Posted 28 Aug, 2020
Before School Morning Routine
It has been said that September is the Monday of all the months. And while the month usually marks the return to schedules, routines and structure, this year may look a bit different for the students and teachers in our lives. Whether your kids go back to school physically, virtually or some combination of the two, it’s likely that waking up earlier and shifting our morning routines to reflect the changing season will be necessary. Here are some tried and true tips for how to get ready for school in the morning that is sure to start you off on the right foot:
1. Agree on schedules for both getting up early for school and bedtime. Put your children to the task and let them be an integral part of the conversation. The morning is not the time to start negotiating. Ask your kids important questions beforehand like, “How much time do you think you’ll need to do X?” Always leave room for adjustments if necessary. Routine is a huge mental aid for you and your kids.
2. To ensure your before school morning routine is successful, put in the time to begin the night before. Make sure clothes are pulled out and ready to be worn. Have a plan for breakfast – and lunch (lunch money, packed lunch, or eat at home). If heading to school, ensure the school bag is packed and ready to go ahead of time. Have everything that will go with your child, including shoes and important items by the door. If school is virtual, prepare any books and supplies that will be needed tomorrow.
3. Leave no room for surprises that can be avoided. Know the schedule. Talk about the schedule. Make sure everyone knows the before morning routine and daily schedule. A helpful tip is to place the schedule in a common area, like the fridge to ensure everyone is familiar with the schedule. This is to make sure everyone is aware of after school activities, extracurriculars...etc. especially if you have more than one child.
4. Sometimes alarm clocks might be stressful and if they have a snooze button, have the potential to hinder getting up early for school on time. Check-in with your kids to see if they would rather be woken up by a parent or by some of their favourite music. Before school officially begins, do a test run! Try a few different things to find the best wake-up call.
5. Little shifts will make a big difference with your kids waking up for school on time. In the weeks/days leading up to the beginning of the school year, start their wake-ups gently and then incrementally so that they can get used to the process.
6. Here’s a big one that even works for adults! Give them something to look forward to. Is there a certain breakfast food that’s a huge motivator? Try smoothies, healthy muffins (sometimes called breakfast cookies), a rarely-purchased cereal or oatmeal with unique toppings. Anything to get you and your kids a little more excited to get up in the morning.
7. Celebrate the first day or week with some favourites! Does reading a book in the morning bring everyone joy? Does the promise of a delicious lunch treat make the morning shuffle a little easier? Leave time for something special before everyone gets to work or school.
8. Don’t be afraid to get outside. For some reason, once school begins again, kids are less likely to get outside first thing in the morning. Even a quick walk around the house to lsten to the birds or to check on the garden can be energizing.
9. Be sure to give them frequent time reminders. But if things don’t work out, try to be flexible, even when the morning doesn’t go as planned. Ask yourself, “Is this worth the reaction I feel coming on?”
10. And finally, keep trying for peaceful and prepared mornings! It is worth the effort to get it right and create a morning culture with positive memories.