Morning Routines

13 Back-to-School Tips: The Ultimate Survival Guide for Busy Mornings

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Whether your kids are starting school for the first time, or are preparing for their return after weeks of summer fun, there are a few back-to-school tips you can find below to help them prepare, as well as yourself, for the child-free house that awaits.

Whatever age your child is, many are anxious about starting school, or going back. Getting used to that school routine after the holidays can stir up a variety of feelings. These can range from feeling really excited and eager, to concerned, anxious and afraid. For some, ignoring the approach of the first day back, or the start of school, can make going back more difficult.

That is why we have created these back-to-school tips as a guide for you and your kids. In this guide, we put together some great tips on getting ready in the morning, from how to have a healthy breakfast to how to get rid of stress, and the best routine for you and your family on those early school mornings.

13 Tips to make back-to-school morning routine exciting and stress free

Having a productive morning routine is one of the many ways that can help reduce negative back-to-school experiences. Here are a few ways to make morning a breeze for everyone in the family. 


1. Try getting into a ‘morning routine’ before school starts

Establishing a consistent routine is important for kids. So, gradually make bedtimes a little earlier and try to scrap those lazy morning lie-ins. Practice being ready by a certain time, showered, dressed, teeth brushed, and ready for the day ahead, even if you’re not going anywhere, it will help in the long run.  


2. Reinforce positivity

Try to focus their minds back on learning, as well as having fun, during the weeks before the new term starts.  Look for fun learning opportunities at home, to get your child back into the routine of learning. Learning doesn’t always have to be done with pen and paper, why not try and cook together, ask your child to help measure out the ingredients and read the recipe with you, or get creative and draw some colourful times-table cards. Flash cards, mind maps and other creative learning systems are great for getting your child to engage in learning styles and for getting their brain back into the mind frame for school. 


3. Refresh their knowledge before school

With older children, try to refresh their knowledge before returning to school.  This doesn’t have to mean setting tests, or making them write out their answers, but a few simple activities on the topics they learnt throughout the previous year will reinforce what they’ve already learnt, and get them back in to the right frame of mind for school.

Try doing this in a fun way, attempt to connect what they have learnt to real-life scenarios, so that they can see how their knowledge will help them in their day-to-day lives. This is also a great way to help them get back into the routine of learning, and hopefully boost their motivation to stay focused and concentrate, rather than feeling deflated and preoccupied. Check out our top distraction busters for some inspiration.


4. Wake up earlier to get your morning routine down to a T! 

Another one of our back-to-school tips is getting back into the flow of early starts, homework and bedtimes can be difficult. But there are a few back-to-school tips to make it easier. Some parents find it easier to wake up a little early then needed, just to have a few moments to themselves before the hustle and bustle of the morning routine begins. 

On the first week or so back at school, it may be a good idea to wake up earlier than you think you need to. Take the stress out of the morning routine, by ensuring you all have enough time to get ready, the less stressful the routine, the more positive your child will feel about the day ahead. The more used to the routine you and your family will get the more you will be able to adjust wake-up times. More time gives you more chance to be prepared for any hiccups, so you’re just that little bit more ready for anything.


5. Create a checklist

Have a checklist in order, some kids, especially younger will find it more of a challenge to remember everything that needs to be done in the mornings. Try and include items on the checklist such as, brushing teeth, and hair, showering or washing face, getting dressed in the correct uniform, making sure you have all the stationery, food and drinks you need for the day, and put shoes on, and grab coats. 


6. Come up with irresistible incentives for the little ones

Setting incentives is a great way to give kids a little more motivation to get through their morning routine, especially if there are any negative emotions towards starting school. Let your kids know that if they check everything off the checklist then they get to have a special treat like going to the park when they get back from school, or their favourite cereal for breakfast. Make sure that, if incentives are promised, you make a little more time for your kids to enjoy them.


7. Make sure you are prepared with all the essentials

Making sure your children are prepared to go back to school, or start for the first time, isn’t just a case of buying a school uniform and a lunchbox, there is much more to it.

