I used to despise school mornings. Like, really, really, really HATE them.
Our mornings were full of arguing and bickering and coercing. Trying to get kids dressed was a game of manipulation, begging, and yelling. We were constantly late to school because someone inevitably forgot a school paper, a lunch, or a water bottle. We argued about what to wear, what to eat for breakfast, and whether there was time to watch a TV show in the morning or not.
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Our School Routine
So what did I do? I implemented a new routine that I’ve never shared before and now our mornings are calm. Easy. Simple. No yelling, no arguing, no whining, no crying, no coercing. Just a simple flow with everyone knowing what to do, what to expect, and when it should be done. And the kids do it every.single.day!
But I didn’t implement a morning routine. Oh no! I’m not a morning person. It takes me two or three cups of coffee to be fully awake, and I prefer to wake up late and start drinking them around 9 AM. But that does NOT happen on school days!
So I thought about when I’m most awake, and that is in the evenings. I need to be fully functioning if I want to make sure we don’t forget anything, so I needed to get everything ready for school in the evenings. So I moved everything we do for school to after dinner time.
What Did We Change
1. Picking Out Clothes
In the mornings, we argued about what to wear, so now we pick out clothes at bedtime and put shoes and (if we need them) coats and hats by the front door too.
2. Packing Backpacks
In the mornings, we yelled about getting school stuff together, so now we pack backpacks with school work and forms and library books after we do dinner chores.
3. Making Waters
In the mornings, our kids frequently forgot their water bottles, so waters get made at night and stuck in the fridge.
4. Planning Breakfast
In the mornings, we argued about what to eat for breakfast, so now I make a weekly meal plan on Sundays and post it on the fridge. The kids can see what I’ve planned for every meal, and if they don’t like what I’ve planned for breakfast, then they can make their own morning meal. Our kids like to drink chocolate milk with their breakfast, so we make the chocolate milks at night and stick them in the fridge for the kids to get when they come downstairs for breakfast.
5. Making Lunches
We were also constantly running late for school because someone forgot to make lunch or wanted a different lunch. Now that I meal plan for lunches, the kids can check the meal plan to know what they’re getting the next day so there are no surprises about it. If they don’t like what I have planned, then they can change up the lunch ahead of time and it won’t cause us to be late to school since I’m making lunches the night before. My oldest two kiddos get to pack their own lunches, and we all do that together in the evenings after dinner chores are done.
What Our Mornings Look Like Now
Our mornings are totally different than they used to be. They used to be stressful and full of arguing and fighting and running late. Now though, they’re relaxed and easy and calm, and that’s SOOOO much better than before!
Every morning, the kids get up and get dressed in the clothes they picked out the night before.
They come downstairs in the mornings, eat breakfast, and brush their teeth and hair.
Then they put their lunches and waters into their backpacks.
After eating and packing their backpacks, they get to watch one TV show and then it’s time to put on shoes and go to school.
We do this EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. With no variation and no changes to the routine. If someone wakes up late, they skip the TV show. There’s no changing lunches, no forgetting essential things, no last-minute hunting for hats or shoes or coats since everything was set out the night before. Implementing an evening school routine has totally changed our lives and we love it!
Do you love your mornings? Do you struggle with getting your kids out the door without yelling and fighting? Would my routine change your mornings too? If it would, you’re in luck!
Evening School Routine Check List
I made a free Evening School Routine Check List with spaces to write out all the tasks that you need to accomplish, and it’s got boxes you can check to make sure you don’t forget to do anything. You can download your own copy below.
I’d love to hear how this check sheet helps you get your own school routine organized. Is there anything you think could help, or something I’ve forgotten? I’d love to hear your thoughts so leave me a comment below!