OMG it is chaos in my household and I need to figure out how to ease the transition to structure for back to school season.
“Wake up!” you yell up the stairs, again, as you scramble trying to make breakfasts, lunches, fill backpacks.
Next step is to get all 15 kids dressed with their teeth brushed and faces washed before they need to head out the door in half an hour.
There must be an easier way!
Fall is also the time of year that brings about structure and schedules.
How to Ease the Transition to Structure for Back to School
Whether you send your children to school or home school or even unschool, the change of seasons from summer to fall often brings a change to the daily rhythm that families have developed over the summer.
Activities and lessons begin, school begins, new seasons of TV shows begin.
Maybe you don’t have 15 kids (I don’t either) but, on the first day of school, it can certainly feel like there are a few extra bodies to try to herd out the door.
I’m not saying I can solve all of your morning rush woes, but I have found a simple method that can help things run a little more smoothly.
Step One: Make a plan
Set up a family meeting to discuss expectations.
Take a team approach to figure out what would work best for wake up time, breakfast, bedtimes, shower schedules etc.
If you’re all on the same page there will be less resistance.
Listen to and respect your child’s ideas too.
If they feel they need a later bedtime, allow them the chance to explain why and perhaps agree to a trial run.
If they would like to wake up later because they plan to prepare their school bag the night before, respect that their idea might work best for them.
Give them a heads up of the final plan and write it down so there are no surprises.
You could even get each child to sign the plan as proof of their agreement.
Keep in mind that this is a best case scenario and there may be circumstances that require you to make some changes.
Be flexible enough to roll with the punches.
Step Two: Practice
A week or two before school starts, do some trial runs.
If you need to get the kids out the door at a certain time, make it a game.
This will determine if everyone can be at the door, bags packed, and ready to go by a certain deadline.
When you’re standing at the door, reward their effort and go on a few final summer outings.
Maybe go out for ice cream (yes, you are allowed to eat ice cream in the morning!).
Then work off; play at a park, go for a final swim at the beach or pool etc.
This trial run will help find any flaws in the original plan that you can tweak before the big day.
And it will get everyone on board the morning preparation plan.
Have you found some ways to make your mornings run more smoothly?
What do you think of our article “How to Ease the Transition to Structure for Back to School”.
Please share in the comments so we can all benefit from your wisdom and experience.