Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Back-to-School: 8 Tips to Help You Plan Ahead and Reduce the Morning Stress

I know this post is a bit of repeat but it's back just in time for Back-to-School! For more Work for Me ideas, visit We Are THAT Family.

Think for a moment how your family starts off the day. How would you describe the mornings in your household once school starts? Do they tend to be calm and peaceful or rushed and stressful -or, somewhere in the middle?

I found that planning ahead really helps to curb the morning madness. This month, I'm sharing 8 quick ideas to help make your mornings less of production for you and your family.

1. Give yourself time to get up and ready to go before the children need to be up, even if it's just 15-30 minutes before the kids. I find that when I do this, I am more relaxed and able to focus on helping my children. The day is more likely to start off with conversation rather than prodding and nagging. I also feel better about myself. When I feel good about myself, it has such a positive impact on my day and those around me.

2. Make sure the kids have adequate time to get ready for school without being rushed.

3. Empty the backpacks after school, not in the morning to avoid any last minute surprises.

The Night Before
4. Have your children pick out their clothes for the next day. Make this part of their bedtime routine.

5. Make sure the backpacks and school supplies are ready to go near the door. Maybe even the shoes and jackets, too. In the winter I get all the snow gear get out and ready to go as well. What about the lunches? Can they be made ahead of time? Does money need to go to school to pay for hot lunch?

6. Determine the breakfast menu and set the bowls and cereal out after dinner. A healthy breakfast really adds a positive start to your child's day.

7. Develop a bedtime routine that works for your family and stick to it the best you can.

8. Double check your calendar, including the car pool schedule and after school activities. Think about what tasks or errands you want to accomplish the next day. I'm not talking about a major to-do list but maybe 2-4 items, or maybe just one part of a major project.

Don't Forget!
Another part of planning ahead is getting the school activities on your calendar or planner. This includes the school calendar for the year, any sports, activities, scouting schedules, etc. You can use a wall calendar, a personal planner or computer, but try to limit it to one.

I like to use Outlook on my computer. At the start of each week I print the 7-day view and post it on my refrigerator so everyone in the family knows what's going on. I tend to color-code activities by type of event (personal or child-related). You might want to color-code by member of the household.

Do you want ideas for organizing, displaying and maintaining your child's school papers and artwork? When you order my Tickler File System , I'll also send you my popular e-book, Maintaining Childhood Treasures: A Mom's Guide to Organizing School Papers and Artwork!


Em and Lib said...

Great tips! thanks!

Kalei said...

Thanks for the tips! :)

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