Some have already gone back to school or will be in the next week or so. While the kids on the Jersey shore know the new school year is just around the corner. Today’s post was inspired by thepeacefulmom.com. It has been a long time since I had anyone going back to school but I do remember some of the tricks which helped this crazy busy single mom stay sane (okay, maybe only a little).
Transitioning from summer days to the schedule of the school year can be rough. Belinda always had a schedule even in the summer because of sports (gymnastics, field hockey and cheering) but she was definitely NOT a morning person. So the first step was adjusting from the late nights and late mornings to early to bed, early to rise. When she was younger, we started about 2 weeks before school started with moving bedtime up about a 1/2 hour every few days until the time school started, she was going to be at her required bedtime. No it wasn’t easy and many days it was a fight BUT when the school year started it was a little bit easier.
Here are some tips to to help you send your kids back to school and make mornings a little less crazy at your house. You can take a few pro-active steps to reduce the stress and chaos.
Prepare the Night Before
Generally anything you can do the night before will help to relieve stress in the morning. Kids should pack backpacks, make lunch, choose clothing and pick up after themselves. Mom can make sure all permission slips and forms are signed and all homework makes it back into the backpack, then set the table for breakfast (or at least think about what the kids will eat the next morning). I know this sounds like a lot of work after a long day especially for the single mommas BUT it does help. I know breakfast is the most important part of the day but it was not Belinda’s favorite meal and she hated eating in the morning. The key was to have some grab and go things she could eat while getting ready or on the way to the bus stop.
Gather Your Gear
Having one central spot for everything is key. It makes heading out the door a snap. Place backpacks, shoes, library books, lunch money, permission slips, etc. on and around an entry way table or in bins or baskets inside your entryway closet. No more searching for lost keys or forms you need to sign. Ours was the counter in between the kitchen and the living room. This way we could see everything on the way out either the front or the back door.
Create a Morning Routine for the Kids
Routines are the key to making your mornings run smoothly. It started with a routine for me. Up early to get ready for work then get Belinda up. Probably making a list of everything your kids need to do, creating a checklist they can mark as they accomplish each task would work for some but we weren’t list makers. If you have kids who are too young to ready, use pictures. If we had multiple kids, this would have been a definite to do. A chart inside a plastic page protector so your child can use a dry erase marker then erase the marks each day. A great way to teach kids responsibility while ensuring you are not running around like a crazy women trying to get everything done in the morning.
Use whatever your kid loves (watching TV, playing on the computer, playing video games) as a reward for when he gets ready ahead of schedule. In other words, no playtime until he’s done what he needs to.
Get Ready First
This was always huge for me. The fact I was a morning person made the difference. It was easy for me to be up at 5AM to get what I wanted done before I woke up Belinda. If you aren’t a morning person, you need at least a few minutes before the kids wake up to gather your thoughts and start your day well. Creating a routine for yourself is imperative for sane mornings. Believe me the 10 minutes or so of quiet time to drink your coffee will make a big difference in the way your day goes.
What is your best tips for a sane morning when school starts? Share your ideas with us.
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!