Friday chat: 7 tips for getting to school on time

November 6, 2015

tips for getting to school on time

Lately (ok if I’m honest it’s ever since Anya started school) we were always in a mad rush to get out the door. No matter what, it always seemed that the last 10 minutes were a crazy panic to get to school on time.  We usually ended up arriving at school about a minute late or at best, bang on time.  It doesn’t matter if you have one child or four, I think so many of us have manic mornings.  And that got me thinking – why can’t we be just that 2-3 minutes earlier so that we aren’t running like crazies.  After 2 years plus of trying to beat the clock, I decided to make some changes to our morning routine.  Some worked and some didn’t – so I thought I would share the tips for getting to school on time that worked for us and helped us have less stressy mornings (maybe not stress-free everyday but definitely less frantic):

1.  Get up earlier than everyone else
This has been a game changer for me – maybe you all know this secret but I didn’t.  I started doing this at the start of this school year and I feel so much less stressed for it.  I lose around an hour of sleep, but it’s so worth it  – and yes I get up at least an hour earlier sometimes a bit more. Especially if you’re a working mum, that hour in the morning before everyone else is awake is a godsend.  I check my emails, think and plan the day ahead both work day and any family chores/errands that need to be done and most of all just get my head ready for the day.  Before, I got up with everyone else and tried to do this alongside everything else and it was mayhem. Now I really look forward to my hour of solitude in the morning – if I ever oversleep I feel cheated!

2.  Make a morning routine chart
We made a morning routine chart just over a month ago.  It simply lays out the order of what has to be done when so it saves me shouting out instructions and nagging every two minutes.  And I was doing a lot of shouting before this chart!  Now Anya looks at the chart every so often each morning and she knows what she has to do when.  I also built in ‘golden time’ which is a little play time in the morning if everything is done on time.  This has turned out to be a good incentive – even though Anya hardly ever manages to get golden time, she tries which makes her more likely to stop daydreaming and start getting ready.

3.  Sunday evening planning
There’s always something happening in school – from mufti days to bringing in autumn leaves for craft projects and so much more.  I have started spending just 5 minutes on Sunday evening reading school emails and putting reminders for the week in my phone.  I always set two reminders – one for a couple of days ahead in case anything needs to be bought or organised that requires time and one for the morning of the day.  In the past I have forgotten mufti day and the crestfallen look on Anya’s face when she was the only one in uniform at school taught me a lesson.  So plan ahead and know what’s in store for you for the entire week.

4.  Make a game of it!
Kids love games and love winning. Anya gets dressed at the same time as Richard so I have made a game of this – I challenge her to be dressed before he is.  She always wants to win so the speed at which she now gets her uniform on is amazing!  Before, getting Anya to put on her uniform could take upwards of 10 minutes.  Not any more.  This kind of challenge or any game can really speed things up in the morning so think about where you can do something like this in your morning routine.

6. Check the weather
Nothing is more frustrating than spending precious time in the morning madly hunting for things, while stress levels are climbing high because time is ticking. We live in London and that means we can have summer one day and winter the next so by checking the weather the night before I can get umbrellas’s, raincoats, wellie boots, scarves, hats etc ready and by the door instead of scrambling around in the morning.

7. Prepare your kids things the night before
An obvious one but I thought I would include it anyway as we all know we should do this but do you do it?  I didn’t because I would leave it till last thing at night by which time I was too tired so I always put it off till the morning. But then I started getting everything ready in the evening and this has made me much more inclined to do it.  So by around 7-7:30pm I get book bags ready, any PE/swimming kits packed and uniform hung up outside the wardrobe so it’s ready to be grabbed and worn.

These 7 tips have helped us get to school on time and avoid last minute scrambles and they’ve also made me feel calmer in the mornings.  Not every day – we still have those manic mornings but they are far less than they used to be.  What do you do to in the mornings?  Any tips – please share!

Have a wonderful weekend a hopefully a calm Monday morning!

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  • International Elf Service

    These are brilliant tips and I use phone reminders too. I can’t remember a thing without them!

    • ebabee likes

      Thank you – me too! If I forget to put something in my phone, then that’s guaranteed to be forgotten!

  • Mirka Moore @Kahanka

    Some fabulous tips Nomita! The problem I have is doing 2 school runs 5 miles apart! And we lost the appeal, so not fair ;-(

    • ebabee likes

      Oh no Mirka – I am so sorry to hear that. That is so unfair. I was hoping for you. Can you re-appeal? xxxx

  • Babes about Town

    Great tips Nomita! I already get up earlier than I’d like so I don’t think I could do the hour earlier thing, as I’m SO not a morning person 🙁 That said some other stuff has worked for me, big yay to setting challenges and games – I like making it competitive with the boys and some mornings they’re racing each other downstairs etc. I’m also trying to get them to take more responsibility for getting their own stuff together the night before, which I think is a useful life lesson anyway. It’s a process though 😉

    I always do Sunday evening planning but I need to make use of reminders on my Phone, as that sounds handy. Also like the sound of the morning routine chart. Another thing that simplified our routine a while back was having a breakfast menu, so there were no arguments or confusion about what to have – they just knew what was coming and stuck to it. Might go back to that! Thanks for sharing your ideas x

    • ebabee likes

      Thank you! That’s a great idea about a breakfast menu – think I’m going to try that. The games thing works really well in our house and it’s such a simple thing to do. Our mornings are a lot smoother, not perfect but so much better than they were. BTW, I am not a morning person either but I have come to adore that hour of quiet in the morning – if you can just drag yourself out of bed (which is the really hard part) – you will love it. Promise!

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