Thursday, August 12, 2010

Back to School - Get into the Routine!

Photo Credit: Back to School Writing
in the Public Domain.

So it is that time again.  The kids are going back to school and we are trying to get on a schedule. No more sleeping in and pressure free days.  Here are some of my tips for keeping your sanity on school mornings and after school as well. Get into the routine!

1. Have your kids lay out their clothes the night before. - My kids can literally kill 30 minutes deciding what to wear in the morning.  We cut that wasted time in the morning with this step alone.

2.  Have a place for everything - Having a shoe basket and a place where the kids put their lunch box the day before is a must around here.  That way we aren't running around in the morning looking for that "other shoe."

3.  Have the backpack packed the night before - This is also a time saver in the morning.  Again, no hunting for books, homework, library books, etc. Again, have a place where the backpack goes after homework.

4.  Have a set time that everyone does their homework after school. - This year, all three of my kids will be getting home at different times.  By setting a "homework time" I will ensure that it is a quiet time for everyone to concentrate and get their homework finished.  If you have a younger child who is not yet in school, make this a quiet book time or a time to work with blocks or puzzles.

5. Have a place for homework with all the needed materials. - Your child should be able to sit down and get right to work when it is homework time.  No interruptions to look for a pencil, scissors or a glue stick.  If you don't have a homework table, put together a homework basket full of homework materials (pencil, extra paper, ruler, glue, crayons, scissors, etc.) to work at the kitchen table.

6. Make a night time routine.  This is something that I do all year round, but I have to confess that we are much more scheduled in our nighttime ritual during the school year.  Our bedtime is earlier and our routine is more predictable.  This helps the kids fall asleep at a regular time so that they are adequately rested and ready to learn.

These tips may seem like common sense, and are by no means the only way to do things, but every year I have to get myself back into some sort of routine. I can't promise that every morning will be stress free and run as smoothly as you would like it to, but you just may hold on to your sanity.  Good luck!

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