For many families, including my own, the new school year is quickly approaching. The lazy summer days will soon be a distant memory and the hustle and bustle of the busy school year will takes its place. Getting everyone ready for the school day and out the door on time can be a challenge. When you have two or more children all headed in different directions at once the morning school routine can easily become exasperating. There are however some very simple steps you can take to reduce that stress and help you get through the morning rush.
Five Tips That Will Help Lessen School Morning Stress
Prepare Lunches The Night Before. This one tip can easily save you 10 or 15 minutes every day. Instead of trying to make everyone’s lunch each morning turn it into an evening activity. Get the kids involved, even your preschooler can help. Take some time to talk with your elementary school age children about why we should eat the healthy fruits and veggies and how they help our bodies. Older students can be given the job of packing their own lunch as a way to help teach them responsibility.
Lay Out The School Cloths They Will Wear Before Bed. Picking out school clothing the night before will help alleviate some of the morning time pressure when the kids are taking too long getting out of their pajamas. Allowing your preschool and elementary children to pick out their own attire gives them practice on making good choices as well as a sense of pride over their appearance. This will however require a little flexibility and guidance allowing for changes in the weather.
Have Backpack, Books And Other School Items Ready To Go. Trying to repack your backpack as you leave the house is a sure way to forget something important. As soon as homework is done tuck it back in the backpack this way it isn’t forgotten on the way out the door. Need something special for school the next day? Make sure the kids put it in the backpack before bed or you may be getting a call at work begging you to bring them their super important school item. Once the backpack is filled put it in the same place every day, preferably next to their shoes and coat that way you don’t waste time doing a mad-dash search for them as you are trying to get out the door.
Keep Track Of Time With Music. When I was a child my mother would often play a cassette tape (yeah I know but at least I didn’t say 8 Track) that had kids music on it. With each song we had a different job to do, make our bed, get dressed, eat breakfast (that got 3 songs), brush teeth, and finally get our shoes and coats on. Now that my sons are starting their school years I plan to use this same technique with them. Not only will it help them be on time, but it will also give them a very basic education in time management.
Create A Reward System. During the period of my life that my mother was using the above school routine she also had created a rewards system. She created a weekly schedule for me that listed every activity I needed to complete before school and a space for completing my homework after school as well. Each activity that I completed got a star in the box under the day of the week. If I filled the entire week I was rewarded, usually with a special show or an extra book at bed time. The chart and star system motivated me as a child, kept me on track with what I needed to do and also helped keep our mornings running smoothly. This system works best for kids who are able to take a little responsibility for themselves and follow a routine. It’s simple, easy and it works.
When your school day mornings run smoothly your stress level will diminish. You and your children will have a better school routine, and you won’t be rushing out the door like a crazy woman. You may even find that you actually have some free time before heading out the door. Now what could you do with that?
Don’t miss out on any of my great tips to help your family
save money, have frugal fun and enjoy life!
Check out Pinterest for more frugally fantastic ideas.
Android users download the Two Kids And A Budget app