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OK moms….let’s talk about school routine for a minute. I’m gonna be honest and say that this year I’ve struggled a little bit. You see, for the first time BOTH of my boys are in school at the same school (yes, this totally does have me doing the happy dance). Where in the past I’ve had a kiddo with me all day long, I’m now enjoying blissfully quiet days while my boys sharpen their brains. So where am I struggling you ask? Well, our before and after school routine has really thrown me. You see, since I only have a few hours a day with the kiddos I want to ensure that I don’t waste any of that time together. So over the last few weeks I’ve been working on ways to maximize my mornings, make the most of my afternoons and ensure that I have quick and easy ways to give both the boys fuel for school!
I’ve thought long and hard about simple ways to make the most of our time together. And thankfully after only two weeks of school, I’ve gotten into the swing of this mom of two school age kids thing. I’ll admit that it took trial and error. And, OK maybe a few tears too. But with a few simple adjustments to our daily routine and a trip to Walmart for Jimmy Dean® breakfast sandwiches and State Fair® Brand snacks, I’m coasting through our school days and making sure both my boys have a strong start and finish to each and every day.
Now, don’t worry – I’m not just going to tease you with my supermom status….instead, I’m all about sharing. And whether you incorporate one or all of these tips, I’m guessing a little change in your school routine might go a long way. So are you ready? Let’s get started.
Lay Out Clothes Ahead of Time: A smooth school day starts with planning the night before. Having two boys (thankfully) clothes are not a big deal for us. Even better, my guys wear uniforms. BUT it never fails that one of the kids comes downstairs complaining that his light blue shirt is not clean while the other descends in shorts that look like they were wadded up in the back of the closet. By laying out their clothes the night before, I can prepare myself for these scenarios. I can start my day already knowing that the wrinkled mess of school shorts have been ironed or the favorite shirt has been treated for stains. At night it only takes minutes to ensure the next day’s clothing is ready and trust me when I say it can help eliminate morning meltdowns!
Pack School Lunches in Advance: Another night before school must is packing school lunches. While I fully realize that some items are better if they don’t sit pre-made over night, there are some things that are just fine made ahead. Place chips into smaller bags. Cut up your apples, dip them in orange juice to keep them from changing color and then put them in small containers. Then set everything you need for your school day lunches on one shelf so that you can spend time with your kids in the mornings instead of searching for ideas to fill their lunchboxes.
Make Breakfast Simply Amazing: With two hungry boys I know a little something about breakfast time. The minute their eyes open their tummies start growling and I hear “What’s for breakfast mom?”. I know without a doubt that both boys need a warm breakfast that is packed with protein to keep them going till lunch time but let’s just face it, cooking in the morning is so NOT my thing! Thankfully both of my kids adore Jimmy Deal breakfast products. With delicious, satisfying, high quality breakfast solutions that are the perfect start to any morning, I can be sure I’m starting their day right the quick and easy way!
I simply pop a Jimmy Dean breakfast sandwich into the microwave for the pre-teen and heat up Pancakes & Sausage on a Stick for my little guy! In less than five minutes I can have both of them a warm, hearty and above all protein filled breakfast on the table!
Then I can sit down with my coffee and my own breakfast sandwich and chat with them about all the exciting things that are going to happen in their school day.
Use a Fun Morning Time Printable: All the tips I’ve shared above save me time in the morning but how do I keep the kids on track? Well, it used to be a struggle (and included a little bit of head banging on my part). But I recently discovered that my kids love responsibility. However, at their easily distracted ages they need a little help remembering the school morning essentials. At first I tried to get them to just remember what they needed to do. Then I got smart and created a laminated checklist that they can mark of daily and let me just say it makes my mornings so much easier!
To start with I simply created a fun School Morning Checklist Printable (be sure to print yours out today!). I included all the things they need to do every morning both in words (for my oldest) and in pictures (for my little guy who’s not quite reading yet).
Once my printable was done, I printed it out and grabbed some easy laminating sheets.
After adding a laminating sheet to each side, I had a durable morning checklist.
But then I needed some way to make it reusable. I quickly thought of dry erase markers and added one to my newly laminated checklist.
Now, each night before the kids go to bed, we add the next day’s date to the top of our checklist. Then each morning the kids start their day with their daily checklist next to their bed. They are able to work their way down the list, checking off their daily duties as they go and ensuring that when we get ready to head out the door, everything they need to do is done!
This simple checklist makes mornings in our home run so smoothly and ensures that I never have to look over and see bedheads or hear “MOM I FORGOT MY HOMEWORK!” yelled as we pull into school!
Always Have After School Snacks on Hand: So, I bet you’re thinking that once I’ve got the kids to school the worries of my day are over. And you’d be right for a few hours but once that end of day school bell rings, I’m back on
food mom duty to two very hungry boys! Even though my tips for packing them lunches are awesome, by the end of the day they are both ready for some after-school snacking!
Thankfully, since I’ve become so efficient in my time management skills, I’ve learned that State Fair® Brand corn dogs featuring a signature honey-sweetened cornbread batter are a perfect after school snack for both my boys! Since discovering that I can quickly and easily pop then in the oven while homework is getting started and within minutes I have a snack that is a hit for both my pre-teen and my preschooler, our afternoons have taken on a whole new feel.
Both the boys snack away while they study, learn and even play. And since I’ve made the most of all my time, I can sit back and simply enjoy being a part of their busy school days.
As your school year gets started (or continues) I challenge you to make the most of your time with your kids. I challenge you to rethink the hours of the day you have together. And then I challenge you to make the most of every moment with amazing breakfast and snack options that are sure to help you start the day smart and finish it strong!
So what are you waiting for? Try my tips. Add in some Jimmy Dean® breakfast sandwiches and State Fair® Brand snacks. And discover school days that run smoothly and leave you plenty of time to simply be mom.
Now that I’ve shared how I’m making school days run smoothly, I’d love to hear some of YOUR best tips and tricks!