Multiple kids at one or different schools? Mornings can be frantic! Here are some tips from me and the moms on how to make life easier and more enjoyable for your family.  Have other tips to share?  Please add them via a comment!

When big brother does homework it's helpful if little brother has something quiet to do.

When big brother does homework it’s helpful if little brother has something quiet to do.

The Night Before

Night before prep is essential! Going to bed early and getting up for some me time and prep-time helps combat stress. MAKE SURE EVERYONE IS GETTING ENOUGH SLEEP. So essential for your health. Doing everything in the same order as much as possible helps too. Then I always know what is happening next and avoid the “wait. what am I doing?” blank brain!

Mine are 10 and 12, they Much do all that without too much prodding by themselves. The biggest prob we ever had was leaving on time in the am. So I started making them go to bed earlier if they were late.  No yelling. Just a reminder 5 minutes to go. Then I get in the car ON TIME and for every minute they were late multiply that times 15 (2 minutes late x15=30 minutes earlier to bed that night) it took 2 days and me sticking to it….now no more issues going on about 2 years now.

Before they go to bed make sure backpacks, coats and shoes are where they belong, if not have them fix this – don’t do it for them!

Waking Up

I always get my daughter up 5 min early so she can lay in bed a slowly get up. It helps her so much especially if I get in a rushed mode, at least she won’t feel as thrown into the morning!

First things first – we woke up an hour and a half before running out the door, because I think that was my main mistake last year was not leaving us enough time to do anything at our own pace without feeling we were gonna be late.

I drew a sign to put on my sons door with the morning steps on it and in what order they needed to be completed in, this morning when he work up I made it a game and he did so good going back to it to see what the next picture was of what he was suppose to accomplish. Last night I set up an old phone as an alarm clock (let him pick the ring tone) and I set it on the floor across the room so he has to get out of bed and kneel down to turn if off. Everything went out without a hitch and he felt good because he was a big boy who got to do it on his own.

No TV in the morning unless they get everything done by a set time.  It’s amazing how quick they will get it done just to watch a little spongebob!

Breakfast

Feed your kids something you can just pull out.  Like english muffins, muffins, pre-made pancakes (freeze them individually on a cookie sheet, then stack and put in a bag, reheat in a toaster oven), cereal, casseroles, etc.  As soon as they are old enough teach them to prepare their own breakfast.  Put plates, cups, etc. in an cabinet they can easily reach, and teach them to put their dishes back in the kitchen.

Clothes & Teeth

We bought a vertical clothes organizer that has slots for each day of the week. On Sundays I load it up with outfits, socks, and underwear for each day. We bought our 5 year old an alarm clock and each morning he turns it off, goes to the bathroom, and gets dressed before coming downstairs.

I make the girls lay out what they are wearing the next day down to the socks, shoes and underwear. Then in the am I put the clothes in the dryer to get any wrinkles out. They love to put on warm clothes, especially in the winter.

We plan our clothes the night before. I have an alarm clock in my girls room that goes off pretty early. They are responsible for getting up, dressed, going to the bathroom and getting their breakfast. Something we’ve tried when their excitement wore off is having these chores on a list on the wall. If they get them all done by a certain time, they get compensated.

I pick out all the outfits with my children on Sunday. They are put away according to the day of use.

Clothes are chosen the night before as well and are waiting and ready for the morning.

My 5 year old can get dressed on his own, but I want to help brush his teeth so I know they are clean, so I put a second toothbrush/paste in the downstairs bathroom.  Saves me the trip upstairs.

All of my son’s uniform clothes are hanging in his closet together in one spot, so it’s really obvious what his choices are for a school day.

Lunch

Have them pack their own lunch.  They know what have in their lunchboxes so there’s no drama and they actually eat it since they choose it themselves.

I pack all the lunches and backpacks with my children the night before.

Homework & Other Stuff

Find a place in your house for backpacks and coats to live, and teach your kids to put them there.  Same with shoes.  Everything needs a home, and they need to learn to put things in the proper place so everything is easy to find.

Bus pass lives in coat pocket always – use a pin to attach the end to the inside and attach it to an extender cord so it can be pulled out for driver to see but cannot be lost. Works for a house key too inside a pant pocket.

After School

Go through your child’s backpack as soon as possible and ACT on whatever is in there immediately.  Need field trip money?  Get it.  Something signed?  Do it.  Project due in a week – post it on a board someplace and consider adding a reminder to your calendar.  Little kids need reminders to do projects so it’s not last minute (big kids too, I’m sure!)

Teach your child to empty out their lunch box.

Do homework and make sure it gets put back in the backpack, which gets put back in it’s home.

Phones and computers stay in the kitchen or den – that means you get to see what they are going when they do their homework, you are on hand to help while you cook dinner, books etc can be replaced immediately for next day and left by door, computers and phones are not accessible at night to disturb sleep or tempt teenagers.( use parental controls on them , so if tempted to sneak down to kitchen to use, they are locked anyway). – phones are last thing they pick up before leaving ( time to text friends in the car without disrupting morning exit), and are fully charged.

The second we get home in the afternoon, backpack is emptied, homework completed and lunch packed for the next day. For my own sanity, I start a load of laundry before bed, put it in the dryer each am and the fold it during homework time.