Wednesday, August 24, 2011
School's Back in Session
Although it's approximately 800 degrees outside, school is back in session. Gone are the lazy mornings of summer and back is the dreaded alarm clock. Now that I am a "seasoned parent" of a grade school-er (Haley just started 1st grade) I feel much less chaotic in the morning getting her off to school and after school when she is tired. I have a few routines in place that seem to work and I'd like to share them with you.
Pick at least a weeks worth of clothes not just a day: Since the weather is not varying much around here, it's either unbearably hot or miserably hot, it's easy to pick out multiple outfits at a time. I went ahead and picked out two weeks worth to get started. I have them lined up in her closet and when I do laundry, I go ahead and put the laundered outfits back in the line. So far, this is working great.
Pack lunch the night before: I have done a few things to make lunches a little more exciting for her and easier for me. I have created a lunch bin (out of reach from little fingers), in which only foods for her lunch will be placed. I've done this for a couple of reasons. First, the "snack monsters" have a tendency to eat up all the lunch stuff before they ever make it into her lunch. Also, it just makes it super easy for me to pull the bin down after dinner and pack the non-perishable part of her lunch. I also have snack size and sandwich size baggies in the bin.
Have everything ready and laid out the night before: I lay out everything needed to get her dressed the night before, including shoes, hair brush and hair accessories. Since, I already have the outfit picked out this only takes a few seconds and just helps everything run smoothly in the morning.
Being prepared for a tired girl after school: I'm excited to see Haley after school, but she is often worn out. I want her to come home to a peaceful environment where I can focus as much attention as needed on her. So, I try to be ready by getting all of my daily chores including dinner preparations done before she gets home. I go into a lot more detail about this here.
Bedtime, oh bedtime: Although, the little darling comes home worn out, she seems to catch a second wind right about bedtime. We have gone through many song and dances over the years trying to get the message across that when we say it's bedtime it really is time to go to sleep. Each kid has their own areas of "challenge" let's say, and bedtime has been a tough one for her. I have started setting a bedtime alarm on my oven timer. When the alarm goes off, it's time to go night night. This seems to really be working for us.
I'd love to hear if you have any routines or suggestions that make mornings or evenings easier for you, too!