Mornings can be a time of chaos in the homes of busy families. Everyone is running around trying to get out the door, but someone is always a missing shoe. Cut out the stress, and get everyone to school on time with this morning routine for school checklist.
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Whether your child is an early riser, or it feels impossible to get them moving in the morning. Morning time can get mamas in a funk pretty quickly.
Someone is probably not moving as quickly as needed, another still has not brushed their teeth. You are running late, so breakfast might be a fistful of cereal in the car.
And, let’s not get started on the case of the missing shoes, or the paper that you just now saw that needs to be signed.
Sound familiar? This is an average morning in countless homes.
No wonder you are exhausted and overwhelmed. That is some next level morning intensity.
And, I don’t want you to go another morning with unneeded stress.
That is why you need an easy morning routine for kids that will eliminate the chaos, and help the kids to be accountable too.
So, let’s dive into how to create a morning routine that works for your busy family.
How do I have a good morning routine for school?
The first step in creating a good morning routine for school is to get everyone on the same page.
First things first. You will want to grab your FREE morning routine for school checklist at the bottom of this post. You can either print it out as is, or there is also an editable version included.
That way you can make adjustments as needed for your family.
Next, you will need to sit down with your family to discuss the expectations.
This is critical in getting everyone on board to a smooth morning. By allowing your children to take part in the process they will know exactly what needs to be done to keep everything on schedule.
Be sure to emphasize how it isn’t fun for anyone when you are running around like crazy people, possibly crying and/or screaming, just trying to get to school on time.
Remember, you are a team, and everyone needs to play their part.
You can even set up a reward system for when the kids do everything on the checklist. A big favorite around here is getting to pick the movie for a family movie night, or deciding what to eat for dinner on a weekend evening.
A reward does not have to be anything over the top. Just like your morning routine…keep it simple.
Getting Ready For School In The Morning Checklist
Once you grab your FREE morning routine for school checklist you will notice the tasks that your child needs to accomplish before heading off to school.
- Make their bed
- Get dressed
- Put away dirty clothes
- Eat breakfast
- Brush teeth
- Comb hair
- Put on shoes
- Put on jacket
- Homework in backpack
- Get backpack and lunchbox
- Hugs and kisses
- Go to school
This checklist also comes in a completely editable version as well. You can either print it blank, and write in specific tasks. Or, you can edit it on your computer as well. That way you can make changes as needed.
Be sure to print the checklist, and place it where everyone can see it. You can also laminate it, or put it in a sheet protector as well.
How do you streamline a morning routine?
Another thing that you will want to do is to step back, and assess everything that needs to be done in the morning. And, another big thing to think about is your child’s personality.
Here are a few questions for you to think on:
- Does your child wake up easily, or need a push to wake up?
- Do they like to play and burn off energy in the morning?
- Are they resistant to brushing teeth, going potty, etc.?
- Is there typically something missing like shoes, a school folder, etc.?
By taking the time to step back, and look at the whole picture. You can create a successful morning routine.
It may mean that you need to wake everyone up earlier to burn off energy. Or, make a plan around a child that is not going to wake up willingly.
Another extremely helpful tip is to get you a shoe basket. This does not need to be anything fancy. It just needs to be somewhere to put all of the kid’s shoes.
Be sure to place the basket next to the door that your family uses to enter and exit your home.
Whenever your kids enter the house they must put their shoes in the basket. No exceptions!
This will completely solve the case of the missing shoes. Which is a game changer.
How do I wake up my kid for school?
I don’t know about you, but my kids Jasper and Willow, are complete opposites.
Jasper will wake up at dawn, and be perfectly content. Willow is a completely different story. To put it mildly, she is not a morning person.
However, one thing they both agree on is that they LOVE a checklist. That is how the morning routine for school checklist was born.
Well that, and out of a stressed out mama’s desperation. 😉
By having a checklist they know exactly what is expected of them. And, they both get a thrill from checking off those circles.
I mean I get it too. I love scratching items off my to do list. The sense of accomplishment feels great.
