School mornings can be hard, but they can be easier! I have learned a handful of things that help us have a smoother morning and therefore a smoother day that I think will help you as much as it’s helped us!
I am not a morning person by nature. I’ve had to WORK to come up with anything that makes it even remotely easier for me!
Whether you’re blessed enough to be a morning person by nature and regardless of what school looks like for you this year, I’m here to give you some tips that I hope make school mornings it easier for you!
HACKS TO MAKE SCHOOL MORNINGS EASIER
1. Mom gets up before the kids.
I admit, since the time sprung forward, I have had a harder time with this and never quite recovered 😂 I also blame the fact that I’ve been drinking too much coffee and having a hard time falling asleep which is a vicious cycle.
BUT when I do get up before the kids and have my own morning routine, free of breakfast requests, crying, and elbows in my soft places, it starts my day out smoother and it seems like the rest of the day follows. The tone you set up your day for matters!
I talk more about my morning routine in this post: 16 Easy Habits to Beat Overwhelm and Thrive.
2. Meal prep.
There are few things that help me save time like meal prepping! I love to save time through the week by only cooking about 3 times a week and making plenty to last us several days.
Does meal plan overwhelm you? Let me help!
3. Prep breakfast beforehand or have something quick ready.
I love to have something with protein to keep them satisfied and ready to learn 😊 It’s hard to focus on learning when your belly is growling! Here are some of my quick favorites:
Prep ahead ideas:
How to make them:
Bake 12 eggs in a casserole dish or on a cookie sheet at 350 for about 16-17 minutes.
Serve on your choice of waffles, mini pancakes, mini bagels, toast or croissants.
Put an egg on your bottom bread, top with your choice of meat and cheese, and you have yourself a quick, filling start to your day to keep you going for hours!
Boiled eggs & protein muffins. I do a dozen or so boiled eggs in my instant pot the night before and use Kodiak cakes protein muffins.
How to do it:
Instant pot boiled eggs:
Put an inch or so of water in the bottom of your instant pot.
Put desired amount of eggs in insant pot. I usually do a dozen or a dozen and a half.
Prep an ice bath in a large bowl.
Cook on high pressure for 4 minutes. Natural release 4 minutes. Allow eggs to rest in ice bath for 4 minutes.
These are the easiest ever to peel, if you’re terrible at peeling boiled eggs like I am! The steam helps separate the membrane under the shell from the white for super easy egg peeling.
For protein muffins, I just follow the instructions on the box. Sometimes I replace oil with applesauce or add chia seeds for a healthier option!
Tater tot casserole. I can’t remember where I first saw this recipe, but it’s so easy and versatile!
How to do it:
Spray a 9 x 13 pan. Preheat oven to 350.
Line it with some kind of potato (tater tots, chopped Idaho, hashbrowns, shredded hashbrowns, etc.).
Whisk about a dozen eggs with some milk, salt, and pepper. It’s easy to add in turkey sausage crumbles, diced ham, or turkey bacon! I also like sauteed peppers and onions, but the kids don’t.
Pour the egg mixture over the potatoes.
Bake at 350, covered for the first 30 minutes, then uncover and bake about another 30 minutes or until eggs are set. Sprinkle with cheese and let melt!
Easy peasy, quick, yummy and filling!
Protein pancakes or waffles with fruit. I also use Kodiak cakes protein pancakes mix. We love them!
Pro tip: Protein pancakes mix can be prepped and baked in a casserole dish at 400 for about 16 minutes. I love how much faster it is to do it this way compared to on a griddle or skillet!
Breakfast burritos or breakfast boats. Another easy one for meal prep! All you need to do for this one is make a scrambled egg mixture with add-ins of your choice (sausage, bacon, ham, peppers, onions, etc.). Scramble until eggs are set. Stuff tortillas or boats with egg mixture. Sprinkle with cheese and bake until edges are lightly browned and cheese is melted. Easy to reheat in the microwave for a filling, on the go breakfast!
Oatmeal bake. Like this one!
Quick, (mostly) no cook options for the morning:
Cereal with whole wheat toast and peanut butter.
Yogurt parfaits. Simply layer yogurt with fruit of choice, oats, chia seeds, flax seeds, or dry cereal! I love berries for these that I don’t have to chop to save time.
A few more ideas:
Blueberry French Toast Casserole – This one is delicious!
4. Lay out everything you can the night before.
Clothes, shoes, backpacks, lunchboxes, etc. This helped me immensely when my girls went to school! Now that they’re homeschooled, I still lay out their clothes, toothbrushes, and anything I know they’ll need for school tomorrow.
5. If they pack their lunch or snack, pack it the night before.
Branching off #4, lay out any food you know of that they’ll need tomorrow. Even if they have a morning snack or will be doing cooking class at home, if you know they’ll need it and it doesn’t have to be chilled, it can be laid out!
6. Cut off screen time an hour or longer before bed.
I have been guilty of letting my kids stay up and watch a movie because real talk, sometimes it’s just easier. It’s easier than going back to their room 100 times to tell them to stop running, stop jumping, stop playing, stop screaming. It’s easier to let them stay up longer and go to bed easier.
But I have realized they just need time to wind down. I have heard and read about cutting off screen time before bed, and found it helpful for my kids and myself. It’s like it gives your mind time to process to a slow setting, or something. There’s something to it.
7. Read before bed.
So if you don’t use screen time to wind down, how do you get the little crazies to rein in the crazy and calm down?
Read to them! We have had ebbs and flows because honestly, sometimes I just don’t want to read out loud. It’s exhausting at times when I’m at the end of my day and feel like I’m running on empty, but it’s INCREDIBLE for them and their literacy and reading skills which is why I usually do it in spite of how I feel. They’re worth my effort regardless of how I feel today.
Pro tip: If you just really can’t bring yourself to do it, Alexa and Youtube have lots of audiobook options you can listen to together!
8. Have a bedtime routine to wind them down.
Our evening / bedtime routine has changed countless times over the years, but right now it’s something like this:
Before dinner: Girls clean up their toys in the living room and in their rooms while I make dinner and get plates ready. They tend to get distracted, so it literally can take anywhere from 30-45 minutes which is why we start early 😂
Dinner as a family. This is invaluable to me. I recently read this amazing study on the lasting benefits of having dinner together as a family, and the lasting psychological benefits really surprised me!
Down time. Sometimes this is a family walk, playing outside, playing with the kids, talking, or watching them do something they’re proud of.
Get ready for bed. This is usually a once over to make sure the toys are (actually) picked up, get in pjs, potty, check your bed (make sure teddy and blankets are safely there), read, get a last drink, then to bed.
Bedtime routine. Hugs in the floor, prayers, then talk for a few minutes. I leave them with three things that they are each night (You are kind, smart, beautiful, brave, courageous, important, considerate, etc.). Hug, kiss, then mom and dad leave.
9. Change sheets often.
Sound weird? Not really. Who doesn’t love going to sleep on fresh sheets? I think it makes it easier to get cozy!
10. If they’re homeschooled, prep for the week on Sunday or the night before.
We’re brand new to homeschooling, but I already know prepping for the week on Sunday is going to help me immensely! I got this planner from Meijer than I just loved that really helps me.
Whatever your system is that works for you, perfect it and run with it!
You can do this!
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