preparing for school mornings

Needless to say, we are well and truly out of the school morning routine.

Dawdling is our preferred pace of late, peppered with a fair bit of disorganisation. We struggle to get out the door before 10am and when we do it’s a bit of a palaver.

This year I’m getting two kids ready for school and while excitement levels are high, I’m well aware that excitement can be distracting.

And then there’s me; just emerging from the first trimester and well and truly out of routine. I definitely need a bit of practice.

And so, come Monday, we’ll be doing a bit of a trial run. It won’t involve school uniforms or the like but I will be up by 6:30am and rousing the kids by seven. And then we’ll do breakfast and dishes and washing out and clothes on and teeth brushed and shoes located.

And we’ll attempt to be in the car with minimal shouting by 8:30am.

And then I’ll drive to the beach or the coffee shop and relish in the fact that I have a whole week till the school run officially begins again.

I’m no expert at super-organised school mornings that flow easily. However, I know that there are a few things that always, without fail, ensure an easier morning routine.

  • create a designated place for school bags and shoes : ours is in the entryway so as soon as we get home of an afternoon the bags are placed beside the desk, unpacked and there they stay till the next morning.
  • pack lunch boxes at night : I never used to do this but last year I was converted. It saves a good twenty minutes in the morning and is particularly helpful if you’ve had an unsettled night with a baby or toddler.
  • encourage your kids to lay out their uniform for the following day : yes, they are capable! And if you don’t do this, you might have to utilise the 15minutes super quick cycle on your washing machine + dryer before school (and that’s never a great start to the day).
  • give the kids a ten minute warning : the key to this being successful is that you need to give it to them when you’ve got twenty minutes spare. A reader shared this trick with me a few years ago and it works a charm. I encourage the kids to sit at the door with bags on their backs and there they wait till I’m ready to leave. It’s incredibly satisfying.

Before school commences I would also encourage you to clear the front of your fridge because the notes that will come home in those first few weeks are of epic proportions (and all very important!).

How are you feeling about the kids going back to school?

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Showing 11 comments
  • Jane @ Shady Baker

    Gosh the thought of returning to the school routine gives me instant anxiety Jodi…of course organisation is the key to conquering this 🙂 Good luck

  • Dida

    It’s our first year of having a school child and it terrifies me a little bit. I don’t drive and thankfully school is just a fifteen minute walk away but I still need to get the 5 year old, the 2 year old and the 8 week old out of the door in time. Something tells me it may involve a few tears from everyone until we get the hang of it.
    Laying out uniforms and packing lunch the day before will be a must.

    • Jodi

      I’ve got an entire series of school related posts under the “motherhood” tab above….you might find some useful advice there. Good luck! That first year is such a big leap for everyone…gently does it x

  • Jackie

    I haven’t had school kids for many years now. But I wouldn’t let them eat breakfast until they were dressed and ready. Bags packed shoes hats found. Saved so much time especially with hungry boys.

  • Lisa

    I’m kinda ready for school to go back…for my girls at least, not for me (teacher, back on Monday)! My two have started to get on each other’s nerves a little this week.

    Fortunately for us, we’re all early birds and can get out by our 730am leave time pretty easily, it’s the afternoon slumping that’s problematic (sports, homework, dinner, baths).

  • Kathy

    You can also set your home clock 5 mins fast so that when they see it’s 8.00 am (or whatever time it is to leave) they are actually ready 5 mins early so you don’t have to stress.

  • kelly rae

    Our daughter is in preschool 3 days a week currently and I implemented the night before lunch setup early on. I couldn’t survive the mornings without it. We’ve been barely make it to school the past few weeks on time. Before we were always early but after Christmas holidays it has been hard to get back into it. If I also had to make a lunch in the morning we would definitely be late.

    Our daughter’s uniforms stay in our closet hung up and I lay them out the night before. I know I should probably have her do this but she is a stuffer. She hides clothes behind doors, under the bed and behind stuffed animals. I wish I were kidding but I’m not so I’m in charge of that for now.

    School shoes stay with all other shoes..usually unless she throws them off somewhere silly. We only have one pair which isn’t probably the brightest idea on my part.

    I’m not sure how I’ll fair with next years 5 days a week.

  • Agata Maria

    I love this kind of tips 🙂 Must try getting the lunch boxes ready at night, would make more time for a morning coffee!
    Some time ago I read this advice to always get up before kids and get yourself ready first. I try to stick to it as it helped me a lot, getting this little bit of peace before all the craziness starts again 🙂

  • Liz

    We homeschool our kids (6 and 8 yrs old) but this doesn’t mean that we do not prepare too! Getting up before the kids even if it is enough time to just have a cup of coffee or tea in the quiet and focus on one thing that can inspire or set my morning off well is magic for me. It could be as simple as ten minutes. It can be scripture, an inspiring part of a podcast, a quote to meditate, 10 push ups/squats to get my blood flowing, or sitting to look out a window and ponder fuels me. If I make more time, even better! We also have a big gap in ages as we do have a 21 year old too – so now that we do have an adult child out of the home, I can look back (he was in a somewhat traditional school setting -we moved every two years for work) and say that mornings will always be ebb and flow. The effort that is put in by us parents to attempt to make it more peaceful really is so helpful for them overall. And for us! Setting the stage as best we can; clean clothes, messes picked up the night before (as best we can) so our mornings do not begin so frazzled and messy, lunch bags/containers ready, and some time for the kids to also have to themselves to fuel themselves before they leave does wonders. And another thing that we found and find important is that kids have time to eat their breakfast slowly (hopefully something warm) and not rushed. Overall, giving ourselves grace as parents, understanding that we have good intentions and that we do our best without perfection is key.

  • Jessica

    I am in the US, so it’s the middle of the school year over here. But I have definitely learned that a morning routine is key. I recently created a space in our entry with lower hooks for the kids to hang their backpacks and coats and a basket under it for their shoes. I like having all the essentials so close to the front door, making the actual act of leaving easier…because for some reason that last push to get out the door is always where all the drama happens in our house.

  • Elisabeth

    I’m impressed you have your washing out before school drop off!!!! I have 5 kids and seems the only way for a smooth morning is a perfect world! organisation skills, coffee these too!!

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