Monday, July 21, 2008

This week's coupon challenge!

Ok, as the mother of a formerly homeschooled six-year-old who will be starting private school this year, I am not looking forward to the hectic morning schedule. My goal is to keep all the children calm and happy so the day can be as productive as possible when she arrives at school.
So, my challenge for this week is to ask everyone how they keep their morning schedule under control. What do you do to keep your mornings running smoothly?
Even if you don't have school aged children or children who leave the home for school, most of you or your families are still on some type of schedule.
So, what is your most creative or best suggestion for keeping mornings as calm and productive as possible? I will choose a winner at random on Saturday and she or he will receive an envelope full of coupons!!!!! Good luck!

22 comments:

Deeanna said...

Prepare as much as you can the night before. For example, I make my oatmeal (from scratch not boxed) on the weekend, then just scoop and heat in the morning. Lunches are made the night before. Coffee is placed in the coffe pot waiting to be turned on. My family takes their meds in the morning so those are sorted out beforehand. No confusing who gets what, how much, and did I already take that one. Hope that helps...

Kimberly said...

Make sure the backpack is packed the night before with homework, lunch or lunch money. Lay everyone's clothes out, including underwear, socks and shoes, and don't forget the hairbows! Make sure the children get in bed at the proper time the night before, so they will be as well rested as possible. Take your shower after putting the kids to bed at night, to save time in the morning. In the morning, get yourself ready first, before you wake the children. That way you won't be interrupted and it also gives the children a little extra sleep. Next, wake up your school aged child. Make sure she goes straight from the bed to the potty, straight from the potty to getting dressed, and then right to the breakfast table. Do not cook breakfast on school days, this will save time and cleanup. Serve cold cereal, frozen waffles, instant oatmeal or muffins (baked the night before). Cooked breakfasts on weekends will be all that much more special! On mornings that your child does not eat much breakfast, have apples or poptarts on hand to be eaten in the car on the way to school. (apples are healthier and much less messy for your child's clothes and your car, as you know, but sometimes you just gotta go for a poptart!!!) Do not have the TV on during this process, (unless you need a distraction) TV slows everything down. If you have a younger child to care for as well, wake them up as the older one is eating breakfast. Feed and dress the baby during this time. I know that sometimes the baby will wake up first....feed and change her as quickly as possible and put her somewhere safe that she will enjoy hanging out for a while as you get yourself and your older child ready, such as a baby swing or bouncy seat. Voila! You are all dressed and ready for your fabulous school day! I know you will find a routine that works for you. This is how we do it, good luck!
Kimberly E.

Kimberly said...

I forgot to add,
after your school aged child is dressed and fed, she can watch a favorite TV show while you are feeding and dressing the baby. Many times, I would feed the baby, change her diaper, leave her in her cute sleeping clothes and go. Babies can always be dressed after the morning rush! Just leave some extra day clothes in her diaper bag in case you don't come right back home after dropping your school aged children at school.
Kimberly E.

Rhonda said...

Have a designated spot for each person to place the items they need to take with them in the morning.

Also, my mom always got each of us a folder with two pockets. One pocket was marked graded papers & homework. The other side was papers to take home for mommy! She went through each of our folders each evening, to see our progress with grades, help with unfinished homework (or just give us a nudge) and sign anything that had to go back to the teacher.

Then the folders we placed into our individual cubby space (in our case - stacked milk crates).

Mrs. J said...

We don't have children yet but my husband is working every morning. What I do is prepare his packed lunch everynight. I also prepare his clothes the night before too. In the morning, we wake up together early and I serve him cereal then he goes to the shower and I lay all his work clothes on the bed to make it fast for him to change and not to figure out where's where and not to waste few minutes. Also from my experience when I was younger, my mom taught us to be responsible for out own things too. We were taught to prepare our school bags the night before so we wouldn't forget everything. Of course, you would need to help your 6 yr old and she will learn how to prepare and responsible for her own things too next time.

kewpiedoll104 said...

I get up 45 minutes before my son, and while my husband is still showering. I pack my husband's lunch (usually the night before's left overs).... put coffee on and cook breakfast.

amber said...

I pack all our lunches and make bottles the night before. I label all my daughter's bottles for day care and set out anything from the pantry that we will have for breakfast. I also set out our clothes for the next day and go ahead and iron everything.

anjspambox at gmail.com

In Christ's Arms said...

