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Mornings can be nightmares.
"Mom! Where are my shoes?"
"Dad? Where's my backpack?"
"I can't find my homework!"
"I've got a three page paper due this morning, can you help me?"
The list is endless and the number of ways to be late in the morning can make you wish you simply homeschooled. But it doesnt' have to be that way.
Having a good night time and morning routine can help take the stress out of all this.
First, have one area where all school items go--backpacks, instruments, sport gear/gym clothes, homework, etc. Whatever is standard for the child to take to school, have a centrailized location where this has to be before the child goes to bed.
Second, go through the lunch menu at the beginning of the month and figure out which days are take lunch and which are buy. Hang it on the refridgerator so you know when those days are and it comes as no surprise at 630a. Also, there is nothing wrong with heating leftovers and sending those for meals. Have too much spaghetti from the night before? Send a helping of it in a thermos along with a piece of fruit, a handful of carrot sticks, and a bottle of water and you're set. There is no rule that says every lunch needs to be unique. Use what you've already made and save time, money, and sanity.
Third, as soon as the children get home, find out what homework they have. Do this before any TV or (fun) computer time. I know kids need time to decompress after being at school all day and giving them down time and a snack after school is great. Problem when they sit down and start watching TV or playing on the computer, it makes it difficult to pull them away from these fun activities. Why give yourself a reason to argue? Use the down time (set the timer) to talk to your child about their day, go through their homework, and simply spend a little time together.
Fourth, have a calendar at the centralized location and put every event on it. That includes when projects are due, weekely spelling tests, library book day, quizzes, etc. This greatly discourages those last minute "I have a ten page project due in the morning". If it's on the calendar, everyone knows these projects are due and can help each other. Also, if there's a lot going up one week, this helps whomever is planning meals to know if it needs to be a proper sit down meal week or go simple with sandwiches and soup for meals.
Fifth, although breakfast can be the most important meal of the day, it can also be the toughest. Do you serve the same meal each morning or do you give a variety? Depends on what kind of time there is in the morning. This is where planning comes in handy. For those of you who want variety, plan your menu on Sunday. Then there's no guessing. Also, there is no hard a fast rule that says only breakfast food for breakfast. A warm bowl of stew can make one happy belly in the morning. Again, leftovers from the night before can be a very easy breakfast. Be sure to include a mix of food so lean proteins, carbohydrates, and a fruit and veggie can help the child have a great morning.
Following these five steps can help make mornings far more happy.