Going back to school means a change to everyone’s schedules, but you can streamline the transition with a few simple steps. Once everyone’s got the hang of it, you can spend more time making memories together as a family.
1. Write it out.
Make a family calendar on a large dry erase board and assign each person a different colored dry erase marker for all their activities. Post the board someplace everyone will see it, like near the door or in the kitchen.
2. Check it off.
Checklists are great for keeping everyone on track. There can be checklists for getting ready in the morning, what to do after school, or what needs to be done before bed. Parents need them too! They’ll keep you from having to remember everything. Post them where they’ll be seen, such as the bathroom mirror, entry door, or fridge.
3. Make a routine.
Kids do well with routines and they can help reduce arguments over what to do and when. A bedtime routine could include a small snack, bath time, getting pajamas on, teeth brushing, a story from mom or dad, then lights out. Try to do the same things in the same order every night. A disruption to the routine may seem trivial to you but it may be a big deal to your child.
4. Plan and prep.
The more you prep at night, the easier mornings will be. Before bed, make sure your kids’ clothes are set out, school notes are signed, homework is done, and backpacks are ready to go. Have lunches made and set up the breakfast table or have grab-and-go options near the door. Prep weeknight meals on the weekends so you’ll have quick heat-and-eat dinners during the week.
5. Set up stations.
When everything has a place, you save loads of time searching for stuff. Use stations to help organize things. You might have a homework station, a notes-to-be-signed station, shoe bins that act as a shoe station, or hooks by the door for a key station. Create whatever works best for your family.