It’s the end of January and that means one thing…
Schools back! Don’t panic– back to school doesn’t have to mean one great big rush!
But it is time to start to get back into some of those school morning routines.
My aim for school mornings is to leave the house on time (ideally with no meltdowns!). This is a hard task sometimes, but I’ve found a few little tricks that definitely increase my success rate.
1. Command Centre
A household command centre is a great way to display your calendar events, meals, and activities. This is a place that everyone can go to know what’s going on, and when it’s happening. My kids are young and not ready for digital organisation options yet, so they need to be able to see what’s going on each day. Our command centre is in the kitchen so everyone can see it. For more information to set up one for your family check out an earlier blog.
2. Visual routines
Create a visual list of tasks and routines for your kids to complete. It’s a fun way for younger children to complete necessary daily tasks and gain independence. A visual list saves you time having to verbally list and explain regular tasks. My son still uses a visual routine each day and it means I don’t need to nag about what he has to do. In a quick glance, I can see all his tasks for his daily routine that he’s done!
Here are some ideas to put on a visual routine:
- Check schedule
- Clothes ready including hat
- Pack lunch & drink bottle
- Make bed
- Brush & do hair
- Brush teeth
- Put shoes away
- Put lunchbox on the sink
- Empty bag (notes or work in a box or pocket)
- Put bag away
- Change out of uniform
- Do homework
- Eat afternoon tea
3. Create Remindable tags
I love using little reminder tags. They’re quick, easy, and ensure your kids see a reminder or to-do task. These tags can go on your child’s school bag, lunch box, or anything that might get seen a lot! They help to remind kids to pack their bags at school and make sure they don’t miss anything important (like all that summer holiday homework!).
4. Prepare lunchbox snacks
Save yourself time and send your kids off to school with healthy lunchbox snacks. By preparing bulk snacks ahead of time, you’ll have more time later in the week for other things. The best timing is to prepare healthy snacks the week before school returns. Some of my favourites include homemade muffins, biscuits, bliss balls, chia pudding, and muesli bars in a small container. Choose some long-life options that you can store and use for a while.
5. System for school work
Having a system and place to display work when it comes home from school makes the declutter process a little easier. We store school work on the fridge for a week, then on a Sunday, I move the school work and certificates from the fridge to a pin board in their room. At the end of the month or term, I get them to decide what we are keeping and what can be recycled. Allowing them to share and display the work decreases their attachment to the work overtime, and keeps the clutter build-up minimal.
6. Uniforms & shoes
Without a system, school uniforms and shoes seem to mysteriously become lost when you need them most! To prevent this, we store all the kid’s shoes in a basket at the front door. It’s a central spot for all shoes, and my kids know they don’t belong elsewhere. Now that both kids use the same size socks, we also have a central sock basket. Depending on your family, it might be useful to have a few spots for uniform and essential school clothing and shoes.
Hopefully, you can now feel more motivated to tackle another busy school year. Remember, even the best routines take time and not every school morning will be easy. Feeling prepared does make it easier though!
Looking for ways to simplify your life and create more time? Grab an audio guide with ideas to ‘Better Manage the Juggle’.