School mornings can be difficult whether there are one or more children to get ready, and parents often find themselves in the middle of a hectic dash to get children ready for school in the morning. Waking up a child in the morning for school itself proves to be a difficult task sometimes, and is often made worse by allowing children to go to sleep late at night. Here are some tips for parents to make each step of the way easy and get children to school in the morning on time.
Preparing the Previous Night for School in the Morning
- To save precious morning minutes, it’s often easier if preparations are made the previous night. Teach children to:
- Lay out school clothes for the morning
- Finish and pack homework in bag so that nothing is forgotten
- Check the timetable or schedule for the next day and pack things like art or craft kit, gym bag, running shoes, or whatever they might need
As parents, a few simple chores performed the night before will make it easy to get ready for school in the morning:
- Set the table for breakfast; lay out everything you can from bowls and spoons to teacups and tea-bags for yourself
- Do any ironing and preparing of uniforms the previous night
- If your children take a packed lunch to school, prepare it the night before
Waking Up for School in the Morning
Waking up in the morning for school is difficult for most children, even after the recommended 8-9 hours of sleep. Children do not always grasp the importance of punctuality and timing, and parents need to help them plan their mornings efficiently. Waking up to get ready for school is easier for children when there is a pleasant, cheerful atmosphere in the house and the parents are relaxed. Shouting at them usually teaches them that mornings are stressful times and they’ll prefer to stay in bed.
Younger children can be woken up by a fun activity, mimicry, a story told in installments across a week, and they’ll stay cheerful and willing until ready. Older children can be asked to help with simple household tasks, involved in a discussion or plan with the rest of the family, or given the responsibility of a younger sibling. Putting on the television may seem like an easy way out, but often delays children more, and wastes valuable time together.
Routines for School in the Morning
Set a routine for children to follow to get ready for school so that they know what is expected of them. Children feel secure with routines that are familiar and will soon be able to perform many of the tasks on their own, allowing you valuable time to finish other chores. Set time limits for bathroom use if more than one child is getting ready for school in the morning; baths can be taken the night before so that children only have to get dressed and eat breakfast before leaving.
Breakfast before School in the Morning
No matter how rushed parents may be, setting aside a few minutes for breakfast inculcates healthy eating habits in children, and helps them remain bright and alert through the day. Nutritious breakfasts are quick to make: eggs, whole-grain bread, muffins, pancakes, porridge or white oats, a serving of fruit, or healthy cereal with yogurt or milk are good options for weekday breakfasts before school in the morning. This time can be used to make children’s lunch, pack your own lunch, or tidy the kitchen from breakfast.
1. School Mornings. Raising Children Network
2. Morning Routines. University of Florida IFAS Extension