TALK BACK: Ready... Set... SCHOOL!

For parents of school age children, most of us are beginning to early the bedtimes, gather crayons and backpacks, and decide what is going to start going into the lunch boxes again! There is a sweet sadness as I say goodbye to the lazier days of summer schedules and start to think about the ways in which I will have to be on top of my game a little more.

Okay. CONFESSION. I don't have great morning routines. Or routines in particular. So this is my unabashed and sincere cry for help to those who manage well the teeth brushing, outfit picking, homework finishing, and breakfast feeding for children as they head out the door for some serious elementary academics.

Help.... I know you are out there somewhere, Magic Morning Routine Mamas!! How do you manage your morning without chaos?


  1. Hello,your blog is very beautiful.
    This looks very interesting and do want to spend some time looking it over.

  2. We don't have kids in school yet, but we do have the craziness of going to church for three hours each week.

    I find mornings go more smoothly if I lay breakfast dishes/cereal out on the table the night before, lay out their clothes for the next day, and have the diaper bag packed and ready to go. When I'm on top of things, I have a little pre-bedtime routine where I do those things to be ready for the morning.

  3. You're probably not going to want to hear this any more than I want to write it. But what worked for me was getting up earlier. I'm most likely to turn into Impatient Crabby Mommy when I'm rushed.

    So I lay out the kids clothes the night before, I pack my daughter's lunch before I go to bed, I set up a time table in my head. (I should be up by 7:00. Kids up by 7:30, if not before. Breakfast at 8:00. Head to car at 8:25. Leave house at 8:30.) And then I add at least half an hour onto that, to allow for life's continual chaos.

  4. I am not a morning person and refuse to get up earlier so here's what worked for us: backpacks are packed and clothes laid out the night before. After we wake our nine-year-old up in the morning, he follows the routine we have posted on his bathroom wall. We talked it over with him and he decided what would be the five most important things to do to get ready each day and then I turned it into a bright mini-poster decorated with clip art (that's the extent of my craftiness).

    The five things he picked were:

    1. Get dressed
    2. Eat breakfast and put away dishes
    3. Brush my teeth and hair
    4. Put my shoes and socks on
    5. Double check my backpack

    It's worked pretty well since we started it last year. The best trick with him is to let him come up with the ideas of what needs to be done and then he's more willing to follow it. We haven't been late since we did this.

    Of course, I don't know how this works with younger kids, but I like just being able to say "Do your list" instead of nagging him over each individual activity.

  5. I have 6, 4, and 3 year old sons. Morning routines are new to us this year, but we had to have one since Mommy went back to work part-time this year and 2 of the 3 are now in school.

    They have 3 things they do without reminders or nagging.
    1) Take off your Pj's and put on the clothes I laid out for you- including your own shoes.
    2) Put your Pjs away.
    3) Feed the dog if it's your day.
    Only after all 3 things are done should they come to me and tell me, "I'm ready." Then, if they've truly stayed focused enough to do all 3 things without being nagged, they get to pick something from the "1st time jar." It's a jar of items (sticks of gum, marbles, dominoes, magentic letters, plastic army men, easter eggs with stickers inside) that they get to choose from for doing something the 1st time they're asked.

    Even my 3 year old is getting the hang of it, although, admittedly, I do at times prompt him with, "are you putting your shoes on the 1st time or do I need to ask again?" He gets the clue- 1st time- and it usually puts him right back on track. I've found that just getting them to do these 3 simple things clears up a lot of morning negativity. No one likes to hear me nag them 10 times to PLEASE GET DRESSED.

    Then we enjoy breakfast all together before we're off to school.

  6. ummm...i on't thave much.
    obviously (maybe) tv, computer, video games no matter what.
    getting up before any children.
    they come to me awake instead of them coming to my bed adn opening my eye lids.
    having a cup of coffee in the quiet BEFORE they come down is huge.
    but i still hate that i have to do it.
    other than that...
    i am running around like a crazy woman every morning. so i am ready for some tips too!

  7. I have an 8 year old 3rd grade(drama queen) daughter & an 11 year old 5th grade(head in the clouds) son. They have NEVER been late to school. Our morning routine goes like this. I set my alarm for 6:40. I go to the bathroom & brush my teeth. I set my kids alarms for 6:50 they have to make their beds, go to the bathroom and get dressed. I kiss them good morning and head down stairs to make their breakfast. While they are eating I check the lunch menu and prepare lunches and snacks if needed. I eat breakfast myself at about 7:30ish and wash the dishes go up and get dressed while they are packing up. We are out of the house by 8:00-8:10.


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