INSIDE: The school morning routine that helps me to stay on track Monday through Friday. This is the first post in a series about routines that help me survive the school week. Includes a FREE printable to help you create school routines that work for you too!
It takes a lot to get through the school week. There’s packed lunches, after-school clubs and homework. School trips, gym kit and clean uniforms. Breakfasts, dinners, early nights and the school run. And that’s without keeping up with all the housework, laundry and all the other errands we need to run too!
So how do we get to Friday without feeling frazzled and exhausted? How do we make sure their homework gets done on time? That we don’t forget when gym day is or when to take in donations for the school raffle? How do we make sure they have a clean uniform every Monday morning and get to school on time?
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By using routines!
My youngest, Harrison, is now in his fourth year of school and every year I try to find new ways to help us get through the school week. The post-it notes on the front door, notes in my diary and reminders on my phone help, but the one thing guaranteed to keep us organised (and sane) Monday through Friday are our routines.
Helping me to remember what I need to do each day, they make sure I don’t forget anything – most days at least! They stop me from leaving the house feeling like a hot, stressed-out mess and they help me to get things done so that come the weekend, I’m free to spend time with my boys. They also stop my Sunday evenings from being a mad rush where I’m trying to get everything sorted for the week ahead.
So what are the routines that keep me on the straight and narrow?
Well, that’s what this post – and the two that follow – are all about! Today I’m sharing with you the first of three routines that help me survive the school week. Part two is all about my after-school routine and in part three I share the weekend routine that sets me up for my week ahead. So be sure to check out these posts too!
Below is the routine I use to make sure Harrison gets to school before that bell goes. I’m also sharing my top tips on how to create a school morning routine that works for you. PLJUS, I’ve created a FREE printable for you to download so you can easily create your own school morning routine too! You’ll find it in my Subscriber’s Resource Library. Find out how to gain access at the bottom of this post.
My school morning routine…
If you want the start of the school day to be easier to manage, a morning routine is key. Not only will it help you leave the house on time, but you’ll also be dropping them off with energy left to tackle the rest of your day. It’s a win-win!
The school morning routine is the routine that helps me get breakfast on the table, the lunch packed, Harrison dressed and us out the door by 8.35am. And if I’m lucky, most mornings I’ll have time to put dry shampoo through my hair and throw on some make-up too!
- 5am-7am: I’m usually up somewhere between 5am and 6am depending on how tired I was the night before. This is my little pocket of ‘me time’ before everyone else gets up. I’ll journal, have my cup of coffee, read and do a little work on my blog. This helps make me feel a little accomplished before the day has even started.
- 7am-7.30am: Breakfast and showers for everyone. I usually have my breakfast on the go whilst making Harrison’s packed lunch. He’s gluten-free like me so I prefer to make lunch for him. I set the oven timer to go at 8.30am.
- 7.30am-8am: It usually takes Harrison the whole half-hour to get dressed, he gets so distracted! I get dressed too, dry my hair and put on a load of washing.
- 8am-8.30am: If Harrison has reading to do, this is when we do it. If I get time I’ll also do a little ironing during this half an hour too. Sometimes, if he’s ready in time we’ll watch an episode of whatever series we’re working through on Netflix. Right now, it’s Merlin!
- 8.30am: The oven timer goes off telling Harrison it’s time to stop what he’s doing and put his shoes on. Setting the alarm five minutes before we need to leave the house is such a life-saver. It stops me clock watching and it really helps us get out the door on time – most days anyway!
Creating a school morning routine that works for you…
First, download my FREE School Routines printable (find it in my Resource Library here…). Then, starting with the time you need to leave the house, work backwards. Think about all the things you need to do before setting off on the school run and add them in the order that suits your family’s needs. Use my routine above to help you if you need to.
School morning routine hacks:
#1. | Allow plenty of time
Things always take longer than you expect them to (especially when it’s a 7-year-old getting dressed!), so allow plenty of time for each task.
#2. | Build in a buffer
Leave a few minutes free before ‘shoes-on‘ just in case you need it. This gives you time for unpredicted sibling squabbles, melt-downs and last-minute trips to the toilet! That little buffer, even if it’s just five minutes, will make all the difference.
#3. | Road test your routine
Once you have a routine you’re happy with on paper, road test it for a few days. Figure out what works, tweak it as necessary and then stick with it.
#4. | Stay flexible
That being said, be flexible too. Your needs may change so don’t be afraid to switch up your routine to suit instead of ditching it because it no longer works.
#5. | Think ahead
#6. | Use screen time wisely
Save TV or iPad time for when they are dressed. It can be a great bargaining tool; “the quicker you get ready, the more screen time you can have!”
#7. | Use music to help you
Have a song for getting dressed, a song for getting their teeth done and a song for ‘shoes-on‘. Challenge them to finish each task before the song finishes. Harrison loves racing against the ‘Everything is Awesome’ song from the Lego movie! Want more ideas of what songs to try? Check out this post from Made in a Pinch – it has 15 upbeat songs guaranteed to give you a great start to the day!
#8. | Set a timer
Use a timer to signal when it’s ‘shoes-on‘ time. No matter how organised you might be, it can all go to pot in those last few minutes. Having a timer set to go off five minutes before you need to leave is a life-saver!
Get up early!
The one thing guaranteed to make your school morning routine work? Getting up early! It can be tempting to hit that snooze button but getting up early really does make ALL the difference. I don’t know about you, but those days I do lay in, Harrison takes even longer to get ready. It’s like he knows I’m in a rush, so he goes even slower! The fact we’re running late doesn’t seem to make him get ready any faster and I usually end up shouting and getting stressed because I’m cross at myself for laying in!
There’s usually at least one day a week where I don’t get up on time (it’s just so tempting to stay in bed)…but the days I lay in until 7.30am are a mad unpleasant rush. So although some mornings it’s a struggle, I try really hard to be up and doing each morning by 7am at the latest.
No matter how much time I allow, it still takes Harrison about 45 minutes to tie his tie. The dog frequently runs off with his shoes and I regularly grab his water bottle thinking I’ve done it up only to knock it over just as the buzzer is going off. But having a school morning routine helps me deal with all those things and feel like I still (almost) have it together. And it can definitely make you feel like you have it together too!
My school morning routine…
There you have it! My school morning routine and how to create one that works for you. Try creating your own and see how much easier your school mornings become to manage. Need a little help? I’ve created a printable to make things easier for you! You’ll find it in my FREE Resource Library.
Available only to my subscribers, all you need to do to gain access is sign up to receive my emails and I’ll send you the password. Inside the Resource Library, you’ll find a ton of cheatsheets, checklists, printables and workbooks all designed to help my A Simple and Contented Life community create a family life they LOVE!
Simply enter your details below and I’ll send you the password to gain access right away! Once subscribed, you’ll also receive weekly emails from me packed full of motivation and inspiration.
That’s it for this post! Do you have a school morning routine? Has this post inspired you to create one? Let me know in the comments below!
Until next time…
Like what you’ve read? You’ll LOVE these posts too!
- My After-School Routine – My Survival Guide to Getting Through the School Week
- My Weekend Routine – My Survival Guide to Getting Through the School Week
- Improve Your Child’s Behaviour – My Foolproof Behaviour Chart