Six Tips to Get Your Kids Off to School on Time


We’ve all been there: you are running five minutes behind to get the kids out the door to school and someone can’t find their other shoe and you’ve just been informed that a half-completed math assignment is due that day. And you are pretty sure this is the third time this has happened. Starting the day in a frenzy doesn’t help anyone. Here are six tips for helping your mornings go more smoothly so you and your kids get the best possible start for a successful day.


1. Have kids complete homework during after-school snack time

As soon as the kids come home and plop themselves down at the table to munch on a snack, have them pull out their homework and work on that simultaneously. Then it gets done before they run off to another activity and gives you a chance to review what homework needs to be done and stay on top of what they are learning. The fewer surprises, the better.


2. Do a daily backpack check

Make sure there aren’t any lingering assignments, notices or library books in your kids’ backpack. It’s also good to keep the backpacks tidy so papers and other items don’t get lost or damaged. Add this to the chore list so your child completes this task regularly.


3. Pick out clothes the evening before

It takes time to find the perfect outfit, or for your child to change after they’ve shown you their “matching” turquoise top and sky blue pants. Let your kids put together their outfits the evening before when there is more time to spend. This also ensures everyone has plenty of clothes, or if laundry needs to be done, there is sufficient time to do it. It’s best to avoid those times when your child informs you twenty minutes before school that they don’t have any clean shirts or underwear left.


4. Make lunches ahead of time

Not only does making lunches ahead of time save you time but rather than throwing together whatever you can find last minute, often resulting in the same peanut butter and jelly sandwich, making school lunches the day before gives you the time to put a little more thought, health, and diversity into the meals.


5. Set the alarms 10 minutes early

While we all like to soak up as much sleep in the mornings as possible, as well as waking up on round numbers, those extra 10 minutes will give everyone a chance to slow down a little more and accomplish all necessary tasks. Mornings set the tone for the rest of the day, and when you allow time to relax your pace, you will feel less sharp with the kids hurrying them along and your relationship will benefit.


6. Make healthy but easy or make-ahead breakfasts

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it doesn’t have to be a gourmet meal. Reserve that for the weekend if you have the inclination. There are plenty of healthy breakfast options that will keep kids energized but are quick and simple to prepare. Avoid preservative-packed foods and opt to make your own, such as yogurt banana splits and breakfast bars. Have fun with it and invite your kids to help you prepare them.

Fighting the clock to get kids out the door to school on time can be a battle, but it doesn’t have to be with the right preparation. Not only will it help with punctuality, but a little planning can also make a big difference in your child’s health, stress level, homework and even relationship with you.