8.24.2009

{ organize ME - the back to school edition }

How are school mornings in your home? Crazed and chaotic, or calm and cheerful? Plan ahead to send your {rested} schoolchildren out the door in a happy mood with a healthy breakfast.

I've been talking to my friends recently about how we have been trying to get our kids on a {school-time} bedtime & wakeup routine. This summer Sam's sleep time has been 9:30 or later until 7:30+am. But now she needs to be at school at 7:40AM and rested...so we've been gradually putting her into bed earlier & earlier and waking her earlier. The first day of school is no time for a drastic adjustment of household sleep schedules. Instead, ease children back into a school year routine gradually. During the last two weeks of summer, re-introduce a school year bedtime. Begin waking late sleepers earlier and earlier, closer to the hour they'll need to rise when school begins.

Here are some things I do to help tame the morning madness:

Each evening, I think ahead to the following morning. I set the breakfast table and get a healthy school lunch & snack packed. I set Sam's alarm, we pick out an outfit together and lay it out. I put school stuff and after-school gear in a bag by the front door.

Cut time in the kitchen: create a menu plan and never again wonder "What's for lunch or dinner?"

We set up 2 schoolwork stations (one in the kitchen and one on her desk in my office with extra supplies).

Limit after-school activities....kids need time to be at home and have free play and downtime.

Plan a special back to school dinner or breakfast (or both) and spend time talking about the new school year and what your expectations are {kindness to others, respecting & listening to the teachers, etc.}

What do you do to make the school morning routines go smoothly at your house?

2 comments:

PS~Erin said...

We are sleepers over here in our house, so my daughter's first year of school last year was a rude awakening. I was letting her sleep until the very last moment bc I thought she needed it, but then we'd rush, rush, rush to get to school on time (and sometimes even have to drive, when we live a block away). I started waking her up 15 minutes earlier and it all changed. We had pleasant mornings, with time to casually walk to school. It made the biggest difference. Our first day was yesterday. So far, so good!

Kotori said...

I try to get my kids up earlier than I think they need (one hour). I go into their rooms 15 minutes before they need to get up and turn on the lights, open curtains, etc and tell them they need to start 'thinking" of getting up. They have to answer me and ask for a few more minutes before I'll leave (that way I know they are waking up). Then I go back in after 15 and they have to fully get up. It's like a little snooze button for them - I know I like feeling like I've stolen a few extra minutes in bed.

Yesterday was our first day and it went well. Keep your fingers crossed for the rest of the year, though!