Ready, Set, Back to School Routines
School is starting soon in New York and in many other states, it has already started. And there is no secret millions of moms are jumping for joy to push their kids out the door and onto the bus or into the carpool lane. It’s time to start preparing yourself, your kids and your home for the early mornings, homework and daily back to school routines.
I like to put routines in place in the mornings and evenings for at least 3 weeks prior so I am not running around frantically preparing the kids back to school routines and school time sleeping hours.
As you start to think about the ways you want to prepare and get organized for the year, I have 3 tips to get you started on setting those back to school routines.
Related: Back to School Shopping Checklist
1. Set the Rules
A part of having routines is making them clear, making them visible and adapting as the year goes along. Your rules/routines should be age appropriate and easy to follow no matter the age.
Aside from just the back to school routines, you want to set clear guidelines in advance of what you expect from your children throughout the school year.
- Do you expect your child to empty their own school bag
- Will the kids watch TV on school mornings?
- Will you limit TV time in the evenings?
- When do you want homework done?
- Do you want them to pack their own lunches each morning?
“Morning is an important time of day because how you spend your morning can often tell you what kind of day you are going to have.” – Lemony Snicket
The importance of the morning routine is simple, you do want to keep repeating yourself every five minutes when drop off is only a small 30-minute window. Although you might end up repeating yourself regardless, having a routine will let kids feel they are responsible. My children love the feeling of being able to do things on their own. In our checklist I aim to put things in the order I see fit for smaller children like brushing teeth and eating before getting dressed (no spills on uniforms).
Mornings will be a lot easier when you have guidelines in place to help your kids become independent.
Use this free printable to start the year off with a morning routine included it a blank one to fill in the checklist as necessary.
Afterschool is always up in the air for us but as I hope to get more regulated in our schedule I do have a plan in place. Every year we make an after-school routine but by the time December comes with new activities, we don’t always stick to them. However, being that I work from home now I hope to be able to be more strict on these.
One thing however that is non-negotiable in my household is homework & independent reading. We make sure that homework is done right away and the rest of the afternoon depends on the day but it’s essentially all made up of the same things. One thing I can say that really helps us in having a designated area for homework that’s free of distractions.
Homework Station Essentials
- Safety Scissors
- Extra Paper
If you have a closet in the area you plan to set up, try using an over the door organizer to store important paperwork, extra paper, and materials.
* Basically anything you think the kids will need to complete homework on daily basis.
Here is our afternoon routine feel free to print and share this post with your mom friends to use as well.
For starters, if your kids have been going to sleep late all summer start pushing up bedtime 10 minutes at a time at least 3 weeks ahead of school start. This will make things easier for you when 10 pm bedtime should really by 8 pm by the first day of school.
Here is our bedtime routine feel free to print and share this post with your mom friends to use as well.
2. Prepare the Night Before
You’ve set your rules and you’ve printed your checklists, but how to be successful while doing it? Prepare for your morning and day the night before, this will help you not be a scattered brain every morning. I adapted this routine when my oldest was in first grade and my daughter in preschool because I found it to just be easier to manage life this way.
Here’s my plan for the Kids:
- Set out uniforms
- Set up backpacks with homework folder and reading log signed
- Wash and Prep Reusable Water Bottles
- Pack lunchboxes and leave in the fridge
- Reset homework station
Here’s my plan for Me and Hubby:
- Clean coffee pot and prep morning coffee
- Meal plan breakfast
- Put away leftovers
- Pack lunch & snacks
- Prep briefcase and laptop bags
Making the morning routine apart of the bedtime routine is much simpler for us as it helps to know things are already done. Because of this, we can move efficiently in the morning with fewer headaches for mom and dad.
3. Mentally Prepare
Start to prepare yourself and your children mentally for back to school time and the routines by introducing them slowly. If you have a child that is shy or anxious you want to make sure you sit down and have a conversation with them about what to expect and first day jitters.
My kids love these books about getting ready for back to school and first day jitters, new friends and being introduced to new teachers. Make sure your kids know that school is a safe space and you will be there to pick them up. This provides them the reassurance they will need on that first day and will help boost their school readiness and confidence.
Believe it or not even older kids need a mental reset for back to school. If they have been waking up at 10 am daily it won’t be easy getting them up and out the door by 7 am without preparing ahead of time.
And what about the parents? How should you prepare? You should begin to change your morning habits if you’re not an early riser. It’ll be helpful to read articles and tips for getting ready and learn new ways to stay prepared.
Do you have any back to school tips or routines that work for your family?