It seems like each year summer fades even quicker than the one before, and in a blink of an eye the school year is upon us. For many this time of year brings endless tears as our babies start preschool or Kindergarten for the first time. Even harder though for parents is letting go, and helping their little ones transition to school five days a week. Ironically it’s usually the parents though that are more upset about this change than the kids! Because early school mornings are the worst!
Not only is it hard to see our children grow up, school is a whole new world! There’s homework (even in preschool), calendars of events, snack days, party planning (if you are a room mom), and of course the dreaded early wake up. I use mornings in the summer to get my workouts in and some work done before our little ones wake up. So when the school year rolls around, it’s difficult to get back into the early morning groove. And heartbreaking to give up that blissful alone time in the morning.
In order to save my sanity, and a lot of time, here’s what we did to help shift our family to a five day a week school schedule. This was really helpful when our first daughter started VPK, and now that we have two lunches to pack plus two little girls to get dressed and out the door, it’s more important than ever!
top 5 tips for easier school mornings
1. Get up before the kids. That’s right, time to rise and shine at least a half-hour (if you can) before your children. I find when I’m rolling out of bed at the same time as the kids, I am not fully awake and positive to start the day. When I wake earlier I can have a coffee, tea, or ACV with water and get myself dressed, and it makes everything much calmer and smoother. This is important in helping to not react when the little grumpmeisters wake up!
2. Make lunch the night before. This is really important for us, making lunches is one of my least favorite chores. So I’ve asked our girls to pick out some of their lunch fixings the night before. It really does make the morning a breeze!
3. Make coffee the night before. I rarely drank coffee before kids, now it’s something I’m trying not to become addicted to. Again. If only we had Rosie the robot from the Jetson’s on hand to make it for us plus unload the dishwasher in the mornings! Either buy a Keurig or make this the night before along with the lunches and you’re gold!
4. Pick out school clothes the night before. Regardless of uniforms or regular school clothes, picking out clothes (at least for girls) can be filled with drama. So help your little ones lay out all of their clothes and shoes the night before! This way there’s no doubt in the mornings, and you always know where their shoes are!
5. Create a space for backpacks, lunchboxes, and school papers. Seriously, school papers multiply like Gremlins when wet. I’m astounded by how many rainforests are destroyed each year from our school alone. Have an inbox or an organizational center in your home for all things school related. That way when school starts your house won’t be completely overtaken by backpacks and folders and papers oh my! And if you’d like please print out my weekly and monthly organizational calendars! The weekly calendar has a slot for meal plans, car pooling and more!
Happy back to school days folks! Cherish your last weekend of sleeping in! And please don’t forget to follow along on Facebook for more parenting stories.
Did you like this post? Then read Do This and Your Kids Will Wake Up Happy!
Also check out my money saving tips for back to school shopping!
And read what my tween things every kid needs for back to school!
YES to all of these! I hate making lunches, so it’s imperative that I do it the night before for happier mornings. I just got a coffee pot that you can program, so I’ll definitely be making my coffee the night before too 🙂
Herchel S says
I do all of those and yes! It makes a huge difference 🙂 I also try to set the table for breakfast before the kids wake up.
I wish we were sleeping in but Des doesn’t seem to know how to do that yet. There’s hope, because Scarlet does.
Making lunches the night before seems key for us. I can’t seem to get up before the kids but Cassidy can sometimes!
YES! these are awesome tips!
Jill Ceder says
These will come in handy as my kid goes off to school for the first time. The pre-prep sounds exhausting but I know it is what needs to be done for more sanity 🙂
What a great and useful list. This will be my first year getting two kids off to school. I’m really hoping to start the year off with great habits so that we can all have enjoyable mornings together that don’t feel overly hectic. Thanks for sharing!!
Janine Huldie says
Great tips and you are so right as my baby is starting Kindergarten in less than a week and a half now and I am definitely more upset and shell-shocked by this thought than she ever could be. But do appreciate all the advice I can get, so thank you so much Kristen 😉
Tarynn Playle says
These are great tips!! I especially like #5! I remember the ridiculous amount of paper I had when I was in school. Having a place to put it all is genius!
Great tips, Kristen! Making meals before hand is a big time-saver!
I love the Gremlins in water reference. I really know I should do everything the night before but I fizzle out. I actually do best in the morning – if I wake up significantly earlier than everyone. But if that doesn’t happen, then the morning is mad chaos. Congrats with back to school. We start again in two weeks.
Nicole Johnson says
These tips are GOLD! I have three in school this year and one little one and have learned (after several years) laying clothing out (with shoes) is important. For us socks were always an issues (finding matches) so those are laid out as well and when winter rolls around we have all our boots (which we’ve made sure are dry the night before along with mittens, etc) and other winter stuff ready and waiting. So many times we’ve had one glove. We actually have a bin for everything and each child has one. Great post!! Shared on Twitter.
i’m terrible – i do like NONE of this because i feel so slammed at night and just want to sit down! but all very good ideas!!!! i do try to get the clothes part down at night tho!!!!
These are all great tips for all ages
All great tips! We homeschool, so even though we don’t have to go through the mad rush of trying to get out of the house early, we still practice most of the things you mentioned just to have a good start to each day.
Those are great tips! I don’t need to leave the house to be professional anymore so most of these apply to my other half. He also is the only one who drinks coffee – I drink tea, which definitely needs to be made the morning of. BUT I do like the idea of waking up earlier. I am just such a lazy pain the ass that I end up never making it OUT of bed. I end up on my phone and then everything just goes to hell 🙂 I need to keep the electronics out of my life for at least an hour each morning, I think! Happy preschool and kindergarten to your babies!!
You are right it is all in the preparation and even with preparation it can get pretty crazy around our home! Getting 4 kids dressed and out the door is intense no matter what! Happy back-to-school for you guys 🙂
Prepping everything the night before is always my go-to! If I ever try to wait and get ready in the morning instead, something ALWAYS happens and I’m either a frantic, anxious mess by the time I get out the door or late.
Shann Eva says
Great tips! I especially like the ones about getting everything ready the night before. I’m going to make that a priority so we’re not scrambling in the morning. Thank you!
Allie Smith says
Great tips, but I struggle with making lunch the night before. The kids would always complain that their sandwiched tasted “weird.” And the gremlin papers – ugh!
Great tips! The husband and I really need to get back in the groove of waking up before the kids. The day really is SO much more productive that way. And I’m definitely on board with picking outfits and packing lunches the night before.
J. Ivy Boyter says
I make lunches for the whole week on Sunday and get waters ready too. It makes our whole week go a lot more smoothly. We do the rest of your tips too!
Kristen Hewitt says
wow great ideas!!!
Jennifer Ostroski says
These are all so good! I seriously can’t believe how many papers they bring home as well. First went into kindergarten last year and I had NO IDEA I would need an organizational system to keep everything straight!!!
Tiffany Haywood says
Yes!! Having a routine and schedule makes things SO much easier. I always try to get as much done the night before as possible and get them showered in a rotating schedule helps with my crew as well. Ex: the one who got up first today gets to get up second tomorrow.. it’s the little things 😉
Kristen Hewitt says
Oh that’s a great idea!