I try to make sure they have their clothes, shoes, hair accessories, socks or anything else they have planned to wear all laid out. I have a baby as well...I make sure her bag is ready to go with everything but the bottles and food for the day. Then in the morning, I have an amazing husband who gets the kids up and feeds them!! I then get up and help make lunches. I make the lunches as simple as possible...yogurts, fruit cups, juice boxes, ect. Not all days run smoothly but for the most part, my kids know the routine (they are 6 & 8). And by week 3 they are doing a lot of it on there own! Oh, and back packs are packed and ready to go as well, that way no one is running around trying to find the library book that is due that day :) I always try to keep in mind that my kids feed off of me...if I am stressed so are they...if I am happy they are too!! And pray with them...works great for my kiddos!! Good luck!!

hsmars72 said...

If any of your kids aren't "morning people" allow them a few minutes of down time to do whatever they please. I've found it's not good to rush non-morning people (AKA my hubby! ;) )

Allison said...

I do as much as possible the night before - including packing lunches, deciding on clothes, etc.

Angela said...

My son is headed of to Kindergarten this year so we have begun also a lot of night preparations. One which is working great is a laminated sheet of breakfast choices that the kids have the responsibility of choosing what they would like the next morning to eat. If they change their mind that morning they can have nothing. Works great for me so I know what to prepare and it gives them the feeling of making the choice themselves.

Good luck with the transition to private school. Thanks for all your information

Diana said...

Have my kids pick out their clothes the night before and have backpacks packed at night. We do the same things every morning get dressed, eat, brush teeth, then if time before school then watch tv. No TV or playing until everything is done it makes them get everything done really fast.

Laila said...

I don't have kids, but mornings are hard for me as I am a night owl. I prepare a lot the night before - I pack my lunch & snacks and get my exercise gear together. I keep food at work so I can eat there, which cuts down on my morning routine time. In the mornings, I just jump in the shower & go.

Jessica said...

I get up a few minutes before everyone else to get my shower done, and if the kids wake up while I'm in the shower he starts getting them dressed. Lay clothes out the night before and everyone gets dressed before coming down for breakfast. I do my girl's hair while they are eating breakfast. No TV in the morning as it just takes longer to get going that way. We pack dinner leftovers in single serve containers so hubby can just grab one and a yogurt and go.

Marin said...

I pack leftovers in individual serving containers after dinner the night before so they are ready to pop into my husband's lunch in the morning.

Shanna said...

I too prepare as much as I can the night before. I also get myself completely ready to go and breakfast on the table waiting before I get the kids up and dressed. It is a little easier to get those things done without them stuck to you!

Jem said...

I am a stay at home mom but my husband goes to work every day. The night before, I make sure his work pants and shirts and lunch are ready. And if I know there are errands I need to run the next day (like grocery shopping, etc.), I prepare my list and coupons that night.

As for my son, I have a "designated" diaper bag for him that I could just grab if we will be gone for just a short time.

And in the morning when I wake up, I play some Christian music which helps me calm down myself!

Sharon Moran said...

I have been a stay at home mom for many years now. My boys are 18 and 15 and pretty self sufficient now. Over the years, the one thing that truly made our mornings run smoother is when I got up 1 hour before everyone and had my devotions and prayed over my family for the day. I was always in a better mood and that set the tone for my family's mood as well. I always tried to go thru bookbags the evening before and had things ready for the morning.

Margery said...

I can't stress enough how important it is to get up a good hour before the kids. If you are rushed and flustered, then everyone else is, too. We also can't say enough about getting things ready the night before: homework checked and backpacks packed in a standard place near the door, school clothes picked out and ready to put on, lunches made as much as possible, and quick-n-healthy things ready to go for breakfast. Also, if you are in a private school with no busses, try to work out a good carpool so you don't have to drive every time. Oh, one more thing, it is so good for the kids if you can get them into bed consistently every night at the same time, even on the weekends. (We let that slip during the summer, but not in the school year.)

emily n. said...

- do as much as possible the night before
- always keep backpacks, etc. in the same place so everyone can find them quickly in the morning
- have a scheduled breakfast time that everyone has to be awake and on time for or they don't get to eat
- play upbeat music to energize sleepyheads

gotfire at yahoo dot com

tara said...

Prepare, perpare, prepare! The more you get done the night before the less crazy things seem to be when you have to get ready the next morning. So if you get lunches packed, clothes set out, etc. the only thing for the morning is to get ready and eat breakfast which leaves less running around looking for things that you cant find because you took care of them the night before.

Miss Lissy said...

For me one of the key things is getting up early - I need to get up early to have some time to myself - that way I'm not rushed and I hardly ever forget anything.

Also another thing I find helpful is if you have someone who is hard to wake up, get them up extra early. That way if they fall back asleep you can wake them up every 5 or 10 minutes and eventually they'll be up at a reasonable time.