How to make life easier on school mornings
It's back-to-school time! With school back in session, the lazy, carefree mornings of summertime are gone. If schoolday mornings are a hectic whirlwind of packing lunches, finishing homework and utter chaos, get organized and make your life easier. By establishing a routine, your family's school mornings can be virtually stress free.
Your household may be chaotic on school mornings because of a lack of preparation the night before. Help your child pick an outfit for the next day and lay it out at the end of the bed. Don't forget the shoes, socks and underwear. If your kids bring a lunch to school, pack it the night before. Place jackets, coats, backpacks and other necessities in a specific place near the exit.
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Place bins next to the door, where your child can drop off coats, gloves, backpacks and other items as they walk in from school. Then they'll be just where you want them in the morning - right by the front door.
Also the night before a school day, check your child's backpack or school bag. Make sure homework assignments are done, permission slips are signed, and supplies are in order. Now is the time to slip lunch money into his bag, if he's not bringing lunch from home.
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Use a calendar
Calendar programs on your computer and iPhone are great, but the best way to get your family in sync is with a huge wall calendar. Hang it in a high-traffic area, such as the kitchen, so that everyone can see upcoming deadlines and events.
Be consistent with bedtimes
The reason many kids are sluggish and uncooperative on school mornings is lack of sleep. Get your whole family to bed at a reasonable hour and be consistent with bedtimes. If you put your child to bed at the same time every night, she will go to sleep more quickly and enjoy a more restful night's sleep. Establish a bedtime routine -- snack, bathtime, storytime, lights out -- and stick to it. Take showers and baths at night whenever possible.
Leave a note on the front door
Check the calendar each night before you go to bed to see what's coming up for the next day. You don't want to miss a parent-teacher conference, sporting event or dance recital. Leave yourself a note on the inside of the front door or on your bathroom mirror with reminders of the following day's events. If you have a tendency to forget while you are at the office, place a Post-it in your briefcase or call your office and leave yourself a voicemail reminder.
Serve a healthy breakfast
You and your kids need to start the day with a healthy breakfast. You don't have to cook every day, but have cereal, breakfast bars, fresh fruit and other alternatives available each morning. Sit down and eat with them. Take a few moments to talk to each other and find out if there are any last-minute issues or concerns.