When school starts back after the summer, the morning routine can be very demanding and stressful for the whole family. Most households are chaotic from the moment they wake the kids to the moment they drop them off at daycare or wave good-bye to them on the bus.

Do you often think, “OMG, get me out of here!”?

If your house is anything like mine used to be, mornings were one of the most stressful times of the day. There was bickering, fighting, and sometimes even crying. Can you relate?

How would you like to have a peaceful morning where everyone moves through the routine with grace and ease? That’s how the mornings in our household are now, for the most part, peaceful and calm.

We have a special routine and it works like clockwork. Of course we are human and sometimes something happens beyond our control and a morning doesn’t work out as planned but even when that happens it is easy to get back on track the next day.

Here is our time tested morning routine, which has changed chaos into calm at the Kessler household. This routine was created, tested, recreated, adjusted and continues to adjust as our family needs have changed.

Remember, the most important part of any routine is to establishing ground rules and stand by them even in the face of difficulties. If you waiver your children will never trust that you will follow through with consequences so they will never get to experience the benefits that a schedule will bring.

First, create a ‘Family Schedule’: Go online and download a calendar or purchase a desktop calendar from your local office supply store. Mark all the after school and work activities for each family member on the calendar. If you have a large family you may want to use different color ink for each family member so it is easier to keep track. Be sure to schedule time for homework and don’t forget to mark down dentist or doctor appointments.

Second, be vigilant and refer to this schedule everyday: Check this schedule each evening and plan for the next day. Figure out then which adult will take the kids to their after school activity or appointment. Having this discussion the night before will save time in the morning so there won’t be any surprises!

Third, get, as much done the night before as you can. Gather and prepare all the kids “stuff” and place it by the door. This step will alleviate the rush in the morning. It will leave everyone feeling relaxed and allow for an enjoyable breakfast together. Each child can help you make their lunch or they can make it on their own if they are old enough. Put it in the fridge if it needs to be kept cold or otherwise put it by the door with the rest of their “stuff”. (If you have pets, like Marvin, you may want to put it up high so no one can steal it in the night. LOL)

Fourth, create a master list of all regular items the kids will need for their day ahead: Include items like cell phones, homework, gym cloths, runners, mitts, or hats etc. List anything the kids may need for after school activities, too. Post this on the fridge and take a few minutes every morning to review the items with your kids. It will help to jog their memories in case they may have forgotten to pack something. For younger kids, you can make the list using pictures so that if needed they can gather their things without your help.

Fifth, create the morning “To Do” list: This is the list of things that need to be done each morning. It will include things like, shower or wash hair, brush teeth, tidy bedroom or pack lunch into backpack, etc. The “To Do” list will help keep your ‘sleepy head’ on track to walking out the door on time. Post the “To Do” list in the bedroom or bathroom, or anywhere that will help the kids to know what to do next.

All these time saving ideas will make for an easy morning routine. It may all look like a lot of work in the beginning but trust me, once you do it, you will be amazed at the time you can save. With a little perseverance and patience, you and your family will be working together and enjoying your mornings. There may even be time for a little family fun before everyone walks out the door! Good luck!

At the end of this article, leave a comment and let us know how your routine works and give us some ideas. We love to hear from you!

Author's Bio: 

Hi my name is Kathryn Kessler. I am a children's picture book author. My first published book is titled, Marvin Discovers Snow, and with this book I created MarvinDiscovers. At MarvinDiscovers I share my passion for families connecting with their children on a creative level.

I am passionate about the precious time families spend together discovering the world through their children’s eyes. I have raised two wonderful young men who are leading their own successful lives and I am a grandmother to a beautiful little girl. I know what it takes to raise children in the busy world of schedules, practices and homework.

I have just started to write articles for families on everyday family topics. These articles have been posted at www.ideamarketers.com. I invite you to discover my website, www.marvindiscovers.com and I look forward to sharing my passion with you.