5 Tips for a Better Before School Morning Routine


Like most moms I’m looking at the calendar and counting the days until school starts. You may be counting the days until your little gems will be gone for 6+ hours with joy (like me LOL), or counting the upcoming days in dread. Either way, a new school year is almost here!

I love the start of new school years. I love being able to take a picture of the first day and a picture on the last day to see how each kid has grown. I also love the fresh start to a new school year. You get to meet a new teacher, and your kids get to start off on the same footing as everyone else. This is most important for us; Lane tends to need a clean start each year…

One thing I don’t like about the school year is mornings. In our school district elementary school starts at 8:20am, which means the bus picks the kids up at 7:45am. In order to get everyone dressed, teeth and hair brushed, breakfast eaten, and school bags packed, I have to wake the kids up at 7:00am. Even with a 45-minute window to get everything done, some days a backpack is forgotten or someone is eating breakfast on the way to the bus stop.

I really hate yelling and starting the morning off stressed. I get stressed and feel guilty for yelling, and the kids feel that stress all day. To help cut down on the stress and help mornings to go smoothly, I got in the groove of a morning routine. The routine isn’t difficult; it takes prepping the night before, and helps me use time stamps to get everything done.

I used this routine all of last school year, and I plan on implementing it two weeks before school actually starts. This will help me and the kids get familiar with the routine and the adjustment period is out of the way before the first day of school.

5 Tips for a successful morning routine:

  1. Prepare Backpacks the Night Before
    • Each evening while the kids are doing homework I look through backpacks. Usually there is a permission slip, note home, or something to take a look at. I sign slips right away, and either file or throw away everything else. Every night I have to sign the kids homework sheet saying they read their 20 minutes, and that I saw the folder. I sign their reading log during this time as well. Next, I put their folders and slips back into their backpack and hang the bag by the front door.
  2. Make Lunches the Night Before
    • After dinner we set up our lunch assembly line and each kid makes his or her own lunch. I have snack stations they can pick what sides they want in their lunch and we make sandwiches. This helps in two ways: 1. The kids pack what they’ll eat 2. It frees up time the next morning.
  3. Set Out Clothes Before Bed
    • Growing up my best friend Jamie would pick out his clothes the night before and wear them to bed. His theory on this is he doesn’t have to take the time to get dressed the next morning and gets to sleep longer LOL. Now, I don’t think you need to go that far, but picking out clothes the day before is a good idea. I like that I don’t have to go through six outfit changes with Audrey, just to have her wear the first outfit she tried on. I let her do the trying on the night before and she’s locked in to what she’s going to wear the next day.
    • A tip for girls is to have the days of the week posted on their mirror or wall in their room. It never fails; your daughter picks out a dress and boots to wear every Tuesday forgetting she has gym class. As soon as the schedule for “specials” (gym, music, art, etc.) is established I print out index cards with the information. That way Audrey wears gym appropriate clothes when needed, and she wears clothes that can be washed in case of spills during art class.
  4. Wake up Before the Kids
    • I love my sleep, but I love my sanity and privacy more. I wake up 20 minutes before the kids each morning so I can take a shower, brush my teeth and get dressed in peace and quiet. Otherwise I’m trying to pee and someone is asking me to help him or her find matching socks, or telling me they can’t find their toothbrush. {Side note: Audrey seems to lose her toothbrush twice a day. Miraculously it can be found under the bathroom towel or on the floor Every. Single. Time.}
  5. Keep It Simple for Breakfast
    • I’m not sure how moms in the 50’s made big breakfasts for their families. It’s mind boggling to me… I keep breakfast simple in our house. We usually have an assortment of bagels or pastries, cereal, and previously prepped frozen burritos or egg muffins available. All of these are self-service for the kids; they can pore, warm up or toast whatever is available. While the kids are getting ready I set out the toaster, paper plates and bowls, and the breakfast assortment. After they eat and they’re brushing teeth and putting on their shoes, coats, backpacks; I clean up the breakfast foods and its done!


Our Morning Routine:
6:45-7:00am – I wake up and shower/get dressed
7:00-7:05am – Wake kids up
7:05-7:15am – Kids get dressed (I set out breakfast)
7:15-7:30am – Breakfast
7:30-7:40am – Brush teeth, put on shoes, get backpacks ready
7:45am – Leave house and walk to the bus


After these tasks are completed, it’s time for me to walk them to the bus and kiss them goodbye. On the bus they go, and it’s peace and quiet for 6 glorious hours…


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