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!
Getting back into the flow of early starts, homework and bedtimes can be difficult. But there are ways 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.