Back to School Series- Establishing Routines

It’s that time of year again. Kids (and parents) are gearing up for back to school in some way shape or form. I’ve teamed up with my friend Megan from The Lulu Mama to bring you a week’s worth of back to school content to make this transition as as easy and stress free as possible.

Whether your kids are headed back to a traditional classroom, learning through a hybrid model or sticking to 100 percent virtual education, one thing is certain…summer is over and it’s time to get back into a routine. As both a mom and a teacher, I cannot stress the importance of having a good solid routine in place (for both you and your kiddos.) Routines are critical in order to have as smooth a transition as possible into what is bound to be a crazy school year. Today I’m sharing with you some tips to creating a successful routine as well as what our own morning and evening routines look like.

Tips for creating a successful routine:

1. Keep it simple- routines are meant to make your life easier, so stick to the tasks that matter and leave the rest for later.

2. Start these routines early- it will take a few days for everyone to get adjusted, so you want to make sure you put your new routines in place before the first day of school so everyone has time to get used to them.

3. Keep your routines visible- many kids (and adults) stay motivated and on task by visually seeing what needs to get done. I use my Erin Condren daily petit planner to stay on task when it comes to my routines. For younger kids you can keep pictures showing what needs to get done visible and use a dry erase checklist for older kids.

4. Plan ahead as much as possible- everyone knows moorings are usually hectic, so don’t wait until you wake up to handle things that could have been done the night before or even over the weekend.

5. Rewards kids for sticking to the routine- Most people respond great to positive reinforcement and kids are no different. Try setting up a reward system for when they follow the routines. It could be something as simple as an ice cream after school on Friday if they stay on task all week. For younger kids, you may have to have more immediate gratification like a pack of gummies or 10 extra minutes of TV.

Keep in mind that everyone’s routine will look different depending on your circumstances. Some parents don’t work traditional hours, kids’ schedules are crazy this year due to COVID and things seem to be constantly changing. The important thing is to find what works for your family and STICK TO IT! Here is what our morning and evening routines look like during the school year.

Morning Routine (kids)

1. Wake Up at 6:10

2. Get Dressed

3. Eat Breakfast

4. Brush teeth

5. Shoes On

6. Out the Door by 6:30

Morning Routine (mom)

1. Wake Up at 5:50

2. Get Dressed, Skin Care, Brush Teeth

3. Make Bed and Tidy Up

4. Wake Kids Up- assist in their routine

5. Grab lunch, coffee and bag

6. Out the door by 6:30

Evening Routine (kids)

1. Snack Time

2. Play time (Grayson and Audrey) and homework time (Alex)

3. Dinner Time

4. Bath, brush teeth and Jammies

5. TV Time

6. Read books, say prayers and lights out (7:00- Audrey, 7:30-Grayson, 9:00 Alex)

Evening Routine (mom)

1. Prep Dinner

2. Time with kids

3. Dinner Time

4. Get kids ready for bed OR clean kitchen (alternate with Jason)

5. Kids bedtime routine

6. Workout

7. Bath, Jammies, Teeth

8. Prep for tomorrow- pack lunch, get bag ready, prep dinner if possible

9. Me Time/Time with Jason (check planner for tomorrow, read, watch TV, catch up on OCB)

10. Bed by 10:30

I am not a morning person, so I try to do as much as I the night before. While these routines are not always followed to a T, we try to stick to them as much as possible. When we do, things run so much more smoothly.

I hope you find some of these tips helpful when creating your own back to school routines. Make sure to head over to Megan’s blog to get even more ideas! Have a great week! XO

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