Routines are the key to a smoothly running household. They establish expectations for behavior and responsibility. During the school year, having established routines for the kids for getting ready for school, homework, and bedtime ensure that most of the time, things will get done. Sometimes, on a crazy, busy day, a routine can make the difference between an overwhelmed parent and a stressed parent who gets almost everything taken care of.
Today I’m excited to welcome the lovely Barb from A Life in Balance to share her back to school routines for kids with you. Barb is one of the most organised people I know and I always love to see what tips and tricks she has to make our lives just a little less chaotic! Take it away Barb…
Related read: One whole month of school lunch ideas
Give your children the gift of responsibility
Put as much responsibility on your kids as they can handle. Don’t be afraid to give them more responsibility even if you’re not sure they can handle it. If your kid is asking for more responsibility, definitely hand it over and supervise to make sure your child stays safe and they get the job done. Pair a younger child with an older one and encourage the older child to teach the younger one how to do the job.
Setting up expectations as routines for my kids last year made a huge difference in our school mornings and afternoons. My kids knew they were required to get their rooms ready, get dressed, finish their lunches, and get their chores done before they could do electronic time each morning.
I also had expectations for after school. When you need 4 kids to unpack their bags and lunch boxes and get started on their school work without few interruptions, expectations need to be clear.
As parents, our expectations for after dinner including the bedtime routine were less clear. After all, we only needed to be at one activity weekly and another biweekly. It was okay if we didn’t stick to a routine every night. This year, we’ll be establishing a regular routine and sticking to it. We have last year’s activities along with fall soccer for 3 kids.
Create a routine for your kids
It’s pretty easy deciding what your kids need to get done in the morning before they go to school. Almost every parent expects their kids to be dressed, have their teeth brushed, and have their lunches made before going to school.
Some parents have their kids do their chores in the morning; others wait until after school or after dinner. Some split chores between morning and afternoon. Figure out what works for your family, and write the routine out to make sure everyone in the family is on the same page.
For larger families, include bathroom time in your routine. Teenagers can take over a bathroom for way too long, making it difficult for other family members to get in. 2 family members in our family use the bathroom in the morning while the younger kids and my husband use it in the evening. We rotate showers every other day between 2 pairs of younger kids. This will change as the younger kids get older.
Put the routine on paper
Once you’ve come up with the routine(s), put them on paper. Don’t worry about being fancy. I created mine in Microsoft Word using free clip art from Microsoft. Anything else I needed I found online by googling “free clip art.”
Another option is to ask the kids to help with putting the routines on paper. Elementary school kids can write out their jobs. Preschool kids can help color pictures representing their jobs. Office supply stores may have stickers or preprinted pictures to help with creating a chore chart.
My family’s daily routine
I keep these routines for my kids posted on our family fridge. Even though my youngest son can’t read yet, his older siblings help him remember what he needs to do.
Our morning routine – before electronic time
- Get Dressed
- Eat Breakfast
- Clean up Bedroom
- Bring down dirty laundry
- Get lunch ready for school
Our afternoon routine – after school
- Empty school bags and put papers in school bins for review
- Eat snack
- Do homework
Our evening routine – before TV time
- Clean up after dinner
- Showers – rotating between 2 sets of kids
- Get ready for bed
Over to you
How do you make sure your kids get their chores done? Why not leave us a comment below with your back to school routines. And if you’ve found this post useful please take a minute to hit one of those little buttons down there to share it with your friends!