Welcome to our month long Back to School Series! Angela and I are thrilled to prepare some back to school helps and thoughts as you are navigating your schedule this fall. Today, we are talking about the night before a school day, every school day in fact. These three small things to do before the alarm goes off the next morning will go so far, toward your peace of mind and your children’s too.
Here’s some things to do the night before.
1. Pick out kid clothes
I’m sure you’ve never had an argument about clothing while trying to get somewhere on time before, right?
Sometimes I would choose the kids clothes
by forcing these awful flesh covering items onto their bodies with mixed reviews just so we could get out the door. In the morning I don’t have much time to discuss options, no time to wash and dry last minute, but I can take some time to do it the night before. My children still get the option to choose, I just let the kids choose THE NIGHT BEFORE. This habit can easily be worked into their time getting into their pajamas. It takes a few weeks to create a habit, so help them understand the process. Make it fun, and offer a big hug or fist pound when they are done.
Pick out the top, the bottom, even grab underclothes and socks. Choose a place to set out their clothes. Most reasonably where they get dressed. Maybe at the foot of the bed, a cubby in the closet, a hanger, or a hook in the bathroom. I like to avoid putting the clothes in my kids closets because they get distracted by all the clothes they don’t get to wear. So we usually shut the door to the closet and hang them on a different hook.
Get ready for a proud kid who is able to get dressed quickly the next day.
2. Make Lunches
I think this step is a must. When I come downstairs in the morning, my kitchen is supposed to be ready for action. Counters totally clear, dishwasher clean, but there are some days when it’s just not like that. So in the midst of getting breakfast on the table and making lunch who knows if you have washed the knife you need to cut fruit and veggies, or if the cutting board is clean, or if there is enough counter space. Skip the morning lunch making.
In the midst of dinner time the night before, when your body and mind are in the right mode and location, take some time and pack lunches. It might be the three minutes the microwavable peas are cooking, or the 20 minutes the fish sticks are baking, or it could be while the kids are loading the dishwasher afterward and you are training them while you make lunches. You could even enlist one kid/night to help you pack up lunches.
You could have a list of the very same thing each week or every two weeks the entire school year. Monday: Turkey and Cheese. Tuesday: PB&J. Wednesday: Cheese, Crackers and Meat. Thursday: Tuna Roll Up. Friday: Chicken Strips. Think of things your kids love, and could eat that often. Plan out the sides that go to each day and post that inside a cupboard.
Imagine having 10 lunch meals totally thought out for the entire year and you would never have to think about what to pack a single day!!!!!!!!!
Tape this inside your kitchen cupboard or pantry so that you can glance at it and not have to think about what to pack the entire school year.
Finally, the night before a school day…
3. Get backpacks and coats to the exit
As a part of their night time routine have them check to make sure all homework is done and in the backpack, any thing they might need for the next day gets in there, (gym clothes, a jacket, show and tell items, permission slip). This will help them fall asleep knowing everything is where it needs to be so they needn’t go to bed with worry.
If you don’t have a good place for back packs, these Command Hooks look great, and attach to doors or walls. You could put them on the door/wall near your garage, or the door/wall near your front entry.
There you have it!
Three things to trade places with your morning, and move to your night. Doesn’t take any more or less time, just takes a different time of day.
As you take some of the pressures of morning away, you’ll find that you might be able to sit down with them for breakfast instead of slapping together lunches. You might have time to read them a book instead of discussing why that shirt and those shorts don’t go together. You might be on time and out the door instead of doing a homework scavenger hunt, allowing plenty of time to drive safely.
We hope that your blood pressure and your kids’ morning’s benefit from these ideas and get ready for a month of great Back to School Posts!