Transitioning from the lazy days of summer back to the crazy days of a new school year can be an adjustment for many families. As parents of school-aged children, we have heard them whine at bed time and then whine again when it’s time to get up! Don’t forget the necessary nagging morning and night, “Have you brushed your teeth, have you brushed your teeth, have you brushed your TEETH?!” So, with the dawn of a new school year fast approaching, now is the time to create a dawn-to-dusk routine to save you time and sanity.

Routine Charts

Remind your child of the tasks they must complete each morning and evening. Make the chart with your kids. They’ll have fun decorating the chart and you’ll have a chance to discuss your expectations. Plus, if you make it fun, your child will be more engaged in the transition. Include pictures of the tasks for younger children.

Suggestions for the Morning Chart:

  • Make your bed
  • Get completely dressed down to your socks
  • Brush your teeth and hair
  • Eat breakfast
  • Pack your lunch
  • Put on your shoes, coat and backpack
  • Depart

Suggestions for the Evening Chart:

  • Clean up your toys
  • Put on your PJs
  • Set out your clothes for the next day
  • Brush your teeth
  • Pick out a book to read
  • Collect your hugs and kisses
  • Lights out

Time Management

Set time limits for how long the morning and evening routine should take. If sticking to a time limit is an issue for your kids, a kitchen timer can help keep them on track. Bedtime and rise and shine time need to be enforced, especially during the school year. It’s hard to keep a sleepy child moving in the morning and even harder to keep a sleepy child learning during school.


This is key to your morning routine when time is limited. The more tasks you can complete the night before and the fewer decisions your child has to make in the morning, the better.

  • Have breakfast choices decided for the week.
  • Lay out school clothes the night before. Prepare lunch the night before.
  • Have backpacks packed, shoes set and outdoor clothing ready. It’s a good idea to have a bin for each child set at the front door. The items they need to take with them in the morning go in this bin. If you love crafts like we do, this could be another fun and easy project to do together.

A routine is helpful in creating a peaceful home environment. More importantly, the repetition of a routine is essential to making your child feel secure. As our children head off each morning to learn the skills to become doctors, teachers or the next Krazy Couponers, they can take comfort in knowing there is a secure, peaceful place to return at the end of the day. So, as much as we love Kraziness….we hope these simple tips help alleviate the craziness that can come with getting back into the swing of a new school year!

Leave a Reply

10 thoughts on “Back to School Blues? Create a Routine Chart!”

  1. Zelvic Vas says:

    thank kcl i’m a first timer my baby is going to kindergarden and it might come natural to some but to most of us every little bit helps and any advice is greatly appreciated ..anything to make this chapter in our lives easier for the both of us… thanks

  2. mommyof1 says:

    this might be random.. but i find it better to have my son brush his teeth BEFORE putting on his “out” clothes, or at least just put on his undershirt and not his “top” shirt.. toothpaste/mouthwash on a nice shirt when you are in a rush is frustrating and often means changing again before heading out the door.. =)

    • Stephstan22 says:

      This also might be random, but I always had a hard time getting my son to brush his teeth without a fight and the thought of mint mouthwash would bring tears to his eyes. Listerine has the new Phineas and Ferb SmartRinse and he absolutely loves the Bubble Berry flavor! Now he will brush his teeth and use the mouthwash after only one time of me telling him. Told my friend and her two boys do the same now too.

  3. Kathy says:

    thanks great ideas. I would love to do the bins by the door, but with 5 kids, and not much space, so not practical. Any other suggestions? 3 of the 5 are starting kindergarten this year!

    • Zina says:

      If you are low on space i would try and find someplace seperate where every evening each child could gather what they will need for in the morning and always put it in the same place. That way each child knows where there stuff is and it’s all together for in the morning.

    • Bashfully_cici says:

      wow THREE in kindergarten! I thought I had it ruff with one… you go girl

    • mamaD says:

      we have lots of coat hooks… we dont have space for them right near the door but they are just around the corner. if you can make 2 different heights of coat hooks thats even better, especially with littler ones. Thats where mine put all their coats and backpacks. you can also put small plastic bins beneath for little things.

    • Anna says:

      I have four kids, and they’ll all be in school this year. The year my twins started kindergarten here’s what I did: Buy a set of cheap plastic shelves, the kind meant to go in a garage, and put those by the door or in the coat closet. Label each shelf with a kids name (I used stickers) and that can be where they put their backpacks and lunchboxes.

    • That1truelove says:

      I have 4 kids, all in elementary school with NO room by the door either. What we do is have the kids hang their backpacks on the back of their chair at the kitchen table. Along with their coats, and anything else they need for the next day. Seems to help us :)

  4. Thank you this was just what I needed to read this am. My 8 yr old step son wants to do things on his own but because of his adhd we have to “monitor” or “remind” him to do things which only causes major frustration.