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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Getting Ready for School - Part 3 (Getting out the door and Carpooling)

OK...so by now you've gotten your kids (and maybe yourself)  ready to start the school year. There are always ways to save time by organizing yourself before hand.  Some obvious, or not so obvious ideas are:


1 -  Have your kids pick out their clothes the night before - including shoes, socks, underwear, and hair things (for girls)

2 -  Set up their backpacks and homework folders and have a double check of "are there any papers I need to sign" the night before

3-  ALWAYS put your kids to bed at a decent hour.  Seriously, this is super important.  There is no reason to keep your six year old up to 9 every night!  Sleep is SO important and the school is always telling us to put the kids to bed by 8 PM.  Good advice!  Plus they move faster in the morning! Also, wake them at the same time each morning (unless they wake on their own earlier).

4 - Teach your kids what they need to do every morning when they wake up for school - have a routine.  My kids cannot come to the breakfast table until they go potty, get dressed, and make their beds.  I have just found they move slower if they have breakfast first and then start getting dressed, etc.  Everyone is different, so this is only my preference!
 
5 - Put their routine in two places - preferably one in their bedroom and one in the kitchen.  Refer to it often...point to it, and remind them.  If they can't read, make one with pictures. Really get creative!

 

6 - If you have a slow mover (I do), get a timer!  Give them reasonable amounts of time to get something.  For example, I give my daughter 15 minutes to do those first three things before breakfast - PLENTY of time!  Some kids get easily distracted.  Make a consequence if the timer goes off and they aren't done with their task.

7 - Set up an easy area or place in your pantry for kids to grab what they need to make lunch.  I have a checklist inside the pantry for the kids to check what needs (and what doesn't) to go into their lunch.  I also have chips, fruit cups, desserts, plastic spoons, wipes - everything set up in individual baskets for grab and go ease.

8 - Make your kids make their own lunch!  Yes, they can do this.  I make grilled cheese sandwiches for my son (which he can't do yet).  This is really not hard especially if you have everything already set up for lunch sized portions.

9 - Don't allow them to watch TV!  Seriously, this will always slow them down.  Perhaps make that a reward or consequence for getting everything done quickly or take it away if they took too long.  

10 - Give yourself plenty of time to get to school.  We leave 15 minutes before school starts....even though it only takes us five minutes to walk there.  You just never know.





I hope this helps get you and your kids going in the morning!  One more thing I highly recommend.  Get to know other parents in your child's class.  Work out carpooling.  It is such a blessing to ask another parent to drop them off - especially when you have multiple kids with different times they get out of school.  I know a friend who has three kids in school and the school pick up is three different times!  It's a great way to get to know others in your area, plus getting to know kids yours hang out with, too.




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