Building Back-to-School Routines

August 4, 2022

Can you believe the school year is about to start? Getting back into the swing of things for the school year can be quite difficult. Building in routines will help ease the stress for everyone. Children thrive on routine and then routine becomes habit. Building back-to-school morning, after school, and evening routines are the ticket to having a successful day and remembering everything that has to be done. Here are some helpful tips for building back-to-school routines:

Morning Routine

Successful mornings do not just happen – they take a schedule built upon a routine. Beginning to practice this routine before the start of the school year helps children to get into the habit of their morning routine.  

  • Plan out a morning schedule with the order of breakfast, grooming, dressing, putting shoes on and making sure everything from lunch to permission slips are grabbed with a backpack. This helps with the flow of the morning.
  • Put a morning to-do list in the form of a checklist – or chart with pictures for younger children – where it will be seen in the morning. This will help to remind children of what they need to do: brush teeth, get dressed, etc. This also helps children to get ready by themselves. The bathroom mirror or bedroom are great places to hang this checklist. 
  • Having a selection of easy breakfast items is a great way to add simplicity to your day. Just choose a couple options and then rotate between them. This will also help with some early morning battles. Children will be so happy to be given the opportunity to choose from the selection you offer.
  • Remembering all the items that need to be taken out the door can be difficult. A launch pad can really help with this, keeping all items coming in and leaving the house organized. It is also a great idea to have a checklist by the door to help as a reminder of items that need to go.

After School Routine

Start the very first day of school with a routine for where to put the backpack, what to do with the papers sent home from school, how to empty the lunch box, where to put school clothes, where to grab a snack, and when to start homework, etc. 

  • An after school routine is another great one to make into a checklist or chart. If there are any afternoon activities, be sure to add getting ready for these to the checklist or chart. 
  • Be ready for the children with after school snacks. Clear pantry bins and turntables with dividers are some of our favorite organizing products for snacks. Fill those bins and turntables with healthy and yummy snacks so they are easily accessible. 
  • Homework is about to happen everyday. Make sure you have a homework station setup and ready for use with all the needed supplies. Do this as soon as possible so that it is ready to go on the first day of school. Checking homework is also very important for you to get in the routine of doing.
  • The paperwork, artwork, and sentimental items are about to start multiplying. If you do not already have a keepsake bin and system set up for organizing children’ documents, now is the time. You may need to establish a routine for your paperwork to make sure that all the permission slips get signed and returned as well.

Evening Routine

This is the time to prepare for the next day by packing lunches, backpacks, instruments, sports equipment, and any necessary documents. Start this routine earlier in the evening because it always takes longer than expected. Your mornings will be more peaceful with an evening routine!

  • It is a great idea to get into the routine of checking the calendar at night to ensure you are ready and not forgetting anything for the next day. Life can get busy. Don’t forget that sport practice or try out for the talent show.
  • Another checklist or chart for the evening routine is definitely helpful. Make it as detailed as you need. If you have younger children, you may still need to assist with bath time, brushing teeth, and getting clothes ready for the next day. Depending on the age of your child, they may be able to help you with lunch prep.
  • Everything that is needed for the morning should be located, prepped, checked, and packed. Have your children help as much as they are able. It does not need to take very long, but building this back to school routine for the night before will make for a much more peaceful morning. A checklist here can be helpful so that you don’t forget anything: lunch, backpack, instrument, equipment for sports, documents that need returned, and so forth.
  • Incorporate something into a bedtime routine that helps to calm your child: reading, listening to classical music, or cuddle and talk time. Here are some back-to-school sleep tips to help your child sleep well. 

For more on routines, check out what the green child magazine has to say about a back-to-school routine. What is important for you when building back-to-school routines for your child? Let us know in our Facebook Abundance Declutter Group!