Back to school morning routine for three children

Back to school morning routine for three children

Now that school has been on for more than a month, I can safely say that we re-found our morning groove. The first days (and even couple of weeks) were slow. I had to wake-up the kids from their sleep, which is a sure way to face grumpiness. Then I had to explain and direct them towards what needed to be done, such as getting dressed, brushing teeth, combing hair, eating, chewing, or communicating.
The mornings when I wasn’t prepared with the logistics, the day started stressfully, and it tended to continue that way for all of us.
When a big chunk of what needed to be done has been done in advance, I could be relaxed and sit down with my kids for breakfast, enjoying the conversation and starting the day on a positive note.
Morning sentiments also affected how easy or difficult they settled in school.

I am going to break down into three categories what happens in my home.

The night before

  • I prepare lunch boxes for all three children and myself from dinner leftovers. The lunch boxes stay in the fridge until the morning when they get transferred into the lunch bags.
  • I also prepare the water bottles the night before, as well as two snack boxes (one for the morning snack and one for the after-school snack.)
  • I put out the uniforms and arrange them on the sofa in the order of items which they put on (socks at the bottom, pants, t-shirt, underwear on top.)
  • My older daughter places whatever folders or materials she needs for the next day in her backpack.

Before they wake up

  • I wake up at least 1 hour before them for my morning routine.
  • I make their breakfast, which is usually something quick and easy to eat, such as chia gel and mashed banana with slivered almonds, a smoothie or porridge.
  • I put all the lunch boxes in the bags and all the water bottles in their backpacks, and either placed them at the door if we are walking or in the car if we are driving.

When they wake up

  • They drink their water and go to the toilet, they get dressed, and sit down to eat.

From the moment they wake up to the moment we leave, it usually takes us 30 minutes.
Everything goes smoother if I didn’t have to wake them up and instead they woke up naturally. This is a big reason why they go to sleep at 7 PM.

There are mornings of course when things don’t go as planned. I like to take care of the practicalities – food, clothes, backpacks, so I can attend more compassionately to the human factor – toddler meltdown over toothpaste color, disagreement with the choice or crunchiness of our breakfast or simply the lack of desire to cooperate. When these are out of the way, I can be fully present and engaged with my kids.

What is your back to school morning practice?

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