School morning routine 2015

School morning routine 2015

We are at a stage of family life now, where school mornings are nowhere near as chaotic as they used to be. Three of the kids have left by the time it is 7:35am, from which point the house is most often very quiet and calm.

Over the years I have worked with all the kids to teach them personal organisation skills. The younger two are now at a point where they are very self sufficient at getting themselves ready for school in the mornings, making my life a lot easier.

Teaching kids personal organisation skills is one of those activities which can be very tempting to skip. When working with a preschooler so they learn to pack their own kinder bag etc, it can seem to take twice as long as if you had just done it yourself.

I am however experiencing the pay off for the hours and patience put in to teaching the kids so they can do these tasks independently. As you look through the table below you see that I am not too hands on in the morning with what the kids are doing. I love this as it gives me a chance to actually talk with them, not be constantly telling them what to do.

The older three are completely self sufficient in the mornings now. For the younger two there are still two key things I do for them:

  • Make them breakfast – some mornings they will do this themselves depending on what they have to eat, (like smoothies or granola). Most mornings though they have some sort of hot breakfast and at this stage I am very happy to cook it for them. You can read a little more about what the kids have for breakfast since we stopped eating packaged cereal in this post – Changing the family diet, breakfast.
  • Lunch boxes – I know families who have children of this age that put together their own lunch boxes. I like to ensure they have homemade savoury and sweet items and a good mix of other items in their lunch box so am happy to still be doing this for them.

TimeMum3 older kids2 younger kids
06:00ExerciseSome sleep, some awake depending on day.Sleep
06:30ExerciseGetting ready, breakfast, making their lunches.Sleep
07:00Finalise the lunches and make breakfast for the two younger kids. Chat to the older kids before they head off.Finish getting ready and leave. First child leaves about 7.05am, then 7.25am, then 7.35am.Eating their breakfast and getting ready for school.
07:30Check in on the younger ones to make sure they are on track. Start a general tidy up if there is time.Off to schoolThey are usually ready for school by about 7.40am. Once they are ready for school they can have free time.
08:00General household tasks until we leave to walk to school around 8.10am.Off to schoolFree time until we leave to walk to school around 8.10am. They tend to read, play LEGO, listen to audio books, colour in or write in this time.
08:30Walk to school and school drop off.Walk to school and school drop off.Walk to school and school drop off.
09:00Run home with the dogSchoolSchool

If you want to read more about how the kids get themselves ready, these posts might help:

What do your school mornings look like?


  1. claire says

    this is so timely, we had a huge meltdown in our house this morning and discussed changing up the routine. Thanks!

  2. whitsidd says

    So what time do you go to bed? What time to do your older kids go to bed? When do you shower/dress? Sorry to be nosey — just trying to flesh this out as those are sticking points in my own routine.

    • says

      I have more info in a post I published today here

      But to answer your questions in brief:
      So what time do you go to bed?
      About 10.30pm although I am trying to bring it back to 10pm

      What time to do your older kids go to bed?
      13 year old 9.30pm and the 16 y.o 10.30pm

      When do you shower/dress?
      Depends on the day. As I run home from school drop off, it is most often after that when I get home in the morning, but a couple of days a week depending on what I am doing, I may not end up showering until after dinner – a benefit of working from home!

  3. says

    This is so helpful… I have two who are very capable and organised and two who are not. So I still do a fair bit for Mr18 (who has to BE at our local public high school by 7.30am a few mornings a week – eek!) and Mr8 to get them up and going… I wrote an article this week for M + B about why I give them ADHD meds but even with these… This is a good reminder to keep working on those independence skills though.

    Also… I so wish we lived close enough to the bus stop for some of them to walk to their buses…. note to parents looking to buy a house….

    • says

      Being close to public transport is so important! One day a week the 16 y.o has to be at school at 7am so leaves home 6am. He then comes home from school as goes to sleep for a couple of hours!

  4. says

    Even with two children I find it easier and calmer now that my eldest is off so early. It’s nice having quieter time in the morning that what we were accustomed to. Still very impressed with your early morning exercise Nicole!

  5. Tess says

    Oh this is brilliant THANKYOU again for sharing such details I honestly think it is one of your gifts – and to share your tips with humanity – as small & unglamorous as it may seem (household organisation Etc) – you are helping so many parents who wonder what else they can Try! Miss 7 & Mr 9 are up early here in QLd – Mr 9 by 5am and miss 7 by 6am and their parents Up for personal prayer by 5am (doing Ignatian spiritual exercises) so kids have oodles of time but not used well! I’m over the beds not being made & lights let on & nagging out the door! Time for more consequences for good morning routine behaviour!

  6. Tanya says

    hi! I’m trying desperately to reduce iPad & Nickolodean channel in the morning with my 7 & 10 yr old. I would love to get to a place of NO tv or iPad until after homework in the afternoon! Audio books sound like a great transition activity – do you have a blog post about suitable audio books for kids & where to download them? Or some quick tips please? iTunes seems very expensive