How to simplify your school routine

Having a predictable school routine can make mornings, afternoons, and evenings less hectic for working parents.

Here are a few tips and resources for creating a consistent school day schedule.

Morning Routine for School

Switch to DIY breakfasts

Save time by having your kids make their own breakfast. The trick here is to stick with no-cook options, such as cereal, fruit, muffins, or yogurt. Hard boiled eggs are another simple solution, as they can be cooked the night before and eaten cold in the morning.

Consider carpooling

If you’re friendly with other parents in your neighbourhood, why not organize a carpool? There are many apps available to help create a carpooling schedule. Some apps will even automatically rotate drivers so you don’t have to figure out whose turn it is to drive next. When organizing your school carpool, don’t forget to take the children’s ages into account; some may require car seats or booster seats, which can limit the amount of available space in each car.

Create a morning routine chart

If your children are easily distracted, creating a morning routine chart is a great way to keep them focused. Your chart doesn’t have to be fancy; a few simple instructions like “eat breakfast,” “brush your teeth,” “get dressed,” and “pack your school bag” will help everyone stay on track. Alternatively, you can use a visual school timer — such as the On-Task On-Time for Kids — to improve your children’s time management skills and keep them on schedule.

After School Routine

Consider an after school nanny

If you have young children who get home before you do, consider hiring an after school nanny to help with tasks like picking the kids up from school, making after school snacks, and helping with homework. Keep in mind, however, that finding a nanny who is willing to work for just an hour or two per day can be difficult. Sharing a nanny with other parents in the neighbourhood can help offset the cost of hiring after school care.

Sign up for after school programs

An alternative to hiring an after school nanny is to get your children into an after school activity. An effective and well-organized after school program can help improve academic performance, provide social stimulation, and foster a sense of independence in your children.

Set up a homework station

Avoid homework battles by setting up a “homework station” at home. Whether you children are being tutored or studying independently, having a consistent place for completing schoolwork will help keep them motivated. Your homework station doesn’t have to be fancy; a simple desk or table stocked with supplies such as pencils, pens, scissors, and rulers will provide your kids and their tutors with everything they need to stay on task.

Night Routine for School

Create nightly schedules

Printing up a simple night schedule will help your children remember what needs to be done before bed. If your children have evening lessons or activities on certain days of the week, be sure to print up separate schedules for those nights.

Lay out school clothes

Help your children lay out everything they need for the next day, including underwear, socks, hair accessories, and shoes. While your children may still change their minds about what they want to wear in the morning, laying out clothes every evening will get them into the habit of thinking ahead about what to wear.

Put everything in its place

Before everyone goes to bed, make sure lunches are made, backpacks are packed, and permission slips are signed. Place everything near the front door so that all your kids need to do is grab their belongings and go.