Moms, Make School Mornings Way Easier – And Faster! – With These Simple Tips

It’s a quirk of nature — at bedtime, kiddos have the energy of a Lithuanian cage fighter, but come morning, those same lil love bugs have the inertia of a sloth swimming in honey.

Which is to say, our bebes can work our nerves like no one else. With that in mind, here’s a list of some of my back-to-school tips to help you get your children ready for school on time, without bribery, stress, or drama.


Manage your expectations.

When they are old enough, expect them to take responsibility for what they can, like taking out the trash or checking the mailbox. For a young child, this may be unreasonable. To make back-to-school expectations seem more achievable, take this tip one step at a time.

A uniform, but make it fashion.

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We all have our favorite outfits. Lean into that by making your favorite looks into something of a uniform. Does your kiddo love jeans? Place a stack of jeans in one closet section and acceptable t-shirts in another. Allow your child to mix and match as she pleases.

Help your kiddos out by checking the weather forecast (c’mon, do you REALLY think they’ll check? LOL, no). Open your favorite weather app and encourage your lil babes to lay out their clothes the night before, or stash an umbrella into their backpack.

Super-level up the morning wardrobe routine by stashing Shout wipes anywhere near mess-prone areas: in the kitchen, near the front door, in your car, or as I did with my kiddos, one or two shoved in the way back of the mailbox.

Prep for the week ahead.

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Make a schedule of both school and extracurricular activities, and pack the night before. For example, have your elementary school child pack their library books into their backpack the night before their weekly media center visit.

Make it fun.

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During homework time, play music your children love — or if they find it too distracting, break up study sessions with dance parties. Not into dance? Take a break to walk the dog or perhaps take a walk around the block.

Totes and cubbies.

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There’s a reason elementary schools have a plethora of cubbies and storage bins: it works. Let your little one pick out their favorite storage items and have him utilize them regularly. Perhaps keep one for graded papers and another for school communication.

Speaking of elementary schools, keep enough supplies on hand to make a 2nd grade art teacher blush.  Whether it’s pencils, index cards, pens, rulers, etc., buy extra during sales and stash them in an accessible area for your child.

Get a calendar.

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Sure, you can choose a wall calendar, if you like, but this isn’t the ’90s, you have other options. Take 30 minutes at the beginning of every month to fill out a Google Calendar with everything school/work/kid-related. The key is finding a system that works for all of you.

Speak in code.

On busy mornings, about 15 minutes before we had to walk out the door, I asked my kiddos one question: “Go or no go?” The phrase, uttered by NASA during launches, allows each department to voice their readiness for the mission. As I finished my tasks, I’d call out each kid’s name and ask “go or no go?” If the answer was yes, no problem. If no, I’d ask them what obstacle they faced. Can’t find your shoes? Check the living room. Lost your backpack? I think you left it by the front door. Need me to sign your permission slip? Bring it to the bathroom, I’ll sign it while I brush my teeth.


These tips will save you from having to do everything yourself — you can use these tips to get the rest of your family ready too. What back-to-school tips do you have? Share with us below!

For More On Helping Your Kids Prep For School, Read These:

Packing Your Kids’ Lunch Boxes Just Got Way Easier With These Amazon Finds

Here Are 14 Back To School Necessities You’re Probably Forgetting

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