Are your school mornings filled with chaotic scrambles, frazzled nerves, and frantic searches? Say “good-bye” to stressful mornings with these four simple routines!
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Getting kids ready for school (or anything!) can be stressful. “Let’s go!” “Where are your shoes??” “We’re going to be late!!”
Do any of those sound familiar?
Last year, when Aidan was in half-day preschool, those were already familiar refrains in our house. And I hated how frazzled and grumpy our school mornings felt.
When he started kindergarten this year, I knew I needed to get some better systems in place to prepare for all-day-every-day school.
I wanted to send him off — both physically and spiritually — with healthy, filling breakfasts and a short devotion.
I wanted to prepare healthy lunches for him.
And I wanted calmer, smoother school mornings. I wanted to feel organized and prepared, not frantic and forgetful.
I spent some time thinking, brainstorming, and planning what we were going to need and came up with a new school prep routine.
This school routine is actually comprised of four different prep routines — weekend prep, afternoon prep, evening prep, and morning prep.
And while granted, we’re still in the infancy stage of our school prep years, so far this system has worked beautifully for us.
Take a look at what I do (and see what I’ve been making for breakfasts and lunches!), then PLEASE feel free to offer some suggestions from your own school routines in the comments at the end. I would love to hear from other, more seasoned, mommas!
MY STRESS-FREE SCHOOL MORNINGS ROUTINES
So much of what I do as a wife, mom, and homemaker seems to revolve around food. Do you find that to be true at your house, too, or is it just us??
The need for food is constant (obviously), and since I try to prepare mostly real food, that takes a fair amount of planning and prepping.
So, at some point on the weekend (usually during my weekly planning session), I make a list of breakfast and lunch ideas for the whole week. I don’t assign them to a specific day, necessarily, but I do make sure I have a week’s worth of possibilities.
After I have a list of ideas, I will spend some time prepping — whipping up some make-ahead breakfasts, preparing sandwiches, packing up lunch items, etc.
Because I’m a stay-at-home mom and I’m home during the day most days, whatever I don’t get done on the weekend, I schedule for other times throughout the week. Lately, I have been designating Monday mornings as my food prep day, and that has been working well!
Here are some of the foods I’ve been prepping for breakfasts and lunches:
- Baked oatmeal
- Regular oatmeal (I make a big batch and warm up individual servings in the mornings)
- Overnight oats
- Baked pancakes
- Hard-Boiled Eggs (if you’re not doing it in the Instant Pot, you’re doing it wrong. *wink*)
(Aidan’s school is “nut-aware,” so I can’t do anything peanut or nut-related. Which put a crimp in my plans, but I TOTALLY understand. If it were my child who was allergic, I would want all the parents to be conscious of it, too.)
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Whole wheat muffins
- Whole wheat crackers with cheese
- Deli meat sandwiches
- Pizza Bagels
- Chicken salad
- Tortilla Pinwheels
I have the privilege and blessing of being home when Aidan gets home from school, and I treasure our after-school routine. I use it to both connect with him and hear about his day and take care of business for the next day.
The first thing I do when he comes home is get him settled at the kitchen counter with a snack. Then, I go through his bags as he tells me about his day.
First, I empty his lunch bag, putting his containers in the dishwasher and his ice pack in the freezer for the next day.
Next, I go through his schoolwork that comes home. He usually tells me all about each one — what he’s learning, how he did on it, etc. I love that he shares so much with me at this point, so I do all I can to encourage that.
I then look through his binder that has important papers, notices, and homework. I sort through them right away, putting anything that needs to be completed in a special spot on the counter to deal with after supper.
After a short break, Aidan does his homework.
And his backpack goes back by the door, ready for the morning.
The key to calmer, smoother, happier school mornings is getting as much ready as possible the night before.
Therefore, as part of my evening routine, I…
- Make the next day’s lunch — non-perishable items go into the lunch bag and refrigerated parts go in a special “lunch” area of the fridge
- Pick out his clothes (or, rather, supervise while he picks them out)
- Find shoes — This isn’t usually an issue because I have a bin by the door where the kids’ shoes go when they take them off, and Aidan is very good about that habit.
- Program my coffee!! (This is the coffeepot I have and love.)
- Look at next day’s plan so I know what’s coming up (you can read about my weekly planning routine in last week’s post)
**For more about creating an effective evening routine, I HIGHLY recommend Crystal Paine’s 14-day Make Over Your Evenings course!
Because I’ve done as much as I can in the evenings and on the weekends, there’s not much left to do in the morning!
But here is our morning school routine:
- Eat breakfast — the boys eat while I read a Bible story/devotion to them (this is what we’re currently reading)
- Get dressed
- Brush teeth
- Pack refrigerated/frozen parts of his lunch
- Go potty (I have a kindergartener, remember 😉 )
- Put shoes on & grab the bags!
** By the way, my morning routine starts about an hour earlier with a cup of coffee and my quiet time. (I have tips for keeping a consistent quiet time with small kids in this post!)
** And if you would like to learn more about how to have smoother, healthier, and more productive mornings, I recommend Crystal’s Make Over Your Mornings course.
That’s our prep routine for stress-free school mornings that has been working well for us.
Is there anything you might want to incorporate into your own routine? What do you do differently that works well for you? Let’s help each other! (Scroll down to leave your thoughts.)
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