Learn these simple tips for a stress free school year and organised school mornings. You will love my simple hacks from saving money on name labels and practical method for preparing for school lunches.
I have always been an early riser and I like to think of myself as quite organised. But when Mr 8 started school I knew I had to step it up to the next level. And I have learnt a few things in the past three years – not that there’s still not room for improvement. So if you are thinking about how you are going to manage getting out of the house for first bell then this is the article for you.
Organised School Mornings
The morning routine
I am going to put it out here that a consistent morning routine is a must to organised school mornings. Most experts agree that children enjoy predictability and a routine is a great way to install healthy habits. You probably already have a routine in your house and if that works for you then great! But if it doesn’t maybe think about how this can be tweaked so you can all get out the door…without your mum voice needing a work out!
One of the things that is seriously helpful is for my husband and I to get up before the kids and get ourselves ready for the day first. It does mean however that we wake up super early 😴 like 5am early but it’s the only way we get out the door by 6.45 which is when we need to leave to get the kids dropped off at care so we can catch the train to work.
Our basic routine is:
- husband and I wake up and get ready from 5am
- kids up at 6am
- eat our breakfast (more often than not I eat mine on train on way to work)
- kids get dressed and sunscreen on
- brush teeth
- lunchboxes and drink bottles in bags
- out the door at 6.45
So while we have our routine down pat, my next challenge is trying to get my kids to go through this routine without the eleventy billion prompts that I am currently needing to do. We will get there! But there are a few things I am looking at doing to get the kids to be more self directed.
One thing is a visual of their daily routine or this combined with a checklist so they can work through this independently. There are lots of free resources online #PinterestForTheWin but you can buy some resources too.
Ditch the Tech
We have a pretty firm no technology rule to stay organised and on task on school mornings. Occasionally on a Friday where I don’t work and we are all home if all the kids get through their jobs they can do an instructional yoga (check out Cosmic Kids on youtube – it is awesome). But mostly tech in the mornings is a no from me 🙅🏻♀️. We actually have gone so far as to have no tech for the kids at all Monday through Wednesday. This has been amazing. The kids play so much better and our evenings are a lot smoother.
Read the newsletters and notices from school
We are all guilty of not reading the deluge of notes from school. There are sooo many notices. So so many. And this is multiplied if you have kids at different schools/daycares or even if you have kids in different classes. We have an amazing class facebook group and we will take pictures of the notes that come home and post them to the group as invariably someone’s note would not have made it home. But a great habit to get into is checking their school bag, or better yet getting your kids to hand you all the notices as soon as they get home, read it then put it in one safe place.
Shannon from Oh Creative Day gave me a helpful tip in the blog post all about preparing kids for school around this. She recommended having a special place in the school bag for all these notes and teach your child to put them in there so they are all in the one spot.
Keep a coin purse in the car
This little hack has saved me time and time again. So you know how I said there are a lot of notices that come home. Often they are letting you know about gold coin type fundraisers (think bake sales/free choice dress days). And more often that not in this cashless age we don’t have the coins lying around. Enter the coin purse. Anytime I have coins and small notes I pop these in a coin purse that lives in the glovebox in the car. Voila – cash money just when you need it. While you are at it – pop a little tube of sunscreen in there too…just in case you leave home without some on.
Save money on your school labels
OK so this tip really is less to do with organised school mornings and more to do with stress free identification of identical uniform pieces, because…believe me, your child will lose their jackets/hats/drink bottles/snack boxes/lunch boxes/anything that is actually not physically affixed to them. A number of times. You will also receive a plethora of these belongings (on two occasions we actually had another child’s entire lunch bag come home) that will come home with your child. Easy labelling will ensure that they get back to you or their rightful owner.
To save money on your school labels, find a good gender neutral label and just use your last name…for example “Goodie Family”. This way you can use for all your children rather than purchasing separate name labels. If you have a more common surname you could use your children’s initials or some labels will have sufficient character length to include all children’s first names too. I recommend checking out Tiny Me – they are our favs!
Organised School Evenings Make For Organised School Mornings
Organise clothing for the next day
One thing I would TOTALLY do if the kids had wardrobes in their rooms would be to set out their clothes for the whole week in a Sunday. Sadly we don’t. But we do get their clothes out every night for organised school mornings the next day.
Also, talking about getting dressed, I do not…I repeat that…I DO NOT let my kids get dressed in their room. “Why ever not?” you may be thinking. I will tell you. Because every single thing in their rooms distract them from getting dressed. So after a considerable amount of frustration this is the best thing for my sanity.
Pack the lunchboxes the night before
This is one thing I highly recommend you do for organised school mornings. If you get a good quality lunchbox you will find they are airtight enough to keep food fresh so you can pack school lunches in advance. There are somethings you don’t pack directly next to each other ie cheese and crackers. But for the most part school lunches will stay super fresh with the right lunchbox.
If you want to take this next level, and I totally think you should, you can even prep more that one lunchbox at a time. One of my favourite hacks is to pack lunches on Sunday for Monday and Tuesday then again Tuesday night for Wednesday and Thursday and then again on Thursday night for Friday. Now, I realised that this is not possible if you only have one lunchbox but if you do, then this is the hack for you!
If you want to read about my favourite lunchboxes check out this blog post.
Planning and prepping for school lunches
I have written a whole blog post about easy school lunches and how to get your prep on for stress free school terms. I highly recommend checking it out but in summary there are a few things you can do:
- Plan what to pack for school lunches ahead of time so you’re not scratching your head and wondering what the heck to put in those lunchboxes.
- Bulk bake and freeze for the term. Most recipes on my site freeze really well and baking generally lasts two – three months. You can even prepare sandwiches and bread rolls and freeze them too. Just don’t try and freeze lettuce or tomatoes and stick to ham and cheese or plain spreads.
- There are a number of things you can prep in advance for the week. For example, vegetables sticks and boiled eggs.
And of course a combination of all these things will help you pack lunches #likeaboss.
Everything in it’s place
Keep school bags, shoes, library bags and anything else you need for school in a designated place. We have a large basket and the kids (theoretically) put their school and kindy things in it when they get home from school. This will help keep school mornings organised as everything is exactly where it should be.
Finally, do not underestimate how tired and emotional your preppie or kindy kid will get after busy and stimulating days. So in those first few months of school, getting an early night’s sleep will help with those busy school mornings.