The school year is upon us, and with it comes the inevitable hustle and bustle of day-to-day life for most families. To keep your mind clear and to stay level when the chaos ensues, check out these tips presented by WorldWise Tutoring for a good morning routine.
Get a good night’s sleep
The secret to stress-free mornings, as well as a clear mind that’s ready for learning, is to get enough sleep. Not just you, but your entire family. As a parent, you already know your kids are going to slack in the AM. Put them to bed and wake them up half an hour early so you aren’t rushing to get out the door. Keep in mind, however, that if the quality of this sleep isn’t up to par, it won’t matter how early you turn in.
Getting a restful eight hours starts with having a good mattress. It’s easy to relegate kids to the cheapest sleep surface available, but you’ll pay for it in bad moods and attitudes. If their mattress is more than seven years old, start shopping. Innerspring models can sag after just a few years, and even high-end memory foam mattresses won’t last more than a decade.
A restful slumber takes more than a good bed. You’ll also want to eliminate distractions. This might be a barking dog in the distance, a too-loud TV coming from an older sibling’s room, or light from the street. Blackout curtains and a noisemaker can reduce the impact of these and other sleep offenders. Before you turn out the lights, turn the thermostat down to 65 degrees or so, then tuck them in tight with soft sheets (there are even some designed to keep you cool at night) and a breathable comforter or quilt.
Master the morning
Now that you’ve gotten your sleep patterns in order, it’s time to tackle the day. Your morning routine should follow one rule: simple. Your most time-consuming chores should be completed the night before. It won’t hurt to get a few things prepared ahead of time, either. For example, if you know you are going to make pancakes for breakfast, have the ingredients, pan, and plates all ready on the counter. SimpleMost offers more make-ahead breakfast ideas. Your clothes, toothbrush, and kids’ backpacks should be ready to go.
Streamline any tasks that you must do in the AM by planning them out to occur in the most efficient order possible. Bring the laundry upstairs on your way up from waking the kids, or take out the trash as you leave for the day. In other words, don’t waste time. Depending on your kids’ ages, you can delegate some of the morning responsibilities. Older siblings can help younger siblings learn to tie their shoes, find their clothes, and grab lunches from the fridge.
All families have chores that must be completed in the morning. A Fine Parent suggests using a chore chart and a when/then approach in the morning. A chore chart can help even the youngest members of your crew remember what needs to get done. When their chart is clear — and this will include hygiene and any cleaning jobs they’ve been assigned — then they can do the “fun” stuff, like reading, watching TV, or coloring while you get ready.
Of course, there are moments when trying to keep the house clean becomes a chore in and of itself. In those instances, don’t let it get away from you or stress you out. Instead, admit that you could use a helping hand and call in some pros to help you with the task at hand.
The point here is to create a morning routine that allows you to get your kids ready for another day of learning without the stress of a chaotic morning. And, again, simpler is always better.
Have it your way
Keep in mind that nighttime preparations aren’t for everyone, particularly if you have school-age kids and toddlers, the latter of which are notorious for rising before the alarm goes off. Don’t be hard on yourself if you can’t clean the evening’s dishes or perfect your 3rd grader’s bento box until the last minute. Time management guru Laura Vanderkam suggests not prepping in the evening if you need to take some leisure time to yourself after the kids hit the hay. This is especially important if you’re working a side gig or going back to school. For example, if you’ve chosen to go to school online, then you’ll definitely need time to yourself to get some work done. Thankfully, these programs are flexible, meaning you can work around your children.
Give yourself the energy to wake rested and ready to tackle the day, and spend a little extra time in the evening getting stuff together — unless it makes more sense for your family to wait. Remember, there is no wrong way to get out the door as long as it’s on time and without a fight.
WorldWise Tutoring provides in-person and online services to help guide your child onto the path toward success. Get in touch with us today by emailing [email protected].