This past weekend my neighbor’s son headed back to college. It seems like just last week I was asking him what his plans were for the summer break.
Our local school starts tomorrow. I live one house from the corner where the school bus stops. Although my children are grown I’m always reminded that school is in session when I hear the kids laughing or talking or even running down the sidewalk yelling for the bus to wait for them.
Mornings can be hectic trying to get everyone out of the house on time. The best way to have the mornings run smooth is to have a good evening routine.
I know, it’s easy to say but a lot harder to do!
The best way I know how to do an evening routine is to write out a check list that is followed each night. Then practice, practice, practice.
It will be up to you to teach your children to follow their list. You may even want to give them some incentives such as a weekend movie, a special treat, or some other reward for them doing well with their evening routine. They are more likely to follow it if they know they will be rewarded for good behavior. If you have them help you develop the list and rewards they will take more ownership of it.
Here are some suggestions to put on the check list. You may want to individualize it for each child according to their age and grade level.
Evening routine check list:
- Homework: Time (set a minimum time according to their age. Even if they don’t have specific homework have them do some reading, drawing, or other creative activity during this time.)
- Put completed homework in backpack.
- Take clothes out for next day.
- Prepare lunch box/bag (non-perishables) or put lunch money in backpack or wallet.
- Make sure any permission slips are filled out and put in backpack.
- Personal hygiene list: bath or shower, brush teeth, wash face, prepare for bed.
- Bed time: make sure it is age appropriate and that they know it’s lights out. If children want to read before going to bed they will need a “getting into bed” time and a “lights out” time.
Once you have made up the check list be sure to post it in the child’s room, a control center location (kitchen, family room, mud room) or both areas.
The Flylady website has a Student Control Journal that can help with both the evening routine and the morning routine.
The more you and your children practice the evening routine the smoother the mornings will go for everyone in your household. So get that check list started today!