School uniforms, especially if not worn before can seem like a somewhat alien tradition. To get your child used to their uniform, it may be a good idea to get them to try it on a few times before the first day back. You also need to make sure, if your child is returning to school after a long holiday, that their uniform still fits them. It may have been fine last term, but they may have had a growth spurt over the holiday period.

Make sure you have all the essentials necessary, so that your child can have a stress-free start to the school year. Take your child with you on a stationery shopping trip, buy them books they’ll need, creative supplies such as pens, paper, notebooks, notepads, highlighters, and pencils. It’s better to get this done sooner rather than later, to ensure that you have plenty of time to go back and pick up any items you have missed! 


8. Get the stationery in order! 

To make the morning routine less stressful, prepare things the night before. After dinner, for example, prepare lunch boxes and leave them in the fridge overnight. After you clear away after dinner, set the breakfast table for the next morning. Ask family members to bath, shower, and wash hair the night before, if possible, to avoid that getting ready in the morning routine stress.

Gather permission forms, lunch money, or notebooks, so that your child doesn’t go to school without anything important.

9. Encourage a positive mindset about the new term ahead

Talk to your child about the upcoming new term and find out if they have any concerns and what they are looking forward to. Make sure you let them know that they can always speak to their teacher, or come to you, if they are worried about anything at school.

Talk about all the fun activities your child, and their friends, will be doing at school, so they can see the new term as an exciting opportunity, rather than something to be worried and anxious about. Making sure to stay optimistic and constructive during the morning routine, is imperative for setting the right mood just before school starts. 


10. Celebrate the first day back to school

It may be a good idea to celebrate their first day, or even first day back, have a little, family only, party to celebrate the next step in their educational lives, and maybe buy them some new stationery, or a cool backpack that they can walk into school feeling confident wearing. 


11. Have a good breakfast before the day ahead

As all parents know, getting kids to wake up early, and on time, can be a challenge. But if you give them something to wake up for, not just the sound of their alarm, then they are more likely to be motivated and excited about the day ahead. There are numerous benefits to eating a balanced breakfast in the morning, especially before a day of learning.

Child hunger charity Magic Breakfast say that a healthy and balanced breakfast in the morning improves concentration, increases energy and overall performance, having a hearty breakfast also fuels the brain. Those who eat a healthy breakfast tend to have better concentration than students who skip breakfast altogether. Try to avoid your kids making up excuses to skip breakfast, and explain to them the benefits of eating breakfast in the morning.

As for you parents out there, don’t forget to fuel your brain too. When you wake up and eat a healthy breakfast in the morning, it provides your body with the energy and nutrients it needs to start your day. This is also a good way to have some family time with your kids before they head off for school.


12. No tech at the table! 

It is important to have those family moments, especially if you are all away from one another for the whole day. Try encouraging no phones or tablets at the breakfast table before heading off to school, and work. 

This gives families the opportunity to talk about the day ahead and what everyone’s ‘got on’. Talk to your children about their lessons, which they find easier than others, and which ones they enjoy the most. Ask about the friends they have made, and who they sit next to. What they do at lunchtime and who they tend to spend most of their time with. The breakfast part of the morning routine is a great way to start the day and adds a moment of calm. 

If gadgets are used, try to encourage the use of them in a constructive manner. Whether that is to finish off work online, or catch-up with messages from teachers, or to even further their skills in elements of their school work that they are finding more difficult.


13. Don’t forfeit your quality time together 

Make sure to arrange family days, or dinner at the table, rather than on laps. Going back to school may mean an empty nest, but it can also be the reason for lost family time. Try to carve out time, whether that be of an evening, after all school work is complete, and your kids have had their tablet time, to wind down and spend some quality parent and child time together. Why not try out some drawing together? 

Going back to school is a transition for all family members, not just the kids. But with a consistent and productive morning routine, the stresses of getting ready in the morning for school can be wiped away. Of course, there may be times where the morning routine strays from the usual, but that is to be expected. 

Hopefully this guide has given you some inspiration for your back-to-school morning routine. If you want to discover some on the go breakfast ideas, for those last-minute mornings, then check out our quick and delicious breakfast on the go ideas.