Back-to-School Schedule for Kids + Mamas
It's that time of year, again! School is starting up again and it's time to start planning. Before school even starts it is important to create a schedule so that you can start trying out your new routines ASAP and you can be intentional about your days as soon as school starts. Even if your kids are too little to be in school yet, you typically need new routines for the new seasons, so don't turn away. ;)
When creating a new routine for the school year, start by writing out school/bus drop off and pick up times and then anything else that always happens at the same day/time every week (like church, youth group, sports practices, therapy appointments). Then, make a list of what needs to be accomplished in the afternoons and evenings after school. Put those items into your schedule! Ta da!
There are a few things to keep in mind when making your back to school schedule...
Let your kids be kids
Even if your child has homework or chores to do, remember that they just spent the last 6 hours or so sitting in a very structured classroom, working hard. Your child will likely need to get the wiggles out before you can ask him/her to sit down and do homework or chores. Give them a time limit for when they need to come back and get things done, but let them get some energy out so they can focus again.
Don't try to pack in too much
I know it can be easy to squish a whole bunch of stuff into your evenings since your whole family is home but make sure you are leaving plenty of time for each task/activity and you aren't underestimating the number of times things will take to complete. If you aren't allowing enough time for activities/tasks to be completed, you will be rushing around and get super stressed. Make a list of priorities and make sure those things get put into the schedule first, if there's time left then other things can be added but make sure those priorities are done, first.
I know this is a super hard concept with routines but it is so important to keep your routines flexible. I always suggest that you be fairly strict with a new routine until your family has got it down (minimum one week) but then allow things to move around or plans to change...because that's just part of life! Your child may get invited to a friend's house or have a big project to work on that takes up most of their afternoon and that's okay! Once you have a routine in place, it's much easier to get back on track once things move around.
Do things at night to make your day easier
Before going to bed at night, take a few minutes to get things ready for the next day so you aren’t rushing around trying to get things done in the morning before school. Things you can do at night include packing lunches, choosing tomorrow’s outfits, making sure your child’s backpack is ready for school, double check to see if there are any papers you were supposed to sign or things you were supposed to have ready to take to school.
Example School Year Daily Routine
(for a stay-at-home mom with one child in school and at least one at home)
5:30am - Mom wakes up and gets ready for the day
6:45am - Kids wake up and go down for breakfast
7:15am - Kids clean up breakfast and get dressed/brush teeth
7:30am - School bus pick up/Drive kid(s) to school
8:15am - Home to do morning chores
8:45am - Homeschool preschool activity
9:30am - Snack (mom switches laundry)
10:00am - Outside time/playdate
11:00am - Lunch
11:30am - Naptime (mom uses this time to do chores/work from home/relax)
1:30pm - Snack (mom switches laundry)
2:00pm - Go to school for pick up/walk to bus stop to wait for drop off
2:45pm - Kids have outside time (mom catches up on housework/starts getting dinner ready/goes outside with kids)
4:00pm - Kids come inside for afternoon chores
4:30pm - Kid(s) work on homework/help get dinner ready
5:00pm - Dinner
6:00pm - Clean up from dinner/family time
7:30pm - Bedtime for the kids
8:00pm - Prep for the next day/spend time with hubby/relax
9:30pm - Mom goes to bed!
After you have written out your school year daily routines, create a visual daily routine board for your kids, big and little! It is super easy to make your own (attractive and affordable) magnetic daily routine and chore chart, I shared a tutorial for how I made ours in a blog post. The post also includes FREE printable routine and chore cards!