand the expectations.
3. Prepare lunches the night before or at least as much as you can.
We use a lot of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches just because everyone likes them. But we aren't fans of gooey jelly bread. You can place two thin layers of peanut butter on each slice of bread and then place the jelly on one slice to prevent gooeyness. Or most of the time, we place everything non-refrigerated in the lunch bags except for the pb&j or anything else that we want to be fresh.
4. Store lunch items together if possible.
Often when I make brownies or granola bars, I place them in sandwich bags or wrap them immediately after cutting. Then the items are stored in a "school snack bin." Or if I've chosen to buy lunch snacks then I open all the boxes and place them in the bin. Then everyone knows they should not eat those items except as school snacks (so that we have enough for the week, etc.) This helps tremendously for children to be able to pack their own lunches. If you eat lunch at home, having this procedure will enable older children to prepare lunch easily, even if you do not buy prepackaged items.
5. Pray with your children in the mornings.
For a few years, I was faithful to pray with my children at bedtime and meals, but we didn't always pray in the mornings. I've found even a couple minutes of prayer and Scripture or devotional reading is a great way to jumpstart the day. If you are looking for free children's Bible resources for mornings, here's a fab list.
6. Be organized with all items used for school.
If you are a homeschooler, then having a station set up with all items being used is a great way to be organized. If your children attend school outside the home, then keep shoes, coats, and backpacks in the same place all the time. Knowing where necessary items are stored all the time helps to prevent that last-minute search for the proverbial lost shoe.
We'd love it if you would share your secrets for a successful school routine!
What do you do to maintain a great school morning routine?
Rachel Wojnarowski at RachelWojo.com