One of the best lessons any of us learn from school is that—before we even get there—it’s a good thing to do anything that keeps the kids from whining, the parents from screaming and the bus driver from tapping his fingers on the steering wheel and glancing at his watch while he waits.
I know we’re supposed to keep religion out of the public school debate, but it’s easy to firmly have faith that this is the reason God created Sunday night.
Do on Sunday night whatever you don’t have to do on Monday morning. In fact, on the night before any school day, do anything you don’t have to wait to do the next morning, when mom will be stressed and her children will be lollygagging.
“Between getting dressed, fed and organized, it’s a miracle the kids make it to school at all,” said a Good Housekeeping writer of an online article called “17 Tricks to Help You Get the Kids to School on Time.” The writer then promised readers would “Get out the door faster this semester with these parent-approved tips.”
Well, we make no promises. Stuff happens. But, there are a variety of ways we can advise you to make school mornings a little less tedious by doing a lot of the heavy lifting the night before the home alarm and the school bell seem to ring simultaneously.
1. Pack the backpack.
Whatever your pupils need to take to school the next day should be securely in the pack the night before, while there still is time to remember what is forgotten. Homework assignments, tablet paper, writing implements—it’s all easier to collect in the relative calm of the evening than it is running around looking for it in the frenzy of the morning.
2. Pick an outfit.
Parents, help your child choose the clothes he or she wants to wear the next day. Make it the child’s choice, while also making sure the ensemble is appropriate for the weatherman’s prediction.
3. Plan breakfast.
Knowing what you want your children to eat—so they have enough energy and nutrition for education—is half the battle. Fight much of the rest of the war by having the dishes on the table and the food ready to go at a moment’s notice in the a.m.
4. Prepare a lunch.
With one meal almost out of the way, why not totally prepare the one that will follow? No need to be picking fruit and making sandwiches and choosing dessert cups during the morning rush. Fix lunch, have it packed in lunchboxes or brown paper bags, stick it in the refrigerator and hand the meals to your offspring as they hustle out the door. If lunch money is all that’s needed, have that ready to go, instead, and leave it sitting in a spot that easily is noticeable.
5. Pop into the shower.
Get your children squeaky clean before bed instead of in the morning after sleeping. Nothing they do during slumber is going to be strenuous enough to diminish their hygiene.
6. Plop into bed.
Get to bed early. Children need seven to nine hours of sleep a night to be refreshed and wide awake in the morning, ready to take in all the wonderful lessons that await them in the classroom.
7. Prohibit the electronics.
Make sure your family’s school children are tucked in even earlier than official “bedtime.” It will give them a few moments to settle down, relax and prepare themselves for the school experiences that await them. But, do not allow them to play games on or participate in any social media on any electronic devices while relaxing. It interferes with getting a good night’s sleep. Hey, science says so, and just understanding that sort of means school already has started.