Organizing School Mornings

August 26, 2010 by  

Is there screaming and nashing of teeth on School Mornings at Your house?

I know for many people that is the case – I know it because I read it on twitter..dah? LOL

But your mornings do not have to be chaotic, filled with screaming and crying (you maybe! ).  It all comes down to organizing your school mornings with a little planning.


First off decide how much sleep your child needs.  Kids really should have 8-10 hours of sleep at night. If your child is only getting 6-7….right there might be part of the problem – they are tired.   But decide on what that bedtime needs to be and stick to it.  Start getting that shower or bath in plenty of time before bedtime. If it takes an hour to get your child to bed….then start the routine an hour before bedtime. Sounds simple doesn’t it?  Then why if bedtime is 8:30pm and you hear moms saying it takes an hour to get Billy in bed…are they just walking up the stairs to bed at 8:20?  Start up those stairs at 7:30 so they are ready to sleep by 8:30pm.

Prepare the night before

Clothes – Have them lay out their clothes they plan to wear the night before.  This solves several problems. You know if it is clean & ready, you can say…”No you can’t wear that to school” the night before and the fight can ensue then (instead of in the am) and there is no last minute..”I can’t find my….” in the morning.

Lunches – Make them the night before and have them ready.  Actually my kids make their own lunches (with guidelines). The triplets have been making their own lunches for a year now. They are 9. They started working with their dad to make the lunches about 2 years ago and he gradually started having them do it on their own.  Z actually asked yesterday at about 4:30 if he could make his lunch for today. He knew he had football practice later, so he was planning ahead! I was thrilled!! I said…”Of course Z..that is a great idea.”

Homework and Book bags – Their homework should be completed and in their folder and in their book bag ready to go the night before. Make sure any papers you have to sign and any other projects or items are in the book bags. Then in the morning all they need is their lunches.

In the Morning

Waking up – You need to figure out how long your morning routine takes.  How long to get up, get dressed, make their bed and clean their rooms, get breakfast, do any other routines they do and get out the door.  Does it take 45 minutes? 60 minutes? 75 minutes?  When you are figuring the time, figure it out in a relaxed state…not a crazy running around time mode.

Then you take that time and make them set their alarm clocks for that time. If they want to use the snooze button then they need to set their alarm that much earlier.

Getting Dressed & Rooms – If the kids have laid out their clothes the night before, then this is easy. They just get up and get dressed. Figuring out times in the bathroom if you have several kids can take a little planning. We have 5 kids and 1 bathroom. But our 2 teenagers leave an hour and half earlier than the triplets…so that makes it much easier.

Making their beds is a requirement here. They just know to do it automatically. Yes…there is always 1 that I always have to ask if he made his bed and picked up his clothes – and most times he runs back up the stairs to do it. They have to have their rooms reasonable picked up. Dirty clothes off the floor and into their laundry hampers, etc..

Breakfast – Plan your breakfast the night before.  We have big breakfast on the weekends. But during the week, the kids get cereal or toast and fruit in the morning. They make their own. (we breed independence…can you tell?  Another post on that coming up soon).  But make sure they have time to have breakfast. They need the energy

Reading or other activities – My kids (9 year olds) have to read 20 minutes each day. We have been doing that the last couple years as required in school. We kept it up through the summers…and they just know its required. If you have any activities like that …spelling test practice etc… make sure you allot time in the schedule for it.

Backpacks – They just grab their lunch and they are ready to go.


Here is our time schedule for AM (approximate times) :

7am – Kids up. They make their beds, get dressed and pick up their rooms

7:15 – They come down. Breakfast and Reading Usually one does their reading first thing, the others are getting their breakfast and then they switch. They can decide what order they do it in…they know what they have to do.

8:00 – Book Bags are ready. Double check on lunches in book bags, homework in book bags, everything done, shoes are ready to go.

If everyone has everything done and they are ready to go – then I will let them get on the computers until we are ready to go.

8:20 – Tell everyone to get ready

8:25 – Walk out the door so I can drive them to school. It is a 5 minute drive (but far enough they can’t walk or ride bikes yet…hopefully next year) and they have to be there in their seats by 8:45. Doors open at 8:30.

As I am writing this I have one of the triplets eating her breakfast, the other is finishing his reading and the 3rd is getting his shoes on after finishing breakfast and getting ready to read.

We have very few crazy crying chaotic mornings. It makes much mornings much nicer!

(Yes..our top picture was posed. I asked them to give me a picture of them screaming and yelling….this is what I got. LOL )

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4 Responses to “Organizing School Mornings”
  1. Creating a SCHEDULE is CRITICAL to keeping the family morning railroad running. We have EVERYTHING on a CHECK-LIST with associated the time-table.
    This allows everybody to know what is expected to be accomplished before getting out the door.
    My quesiton is: How do I get my 12 yr. old son to stop dawdling and avoiding the morning Piano Practice time before rushing out (EARLY) to get to the school bus stop?

  2. Sandy says:

    If it were me, I would make him practice before he eats! If he is hungry…he will be motivated to do it so he can eat breakfast. LOL Either that…or restrict an activity he likes to do after school until he has his practice in and done right. If he wants to do something more after school….he might be more motivated to get his piano done early. I’m going to look at your site! It sounds interesting. We shoot at my husbands farm.

  3. Rosey says:

    Hey, we have the same couch. :)

    Great article. Mornings can be soooooo hectic. Preparation for bedtime, I thik, is the worst. It’s hard to stick to your guns when you have a ‘Just 5 more minutes’ request that is legitimate. Thanks for the great write-up.

  4. Sandy says:

    LOL how funny. Yes in this picture it looks like the leathers are different colors. It is getting old…. but it has been a heck of a good couch. I think it is about 11 years old now.

    I would say once in a while if the “Just 5 more min. is ligitmate” it might be ok. But it becomes a habit. If they have a 5 minute warning…and then try that…. I say… “no way, you knew the time…. ” lol… I’m tough. :)

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