Our Crazy School Mornings
5 weeks into Term 2 for the year and yes, you could describe our morning routine for school as insanity!
Most days the kids and I were arriving as the school bell went OR LATER.
Plus, the rush and the stress in the mornings was leaving me feeling flat and behind in what I needed to get done for the day.
Whatever we were doing wasn’t working. Something had to change!
This is the process I used to go through and create a successful morning routine for school that works for my family. It will change your mornings too!
1. Write Down All The Tasks That Need Doing On A School Morning
The tasks on your list may be essential like get dressed or eat breakfast as well as things you would like to do in the mornings.
This will depend on the characteristics of your family and individual personalities, and what kind of morning you like.
Related Post: How To Make A Bento School Lunch For Your Kids
My kids and I, prefer to get up earlier and have time to read, play games rather than use less time and be rushing to get ready. So when I wrote my list of tasks I also included reading my bible and journalling.
Your Action Task:
Think about what you want your mornings to be like. Then write down your list of tasks.
- What do you want to have time for?
- What tasks are essential?
- What tasks could be done at a different time or skipped altogether?
2. Problem Solve Your List Of Tasks
Often we are late for something because we are trying to fit too much into the amount of time we have to get ready.
It becomes impossible to get everything done in the time allocated, as well as causing everyone a lot of stress and anxiety in the process.
Other times tardiness is caused by specific issues with the tasks themselves.
It is helpful to ask yourself:
- What’s really causing us to be late? Or who is?
- What’s actually the problem here?
- How can it be solved?
Problem Solving Our Morning Routine For School
One of our main issues; I had been allowing the kids to choose and make their own breakfast.
The problem was the process of just deciding what they wanted to eat each morning was taking at least 15 minutes. That didn’t include the time taken to then make breakfast and to clean up the extra mess.
The way we were doing breakfast wasn’t helping us leave the house when we needed to. Not to mention a couple of times, the kids ended up eating in the car or going without breakfast altogether.
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My solution; I decided that we would all eat breakfast together in the mornings. Most days I will be responsible for preparing what’s for breakfast. After discussing it with the kids, we decided on pancakes, porridge, parathas and egg, and cereal for our breakfasts.
Another decision we made was that each person was to be responsible for cleaning up after themselves. This means putting their plate and cutlery into the sink to be washed later. That would save me time cleaning up from breakfast.
Other problem areas and a possible solution may be:
- Looking for shoes. Have everything ready the night before.
- Unfinished homework. Have a set time for homework after school.
- Getting a child out of bed. Have an earlier bedtime.
- Mum has trouble getting out of bed. Set an earlier bedtime for yourself.
Your Action Task:
Have a look through your list of tasks and notice what things cause issues for your brood in the morning. Decide how you want to resolve that in your morning routine for school.
3. Work out the Time Frame For Completing Your School Morning Routine
To work out how much time you (and the rest of the family) will need for your morning routine for school, start by allocating a time amount to each task on your list. I got pretty detailed with my list.
Take Into Consideration:
- Often we under estimate the time something takes to do so be generous in your estimation.
- Life never goes as planned, especially with kids.
So the key to being successful with your morning routine for school days, is to include MARGIN TIME!!
Margin time is planning for the unexpected by adding at least an extra 15 to 20 minutes.
Like This Morning…
One of our school mornings this week involved two kids fighting with each other. Plus, one kid having a meltdown over how much honey was in their porridge. Then the same kid refusing to eat breakfast until something was done about it.
I didn’t have time planned for those things! However because I had allocated a margin time, we were still able to get to school before the siren went.
The more meltdowns or lack of cooperativeness you expect with your kids in the mornings, the more margin time you will need to add in.
Do You Want To Increase Cooperativeness?
Then go back to Step 2 and see if there anything you could change or do differently to make the mornings go more smoothly.
Allow time for getting your kids actually into the car and on the way to school. Of if walking to school, getting out the door and started down the footpath.
Silly me, I think it should take us 2 to 3 minutes to go from the house to the car. The whole process takes us more like 10 minutes.
So I need to allow more time for that or change what we are doing.
Your Action Task:
Write down an amount of time next to each task on your list.
Include a margin time. Then add up all your amounts.
Take that total amount of time away from the time that you plan to leave and set the alarm to wake up then.