But, we were still met with one tiny problem. Willow did not want to wake up. *insert face palm*
So even though she really wanted to meet the expectations, she still needed some help. I got to work, and devised a plan. And it has worked brilliantly ever since.
If you are a fellow mama whose child is not a morning person. I got you!
- Step 1 – Allow 20-30 minutes for them to wake up, and let them know there will be 3 wake up warnings.
- Step 2 – Start gently attempting to wake them up in 5 minute increments.
- Step 3 – With each attempt add another stimulant.
With the first wake up you can turn on the lights, and open the blinds or curtains. And with the second warning you can remove their covers. By the third warning you can sing a song.
This doesn’t need to be anything overly abrasive because that will result in foul moods…for everyone. Try to be gentle yet firm when waking up your child.
- Step 3 – Give them a countdown with each attempt. (ex. warning 1, warning 2, warning 3)
- Step 4 – Let them know when you approach the last 5 minute warning that they will have to wake up when you come back.
Your child is all about testing boundaries, and needs clear and defined lines. So stick with it, even when you don’t want to. Because I promise, once everyone is on board, your life will be SO much easier.
If you are looking for some other tips, this is a great article on how to wake up kids in the morning.
At what age should a child start using an alarm clock?
If your child is like my Jasper, then you probably don’t need an alarm clock. Because, you know…they wake up at dawn.
However, it is a good idea to get your kids on a routine and self sufficient as soon as possible. As mamas we are always trying our best to teach our kids personal responsibility, and waking up on their own is a great place to start.
Children typically learn how to tell time between 6-8 years old. Which would be a great time to introduce an alarm clock. That way they can learn how to tell time, and a lesson in responsibility too.
It is a win win situation!
Our son uses this sound machine alarm clock, and loves it. Even though he does not technically need an alarm clock because he wakes up on his own. It makes him feel more responsible, and is helpful for telling time too.
How early should you wake up for school?
Deciding on what time everyone should wake up before school is going to be a personal decision. Some things to think about are:
- What time is bus pickup?
- How far away is the school?
- Is your child happy or sleepy in the morning?
- How long does it take your child to eat breakfast?
- How long does it take your child to brush teeth and change clothes?
Our son, Jasper, is pretty self sufficient. He thrives in the morning, and really enjoys taking care of himself.
Our daughter, Willow, needs extra time to wake up and to be free to play for just a few minutes. She really needs to burn off some energy to have a truly successful morning.
That is why waking up an hour to an hour and a half before school is our sweet spot. It gives us plenty of time for everyone to get ready, and not feel rushed.
Yours may be the same, or you may need a little longer. That is totally fine. You do what works best for your family.
With that said. I would not do anything less than 45 minutes, as it will probably feel too rushed and add stress to school mornings.
What should I eat before school?
When it comes to breakfast in the morning I am all about easy family meal prep, and utilizing make ahead freezer meals.
This takes a ton of stress out of making breakfast in the morning. Depending on the ages of your children, they can even fend for themselves.
For example if I do a batch of make ahead bacon and pancakes, then Jasper can easily heat that up. That way breakfast is waiting on Willow, while I am waking her up.
Here are some other easy make ahead breakfast ideas:
- Sausage Breakfast Casserole
- Breakfast burritos
- Sausage or Bacon biscuits
- Yogurt and Fruit parfaits
- Peanut Butter and Banana Quesadillas
The key to a smooth morning routine for kids is to make things as simple as possible. And, with make ahead breakfasts you are one step ahead of the game.
Which will lead to morning routine success!
How can I make school mornings better?
As you have learned there are several things that must come into place to make a morning routine for school truly work.
Be sure to reflect on your child’s personality, and what makes them tick. It is going to be much easier if you work with them, rather than against them.
That is the secret sauce on making school mornings better.
You also have some make ahead breakfast ideas which are going to help you a ton too.
Don’t forget to grab your FREE Morning Routine For School Checklist HERE.