For many parents, the early morning school run is a stressful affair, usually ending in shouting and tears from both the parents and the children. However, with our simple and effective tips, Monday morning (and the rest of the week) can be made a whole lot easier. Save time, get organised and keep calm and your kids will arrive at school on time and ready to start learning.
Organise everything the night before
This is one of those tips that really makes a difference when adhered to- there’s always time the night before that you simply don’t have in the morning when you have a school bell deadline to make!
Complete all homework…
Make sure everyone’s homework is done at least the evening before the deadline. Even better, by getting your kids to complete it the day its set will free up precious weekend time and save them (and you) worrying about handing it in on time. After all, there’s nothing worse than having to fabricate facts about planets at 7 am on a Monday (thank goodness for Wikipedia), apart from perhaps, realising that you have to solve 10 maths problems at 8 pm on a Sunday night!
Have lunch prepared…
Doing lunch for everyone who wants it the night before is a great way to save time and hassle in the morning. It can be done while dinner is cooking, or can be leftovers from dinner if you make extra. Operate a reward chart system and get the kids to make lunch for themselves, a bit of responsibility (and bribery!) can make children feel more grown up.
Sort out clothes and school supplies…
Have everyone lay out their clothes and sort out necessary school supplies before heading to bed. This way they should never forget their P.E. kit and they won’t be frantically searching for a pen before rushing out the door.
Do the same for you as well, decide what outfit you are wearing the next day and make sure all the things you need for work/ shop/ gym are ready so you can go straight there after drop off.
Get to bed on time…
Last but certainly not least, get everyone to bed on time – including yourself! Encouraging a routine and setting a reasonable bedtime will not only boost their energy levels in the morning but also yours. Plus, it will be an extra special treat on weekends when they get to stay up the extra hour or so.
Save time whenever it’s possible
Try to save as much time (and stress!) as possible by making a few simple changes to your routine.
Put the clocks forward by 10 minutes without telling the kids – this will definitely work for young children who don’t own their own phones or tablets. It will encourage them to get up and get on and you don’t need to stress (as much) about arriving on time.
Resist the urge to snooze and get yourself ready (if you don’t have super early risers) before waking your children up. This way, there will never be a day when you leave the house without brushing your hair and your slippers are still on! Seeing that you are fully ready and organised in the morning should encourage young children to follow suit.
Keep morning essentials in one, easily accessible cupboard. This way even your youngest will be able to grab themselves breakfast and brush their teeth before heading out the door.
Designate jobs (use that reward chart again) to your kids. If you have pets to feed, the dishwasher or washing machine to load, or breakfast things to put away, make sure everyone knows who is doing what and the reward for doing it.
Above all try to keep your cool. If you or your partner start to get more and more stressed it will only rub off on your children. Take a deep breath and realise that a minute or two late is not the end of the world. Nor is a forgotten lunch- you can easily pop back and get it or give them money for school dinners. With an easy routine that everyone knows you will be relaxing on the school run before you know it!
Do you have any tips that make the dreaded school run a breeze? Let us know in the comments section below and on Twitter!