It’s that time again. We’re heading to Target to buy folders and pencils, grabbing every last thing on that school supply list. We’re scrambling for breakfast and haphazardly packing lunches. It’s a busy season for families. The beginning of a new school year can bring lots of excitement for kids and parents, but it can also bring lots of chaos as we relearn our school morning routine.
The most hectic mornings are the ones where everyone is running late and no one seems to know what’s going on. Implementing a regular morning routine or checklist can be a game changer for your family. If it seems overwhelming to think up a routine for your crazy household, be encouraged. It can be very simple and very helpful. Keep this in mind: three simple things, every single morning.
And when your kids get home from school, make sure to ask them these conversation starting questions!
Breakfast should be part of every school morning routine. We’ve been hearing about “the most important meal of the day” since we were kids. A healthy breakfast has been linked to higher attention in classes, better behavior, and even positive weight loss for some. Experience has taught us that a day that starts with breakfast is usually better than a day without. On top of the health benefits, a time for breakfast also allows your child to slow down before they head into a full day.
This doesn’t mean you have to cook a Pioneer Woman-level breakfast every morning. If that brings you joy, go for it. If that stresses you out just thinking about cooking eggs every morning, try some make ahead options. Or you can create a “breakfast station” in your fridge full of hard-boiled eggs, yogurt, fruit, etc. There are lots of options for a healthy, filling, easy breakfast before school.
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Moms and dads around the world have helped families start their day off right with a variety of breakfast options. Be those moms and dads. Make breakfast a positive, but convenient experience.
When you’re done with breakfast, you can jump into putting together lunches for the day. Some families prefer to do this task at night, but there are a couple helpful ways to make the process go quickly in the morning. One of the best ideas for easy lunch packing is another station area. Create space in your fridge and pantry for easy access to food items. This allows kids to build their own lunches and get excited about making their own decisions. Discuss quantities ahead of time, but let them have some freedom with what they choose.
Another way to improve your lunch-packing system is to make up a lunch meal plan. Help your kids get out of the sandwich rut and give them daily alternatives for healthy options. Let them help you make these meal plans. Ask them to get creative with lunch items they’d like to take to school and give them some ownership ahead of time. When it comes time to pack lunches, they know they’ll find food they like because they contributed to the planning process!
Busy mornings often lead to forgotten assignments or unsigned permission slips. Before you leave the house, do a back pack walkthrough. What homework needs to be in the bag? Is there anything that needs to be signed before we leave? What extra items might I need for today? If possible, briefly oversee each of your children as they check their bags. Walk through the day ahead – talk about what’s coming up at school, what they’re doing afterward, and what they might need for a field trip or special event. When your family feels prepared for the day, stress and chaos decrease significantly!
Mornings don’t have to be chaotic. Believe it or not, there might even be a way to look forward to the start of the day once you have a routine in place. Routines and checklists are nothing magical. They simply help you and your family know what to expect each day. This gives us a sense of security and belonging when everyone is doing their three simple things, every single day.
Make checklists from templates on Pinterest and put them on each child’s door. Vary the routine when it’s not working or getting stale. In short, find a way to incorporate routine into your school-day mornings. September is coming! Let it be the month of getting settled into a new school morning routine and tackling a new school year!