Between August and September, back to school season is in full swing and families across the country are adjusting to their new routines. When it comes to school routines there are a few things that you need to keep in mind to make sure the switch from the freedom of summer to the restrictions of the school year will go well. So here are my tips.
Homework not only needs a place as we showed you in our post about creating a homework station, but it also needs a time. You know your child’s personality well so keeping that in mind, set a regular time and place to help them get in the routine of getting their homework done. Maybe they need downtime after school for a snack, some TV time, or some outside play and then they will settle down and get to work. My children have all adopted well with snack, 30 minutes down time, then homework so they can make the most of the rest of their evening with free time. If you have kids with after school activities you’ll need to pay close attention to make sure they are well rested, well fed, and ready for that 2nd round of work that might happen when they finally get home. The same holds true for kids who are in after care. If they come home with homework left to finish, you need to be ready to provide the proper place and time for that homework to get done distraction free.
This one is SO simple ~ pack it the night before! Just do it ~ for yourself, for them ~ just get it out of the way so its one less thing to tackle in the morning. And if for some reason things are crazy and you’ve run out of something needed to pack up, you’ll be able to dash out to the store to get it which we both know definitely can’t happen the next morning.
When kids are younger, they often respond well to laying out their clothes the night before or at the beginning of the week. You can use wonderful organizers labeled with the day of the week and you’ll be all set. You may have a mischievous child that likes to mix things up but overall, this method can work really well to avoid power struggles. You might have a child who lays things out then changes it slightly the morning of and that’s fine too. But leaving decisions about what to wear for sleepy children to make those decisions just opens the door for frustation. Having a logical discussion about what your child has to wear ~ like gym shoes because its gym day ~ versus what they want to wear ~ sparkly flats ~ just isn’t going to work for anyone. When it comes to older kids, there’s no way they’ll follow this kind of process. However if you work with them to consider their options the night before, they’ll have plenty of time to iron anything that might need to be pressed. I don’t let anyone iron at 6 am ~ just not gonna happen!
Packing Up Routines for Mom
I’m not just talking about backpacks and lunches here ~ this time I’m talking about you Mom. There’s nothing worse than being up early in the morning and finding yourself distracted because you have a big deadline at work or you need to gather a bunch of materials to get up to school. So instead of helping guide your family through the morning transitions as peacefully as possible, you are scrambling too. This sets the wrong kind of precedent about not being ready the night before, not being prepared, and not taking time to take inventory of what you need to do to get ahead. These are all life habits you model to your child. So pack up that briefcase and get those papers signed and ready to roll. Don’t sign those field trip forms the morning of ~ you’ve learned how to tackle that backpack to make sure it never happens again so that everyone is ready to go every morning.
Remember your role is to steer your children in the direction you hope they will go and your job is to teach them habits and live skills that will enable them to be organized on their own. So lead by example ~ its worth the effort! I promise putting these routines into place will make the evenings smoother and the mornings more mellow making everyone in your family primed to have a fabulous day. Tell me…
What are your favorite school routines that you put into place at the beginning of the school year?
To get your organized school year on track, check out our brand new Back to School Printable Bundle. I can’t tell you how helpful these checklists and forms have been for me over the years and it is full of everything you need to make this school year an organized success. Not just to be used before the first day, every form included makes my world more organized every week, all year long. And if you are looking for inspiration, check out our Back to School Pinterest Board for all kinds ideas to help you every step of the way, not only from GO MOM!® but from around the web too!
Thanks so much for stopping by ~ we’ll see you next time!