You’re trying to hurry the family out the door to start the day. And everyone is running late. Your oldest kid slept late. Your daughter can’t find her flute. Your son’s calculator and math homework are missing. Ugh. You just need to get.them.out.the.door.
Ever had a morning like this? Or ten mornings like this?
With the school year approaching, this is the best time to create some new routines that will help the school year go more smoothly. These routines will make mornings, especially when the school year starts, easier. However, they will help more than just mornings. These routines will help keep kids on top of their assignments, make study time more efficient, keep the house tidier (yes!), and make sure everyone gets a decent night’s sleep.
But, you don’t need to wait until school starts to implement these routines. In fact, you shouldn’t. Summer tends to be a bit lazier with fewer obligations. Use a few minutes of that time to put these new routines in place! This will also allow you to fine tune the routines before school starts.
A drop zone is a designated space where you drop items that you bring into your home – keys, shoes, backpacks, lunch bags, etc. If you have a designated space, these items stay corralled. It also means that you always know where to find these items later. This is a huge plus when you’re running late and need to get out the door fast.
If you look on Pinterest, your home will almost immediately feel inadequate. While some people have the time and space to create a beautiful mudroom, most of us do not. Growing up, the drop zone for backpacks in my house was right next to the front door. I dropped it there when I got home, put it there (fully packed for the next day) before I went to bed, and picked it up from there when I left for school in the morning.
Spend a few minutes thinking – What items end up spread all over your house? Which items are you always hunting for? School items that tend to end up everywhere include backpacks, lunch bags, water bottles, and school forms. Create a spot for these items, preferably near the main door that you use or main living space. Hit up the dollar store, Target, or Ikea for cheap baskets or bins to help corral all your kids’ stuff.
Kids need a quiet space in which to study. In a perfect world, we would all have enough space for a beautiful study. However, that study space might be the kitchen table, that weird extra space in the hall landing (maybe that’s just my house), or it rotates as rooms become available
This study space should be quiet, distraction-free, and have necessary supplies. While you’re back-to-school shopping, pick up an extra box of pens, pencils, markers, and filler paper. Snag some glue and a pair of scissors. You can also shop your own house and find the random school supplies left from last year. Place them in a box or bin and you’re set. You can also create a caddy that moves around the house as various rooms become available.
You don’t need school to start to set up and use a planner. (Psst – you should also model planer use yourself. Make sure your kids see you writing items down and checking your own planner.) Find a planer NOW that your teen wants to use. While the one the school hands out is fine, there are WAY better ones available. The Academic Planner from Order Out of Chaos is my favorite. (Full disclosure – This is my affiliate link. If you click on the link and buy an item, I earn a small commission. It won’t cost you anything. I only recommend products I use and love! Thanks for your support! ) If you want to wait until school starts, download my free planner pages and use them for the next few weeks.
Have your teen write down all of his obligations for the next month – camp, church, parties, etc. If your teen has a job, be sure to add his work schedule as well. When school starts, sit down with him for the first few weeks and make sure he is writing down homework and school assignments. Check out my post on planner use for more detailed directions and my Pinterest board for ideas.
Ahh summertime, when the alarm clock gets a break. However, those first weeks back at school can be bru-tal! So many kids come into school bleary-eyed and unfocused.
You can slowly get your kiddos ready for school wake-up times. Set a bedtime and wake-up time just a bit earlier than when they are currently going to bed. Each week (or every few days if school starts soon), move that bedtime and wake-up time 30 minutes earlier. While you may not get your teen up at 5:30 AM before school starts, those first few weeks back won’t be as much of a shock to the system.
If implementing all these seem overwhelming, pick 1 or 2 that you think would make the most difference OR would be the easiest to put in place. Let me know how it goes in the comments below!
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