Inside: These 5 night routine for school tips are the best way to reduce your stress in the mornings.
Our alarm sounds its ear-piercing scream at 4:00 am when all else is silent. While I may snooze it till 4:15, this crazy hour is still our norm for waking up during the school year.
Halfway asleep I usually drag myself to the shower and then wake up my husband when I’m finished.
This is our life for 10 months out of the year. With both of us being classroom teachers, the days start early in our house for us and the kids. We leave the house a little before 6:00 am.
You may be asking yourself why we wake up before the roosters, and the simple answer is that we like to make sure we are 100% prepared for the students to arrive.
There’s nothing like scrambling around because you weren’t prepared while a classroom full of students waits on you.
And I know we’ve all been there – that feeling of running around like a chicken with its head cut off.
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So many things on the to-do list before you even get out the door:
- Get dressed
- Eat breakfast
- Make some much-needed coffee
- Pack bags (these are our absolute favorite bags – lifetime warranty)
- Drive to work and/or drop off the kids
Let’s not forget those times when there are unironed clothes needed for the day, sibling scuffles, and tantrums over uncomfortable sock seams that seem to derail an already crazy morning.
It Gets Worse
From the alarm clock buzzing to the dreaded morning commute in rush hour, mornings tend to be one of the most stressful and chaotic times of the day.
One morning I almost left for work in my house slippers. I forgot to pack half my oldest son’s lunch. Bedhead in a ponytail, yep it was going to work with me too.
I at least made it out of the house with clean underwear because I did do laundry over the weekend. I took that as a small win. 😉
My heart was racing and my skin was starting to flush knowing I still had a 35-minute drive to work.
Then wouldn’t you know, I get behind the SLOWEST person in town on my way to the highway. Really?!
All of this because I forgot to set my alarm, get everything ready beforehand, and create a habit that would stick.
There’s Got to Be a Better Way
There’s no doubt about it that the morning checklist must get done. I NEED my morning coffee, and a girl’s gotta eat, right?
Then one weekend while dreading the upcoming week and having heart palpitations because I was sure that my alarm would fail me again, I had an epiphany.
What if I started a routine before the chaos occurred and maybe get organized the weekend before?
So, I set to work thinking of all the things I could get done ahead of time.
The Best Ever Night Routine for School
We keep a pretty simple life so we have the ability to make adjustments to our weekends when necessary. I prepped my husband and oldest son about my plans to set up a routine for everyone.
It involves a little work up front but pays for itself time and time again throughout the week.
No more Tasmanian Devils flying through the house just trying to get out the door on time.
Stress and anxiety lead to other issues later down the road affecting everything from your muscles to your breathing to your heart.
Who has time for more stress? Not me.
5+1 Tips to Create a Night Routine for School
Get everyone’s clothes set out the night before or even over the weekend
Yes, even your own.
This prevents any power struggle between you and your kids. We all know how one minute the kids can be happy as clams, and in the next moment, they’re the cranky bears.
As my oldest son has matured, I let him make the choices about his clothing, even if it’s not a shirt and shorts I would have put together.
I truly believe we need to give our kids more voice and choice in some of the smaller decisions in life.
Laying out clothes the night before seems like a task that wouldn’t be extremely important, but the minutes saved in the morning are amazing. Just try it.
Pack lunches with items that don’t need refrigeration and have other items grab-and-go style in the refrigerator
Leave lunch boxes or bags out on the counter ready to pack in the morning.
On Sundays, I find it really easy to store all refrigerated items in one section of the fridge. Even smaller children can grab items from this section to pack into their lunches.
Portions are already divided into Ziplocs or containers and organized in the fridge.
Place backpacks and personal bags with needed items in a place that’s on your way out the door
I’m an “out-of-sight and out-of-mind” kind of person. If I don’t have it written down somewhere or out in the open, I will inevitably miss it.
By having necessary items on your way out the door, you won’t have to search all over the house for them.
Practice the “one-touch” rule so counters don’t become cluttered during the week and everything has its own home
This has honestly been the toughest part of setting up my night routine for school. When everyone is exhausted from a long day, it’s all too easy to leave things on the counter.
We immediately sort any paperwork and throw away the junk. Important papers get hung in our command center so we see them daily.
The “One Touch Rule” forces you to put something away instead of just laying it down somewhere else in the house, to then have to put it away completely later.
Review your day and set priorities and goals for the next day
I left this tip for last because I feel it’s most important.
When I don’t look at what’s coming up the next day or week, I usually miss something important.
I think about the items on my to-do list at work and home. Dinner is included in this list I create unless I’m really ahead of the game and have already planned it out.
It’s nice going to bed knowing what lies ahead.
One more bonus tip
Buy your kids their own alarm clock.
This has been such a game-changer in our house.
I no longer have to wake up my 8-year-old which gave me minutes to do other things. It also gives him some responsibility and makes him feel important when I thank him for getting himself ready on time.
Let them pick out their own alarm clock. They’ll have more buy-in to your idea too. My son picked out a Lego one that’s pretty cool if I do say so myself.
Here’s What I Didn’t Expect
After our first week of practicing our night routine for school, I noticed a difference. New habits were being formed. Mornings were running smoother. Little fights when frustrated had all but disappeared.
We weren’t doing less stuff than before but rather just changed the order in which we did them by creating routines.
Did We Keep It Up?
I’m happy to say we’ve kept up our night routine habits and everyone is better for it.
Now everyone gets into their groove on school nights and over the weekend getting prepared for the next day or week.
Do we always love doing it? No. But we all know every little step makes for less hectic mornings.
We’ve become very proficient at creating our night routine for school that it actually gives us back more of our time for when the unexpected does happen the next morning.
Now It’s Your Turn
You might not be able to implement each and every one of these tips starting tomorrow. If you do, I’m just going to call you Superwoman.
Pick one little thing that would help you create a better night routine for school.
Setting out everyone’s outfits the night before is probably the easiest habit to implement right away. It can also be the most time-saving.
So, set a reminder on your phone before everyone goes to bed giving you a gentle nudge that everyone must choose their outfit for the following day.
This routine lessens the chances of anyone starting their day with anxiety levels running high.
Download Your Free Checklist
This checklist gives you 22 more ways to simplify your life and create routines.
Use this checklist to help keep you on track and remind you of the little things that can make a big difference in creating a simple night routine for the whole family.
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- Print out the checklist onto my all-time favorite cardstock. It won’t do you any good staying on your computer.
- Hang it in a place where the whole family will see it. We all need visual reminders.
What’s your best tip for a night routine for school? Share in a comment below!