Back To School Routines

It’s hard to believe that summer is over and that school is beginning again!  Sometimes it’s difficult to “shift gears” back to school.  Here are a few tips to help the transition!


When summer comes to an end, there are moans, groans and sometimes a few cheers!  The summer has been spent with friends, family and hopefully making a few memories BUT now it’s time to shift gears and think about going back to school.

I was blessed enough to have my mom home when I was growing up.  When she worked part time, she arrived home shortly after my sister, brother and I got home from school.  She left a snack for us (or a note listing what we could have) and expected us to do our homework until she got home.

When my older kids were growing up, I was a single mom so worked full time.  They were blessed (and I was to) because my mom lived next door so they got to spend their days with her.  After my husband and I got married, we decided it was important for a parent to be able to take kids to school and pick them up so I cut back to part-time for a couple of years so that I was able to do that for both my kids and my step-kids.  Even when they weren’t staying with us, I was the before and after school mom so that daycare wasn’t needed for any of them.

There finally came a time when I quit entirely and became a “stay at home mom”.  My dream job had finally arrived!!!

Not everyone is in that position.  This is when routines and everyone pitching in makes a world of difference.

Transitioning from a schedule that is a little more relaxed to a routine that gets everyone out the door and where they’re supposed to be can be a difficult transition.  With a little planning and effort, it can go smoother and start the school year off right.

  1. Pick out clothes the night before — this sounds silly but it eliminates the time taken to pick something out and/or change your mind several times before you decide.
  2. Pack lunch the night before — at least have a plan (what you’re taking, etc) so that you’re not standing at the refrigerator or pantry searching.
  3. Have a spot for everything that needs to go with you — backpacks, homework, signed notes, gym clothes, band instrument (whatever it might be), have it put in it’s place the night before so that things aren’t forgotten in the rush of the morning.
  4. Family calendar for everyone’s activities — this way there is a visual reminder of who needs to be where and when.  Rides can be arranged and pick ups scheduled well in advance and no one misses an appointment or a practice (and no one is left somewhere by accident).
  5. Plan a dinner menu — this one planning tool can save a bunch of time and stress (not to mention money).  Knowing what’s for dinner ensures that the ingredients are on hand and that whomever is home first can get the process started.  Family dinner time is SO important!!
  6. Everyone can help with daily chores — sharing the chore list will actually give everyone time to do what they need to get done.  From laundry to washing dishes to vacuuming and cleaning bathrooms, “many hands make light work”.  Besides those chores shouldn’t fall on just one person.

These tips aren’t applicable to everyone but even one new habit can change the whole morning (or afternoon).  Experiment and see what works for your family.  Obviously there are many more items that could be on this list.  If you have any additional ideas, share them and let us all benefit from your wisdom.

Have a great school year!!