The morning routine of getting children ready for school can be absolute chaos. Between taking showers, putting on clothes, gathering up homework and taking care of breakfast and lunch, it’s easy to lose your bearings and let some of these daily duties slip out of focus.
But most moms can’t afford a lapse in attention or duty. Forgetting to send a sack lunch to school with your kid comes with consequences. To better juggle the early-morning pandemonium, some parents have found that better organization can calm some of the morning frenzy. And with greater planning and structure, parents themselves can be more efficient in addressing the needs of their children while making sure no task goes overlooked.
If that sounds like something that could help you prepare for the school day ahead, read on for some mom-friendly organizational tips.
Picking out clothes
Don’t wait until the morning to have make decisions on outfits. Whether it’s you or your kids, switch clothing choices to a nighttime task. Install gel hooks onto the bedroom doors of your kids and give them the flexibility to lay out two possible outfits for the following day, giving them a simpler choice the next morning.
Another strategy is to install five hooks into your kid’s closet, with each corresponding to a different day of the week. That can help you plan ahead by choosing school pants and shirts that will be worn days into the future. And set out shoes by the door your kids exit through every morning to have them ready and waiting when it’s time to leave.
Unfortunately for parents trying their best, many children throw away parts or even most of their school lunch. Parents should try to be aware of the eating habits of their children and try to build a lunch that their kids will eat. One useful tip is using bento boxes to build kids’ lunches. The container is reusable, and the portion spaces are a great size for a student lunch, and you’ll be able to see what your kids are eating and what they’re ignoring.
Keeping schoolbooks in order
Books, folders, homework, even book bags — it’s all liable to get lost in a moment’s notice. Help your kids out by organizing class items by color. For example, have all math textbooks, notebooks and folders in blue, and develop a system for storing homework and other essential items. At home, start having your kids keep their bags and books in the same place, or in one of two places — for example, at their desk or by the door.
Lost homework can be a source of stress and, of course, worsened school performance. If your child struggles to keep track of his or her assignments, help them devise a solution. For example, have completed homework assignments be immediately placed into the folder of that subject. Alternatively, you can have all homework assignments go into a single folder. With younger kids, you can help them improve their habits by keeping their completed homework for them and placing it in their bags before they leave for school.
Institute do-it-yourself breakfasts
Kids usually trickle in for breakfast at different times, and they may leave for school on differing schedules as well. You can devote your efforts elsewhere if breakfast is something they can manage on their own. This will depend on the age of your kids, but basic meals like cereal, fruit or other items that go in the toaster oven can be prepared by kids on their own, allowing you to focus on more pressing needs.
By organizing the pre-school rush and assigning certain tasks to different parts of the day, you can relieve some of your stress as a parent and makes things easier as your children as well. In some cases, it’s simply a matter of delegating more responsibility to your kids. It’s not always an easy thing to do, but in the end both parents and kids will benefit.