And Not Lose Your Mind!
Ok, maybe I can’t stop you from losing your mind this crazy back-to-school season, but I can talk to you a little about routines for your morning, afternoon, and the witching hour (some people might call it the evening!).
Your morning routine sets your tone for the day. Whether you are doing remote school, in-person, or hybrid, having a set routine can help take your mornings from a nightmare to smooth sailing.
The best way to map out a morning routine is to start by making a list of all the things that need to be done each morning, and estimating the time they take. Include things like getting ready, eating, and packing backpacks. Once you have the list of things that need to be done, estimate how much time each action takes. This will help you to back yourself into what time to get up and start the process.
If you are not a morning person, move some tasks to the evening routine. This helps to keep the mornings a little calmer.
Having an afternoon, or after-school routine is a great way to help make the evenings a little more relaxing. Use a list or a chore chart to let the kiddos know what is expected of them after school. When there is in-school learning, your afternoon routine may include snacks, chores, and homework.
Other things that can be included in afternoon routines are things like unpacking lunch boxes, taking papers out of backpacks, and getting sports equipment ready for practices.
Having a good evening routine is key to keeping things manageable in our house. It seems like there is always so much to get done, so having a good system may be just what your house needs. Use a whiteboard to list out the things that need to be done, or a family calendar. Again, start by listing out all the things that need to be accomplished and how long they should take.
The evening is a good time to make sure lunches are made, the backpack is ready for the morning, dinner is cleaned-up, and showers are taken. You can also set expectations for what needs to be done before TV or game time is allowed.
Share the Routine
The best way to ensure that the routines are being followed is to make sure that everyone involved knows what their role is, and what they are responsible for. If you have younger kids, you may even offer up rewards or incentives to have them self guide through their routine. Dessert and TV time are always a good way to get the kitchen cleaned up in our house!
Lists and routines can really be helpful when trying to navigate the business that back-to-school brings to households. By being intentional in your planning, you are able to add some predictability in these very unpredictable times.