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Saturday, August 10, 2013

Back to School Organization Part 4

Getting Ready Each Day

This is a hard one.

And one that we still struggle with.

This fall with all of my kiddos in school I am increasing my days that I work out of the house from 2 to 3. With me being gone in the morning and hubby in charge {plus having to get himself ready to go to} we have to have a good system in place to make each day successful.

My oldest is going into 6th grade and we've been tweaking this process since he was in kindergarten. That being said I don't have all the answers. I only know what works for us and what doesn't.

The key to morning success is preparation the night before!

1. Lay out everyone's clothing the night before. If you have picky kids, include them in the process, that way if they wake up, don't like what you picked out they aren't taking 57 minutes choosing something else. Always put their clothes in the same place whether its their dresser top or coffee table, that way there are no excuses!

2. Set out backpacks and make sure that they have the right homework or papers that need to be returned. Save yourself the work and make this a part of  your kids after school homework time. When homework's done have them get their bag ready for the next day. This should also include getting out their lunch bag from that day, emptying any trash or containers and putting the lunch bag in your designated place.

3. Start putting lunches together the night before. My hubby and I have a deal. I put all of the their lunches together except the sandwiches. I do all of this the night before: fruit, snack, dessert, and chips/pretzels. All that needs to be done is make the sandwiches in the morning. {I hate this part so I think I get the better end of that deal!}

4. Make sure the kids know what to expect!  Decide ahead of time what the order of events should be. My kids know that they have to get dressed first before coming down to breakfast. Breakfast has to be done by 7:10am whether they are done eating or not. They know they are expected to clear their own dishes and put them in the sink, etc. In years past I posted a list of what they needed to do and in what order so that if there were any questions they could refer to the list.

5. Take the fight out of the routine. Unfortunately kids don't always want to do what's expected of them no matter how well you plan! At our house if you aren't cooperative with the am routine you don't get to play outside after school. This is highly effective for my kids! Also, if you are having trouble getting up when called you go to be 30 minutes earlier that night.

6. Minimize distractions. For us this means no TV, computers, IPods etc. Lets just focus on what needs to be done.

7. Send them off with all of your love and support!   We all face many ups and downs throughout the day and our kids need to know that we are on their side! At our house when we are ready to go, we pray a blessing over our children also addressing any needs our kids might have through prayer. ie. praying for that test today, that they might make a new friend, etc. Our kids love this and will ask for it if we forget!

Here's one last idea. Have a basket handy with all of the hair things needed for getting ready. This one sits on my counter on the other side of the fridge. {Out in the open but not openly visible.} Include a comb, brush, gel, hairspray, water bottle and hair decor {if you have girls}. To help prevent head lice I always add a few drops of tea tree oil to the water bottle. Lice hate this oil and it also leaves a fresh scent. {Some of the teachers at my kids school even dab a bit around their hair line for good measure!}

Consider a sticker chart for younger ones that need the visual steps.

There you have it! All of my ideas for a smooth morning routine.

Need more school organization ideas? Check out these other posts from my back to school series:

Part 1: School paper organization
Part 2: Back Pack storage ideas
Part 3: School lunch ideas and our lunch goals

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