School Day Stress and How to Make It Better
The crazy morning rush before school can be a big headache for everyone. However you can make things better by following these tips for a manageable routine, which you can adjust to your family's needs.
The night before school
- Have your child pick out clothes and shoes for the next day. Make sure they are aware of what things are appropriate to wear to school and let them choose.
- Help your child check their backpack to make sure all homework and supplies are packed. Sign all parent forms, permission slips, etc. and put them in their backpack too.
- Limit or do not allow screen time.
- Get your child's help in packing healthy lunches. Label the bag or box and keep it in a visible place in the fridge until the next day.
- Announce two breakfast options, so that there is no confusion over what is to eat for breakfast the next day.
- Make sure everyone goes to bed on time.
- Set your own clock with multiple alarms, just in case.
The school morning
- If you have many school-age children, set timers for each child's turn in the bathroom to avoid arguments.
- Call out the time so the kids don't lose track. Have a deadline of things to do within each 10 or 15-minute block. For example, by 6:30 a.m, everyone should be coming down for breakfast. By 6:50 a.m, tying shoes and putting on coats. By 7:00 a.m, walking out the door to the bus stop, etc. You can write this down and put it in a common place for everyone to see until they learn the schedule.
- When you serve breakfast, make it a habit to place the lunch boxes in the backpacks (so they are not forgotten).
Over the weekend
- Make sure your child knows homework deadlines for the week ahead.
- Review the calendar and note any special activities or appointments coming up the next week.
For More Information
- Colorín Colorado is a bilingual website with education resources and videos for families in both English and Spanish. [go now]
- See School Morning Madness at About.com for a simple game to help your kids get off to a great start. [go now]
- Download and print Help Your Child Succeed in School, a colorful tip sheet from our Parent Resource Library.