Most of us have sent our children back to school this week or last. For the first few weeks, all goes well as most of the time the children are anxious for school. But as the weeks go by, we wonder why the mornings don’t go as smooth as they used to. The children are tired and slow and somehow we all get a bit irritable!
Following are some of the things that I try to do to help things go smooth in the morning.
1. Make sure they get to bed on time. For children ages 6-13 it is recommended that they get 9-11 hours of sleep each night. For teens ages 14-17, they should have 8-10 hour of sleep. I find that one later night a week doesn’t make a lot of difference since they catch up on the weekend. But try a few late nights and mornings do not go as well. Also their teachers will have a harder time teaching if the students are tired.
2. Have plenty of food ready for packing lunches. Our children all pack their own lunches. So when there are 7 or 8 lunches to pack in the morning, I need to be the one that makes sure there is plenty of food ready to pack. Prepackage vegetables, fruits, and snacks so they are easy to grab. Make sure there are fixing for sandwiches or items for reheating on hand. Some of my children like to plan the evening before what they will put in their lunches or make their sandwiches ahead of time. Check out my ideas for make ahead Lunch items.
3. Plan your breakfast menus so you are not scrambling for breakfast ideas last minute. You can even have pancakes or French toast in the freezer that you made ahead of time. My children like cereal so they don’t mind not having a hot breakfast every morning.
4. Make sure all the homework was put back into their backpacks the evening before. Have hooks or a closet where all the backpacks are kept so they are easy to find in the morning.
5. Have your children lay out their clothes in the evening so they don’t have to decide in the morning what they are going to wear. This is very helpful if you have a child that is very indecisive.
6. Don’t wait til last minute to remind your child of the chores that they must do. They know what they need to do but somehow they just forget. An early reminder often helps.
7. And lastly, if you still are having trouble getting your children out the door on time, then get them up earlier. Some children are just slow in the morning and it is frustrating for everyone if they need to be hurried.
What are some of your ideas that help make your school mornings successful?
Credit goes to Peter Zehr for the back to school board.