Back to school means back to a set schedule. Each day school begins and ends at the same time. Easy, right? Wrong? Transitioning back to the school schedule affects the kids and the entire family. But there are ways to ease back into the school schedule and arrive to school on time, while still maintaining a positive environment for the whole family. Here are some things that I’ve found to be helpful in easing back into a (peaceful) routine to ensure timeliness to school…and keeping your sanity.
Getting to school on time
What time do you need to arrive at school to ensure your child has time to unpack and make it in their seat for instruction? Our school late bell rings at 7:25 a.m. I have an alarm clock for my son to help with the wake-up routine. The alarm creates an opportunity for self-management. When you add up time to complete the morning routine (brush hair, teeth, get dressed), eat, complete pack up, get into the car, and travel to school, it can take anywhere from 30-60 minutes. So if it takes sixty minutes to get ready, the alarm should ring at 6:25 a.m. And if your child rides the bus, you may need to set the alarm earlier based on bus schedule.
Tip: Successful back-to-school routines begin before the first day. Start preparing children for the return to school two weeks prior to school beginning. I use this technique myself and start setting my alarm back slowly.
I prepare my son for what to wear, just like I prepare for what to wear. I love the idea of a capsule wardrobe. Almost like a standard uniform (whether your kids wear a uniform or not) there is a lot of talk around creating a capsule wardrobe to eliminate the overwhelming selection of clothes, which can definitely help with getting to school on time. Pare your clothes selection down to 15-20 choices, including 5 polos, 2 sweaters, 2 button up shirts, 2 jackets, 1 pair of jeans, 2 pairs of khakis, and one dress.
Tip: Pick out school outfits on Sunday for the entire week, based on school activities. Or pick clothes out the night prior to each school day. If your kids wear uniforms to school, you could even have them dress in their school uniform to sleep. This option works best for t-shirts and causal shorts.
I recently have begun ordering groceries online using either the walmart.com or harristeeter.com app to pre-order and pay for weekly groceries. This saves me time and money (as I stick to my budget). I use these groceries to prepare food on Sundays for the week ahead. I make my lunch and the kids lunches on Sundays.
Breakfast each morning is quick, healthy, and not messy. When my child is all dressed and then eats yogurt and gets it all over his shirt, that is the worst. I prep breakfast on Sundays (pre-bake egg muffins, or shakes) and I have fruit already washed and cut for easy consumption.
Time to walk out the door! Find a place to put school shoes each night and morning for easy application, as well as a place for book bags. Keeping them in the same place will help simplify things in the morning. I usually take all the bags downstairs and pack the car before I put the kids in their car seats.
Bonus tip: Check your family calendar each night, and then again in the morning. When there is an extra event scheduled such as a PE day, dentist appointment, music practice, or school assignment, pack the necessary items the night before.
School begins soon and I am excited to start our family routine again. With set alarms, pre-packed food, and the tips mentioned above, my children and I will thrive and getting to school on time will be a breeze!