back to school

How to Create Your Morning Routine

Last week we talked about creating an evening routine in order to have a smoother morning. You can read about that and get the free printable here. With school starting in a few weeks, many of us will be changing up our morning routine. This year T will be enrolling in an early learning program for the first time so there will be new things to add to our routine. The following are the steps to follow when transitioning to a new routine.


1. Perform a brain dump of everything that needs to get done in the morning. This should include absolutely everything including what you already do now.

2. Once you see everything listed out, dole out the tasks to who will accomplish them. Maybe mom dresses the baby and dad helps dress the toddler. Maybe mom puts lunch in the bag while dad puts the baby in the car seat. Everyone shock have jobs to do and they should know what they are. This will help mornings run much more smoothly. There will be far less confusion.

3. Put together a schedule. With more things to do in the morning it's good to put together a time table of when things should get done. This way you know if you are on time or not. Everyone should have their own schedule. You don't want to have to look through a bunch of items to figure out what you need to do. Have a toddler who can't read? Use pictures to create his or her morning routine. For example toucan have a picture of toothpaste and a toothbrush followed by a picture of clothes and then a picture of breakfast.

4. At least a week before school, have a trial run of your routine. See if anything needs to be changed or times tweaked. Practice until you think it's just right.

5.  Build an extra few minutes into your routine for the inevitable mishap. Things happen. The baby has a blowout just as you're leaving the house or the toddler spills juice on his school clothes. It's best to have a few minutes built in to accommodate these types of events.

Are you ready for back to school or are you dreading it? I just registered T yesterday and it got very real.  While I'm excited for T to make new friends and have stories to tell of what he did, I still can't believe how fast he's growing up.

In the meantime, we will enjoy whats left of summer.



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Evening Routines for a Better Morning

Evening Routines for a Better Morning

With the summer quickly coming to a close and the new school year started in just a few short weeks, routines have been on my mind.  This will be the first year that T will be attending an early childhood program in the morning.  This means that 2 days a week we will have to get him ready and out the door for school.  Our routines have been making a lot of adjustments lately: from one kid to two kids, from maternity leave to back to work.  This will be the last big change for a while, hopefully.

7 Books for Kids Starting School

It's officially August so the countdown to back to school is on. This fall will be Tyler's first day in a school like environment. He will be in an early childhood program a few days a week. Not only is it his first chance to experience classroom life, but also to make new friends. He is always looking for friends to play with, but since he's home with dad and Hailey during the day he doesn't have too many.  He sometimes makes friends at the playground, but he doesn't really have too many to invite over for playdates.  So we thought it was high time to get him into a classroom.

The following is a collection of books about going to school. They pertain to different situations and different concerns that your child may have. From this list, you are sure to find a book or two to help your little one prepare for school.

1. The Berenstain Bears Go to School: This book by Jan and Stan Berenstain is a classic. I remember reading it when I was going to school. It starts with Brother Bear excited to go back to school and Sister Bear nervous about starting kindergarten. Sister Bear learns about all the fun things to do and learn in school. On the first day Brother Bear is dragging Sister Bear to the bus. By the end of the book Sister Bear loves school and is dragging Brother Bear to the bus.  This whole series of books is great for little ones teaching manners and life lessons.

2. Wow! School!: This book is about Izzy's first day of school. There are very few words but a lot of bright, busy pictures. Kids will enjoy staring at the images to find things they recognize. This is perfect for kids entering preschool to get an idea of all the fun things to expect at school. This is not so much for the emotional aspects of starting school, but a fun way to learn about what goes on there.

3. When You Go To Kindergarten: This book of course is an introduction into kindergarten. It contains updated photos of what it is like to go to school. It also answers many of the questions your little one might have about school. From being away from parents, to what you will learn, to classroom etiquette, this book covers it all. The book is critically acclaimed and sure to put your child's mind at ease.

4. First Day Jitters: Unlike the other books, this book is not necessarily for someone just starting school. Instead, this book handles the situation when you are starting a new school. This is great for after a move, or when your child is transitioning between school levels. The book teaches about adapting to new situations. Your kids will surely get a kick out of the surprise ending!

5. The Kissing Hand: This book is mainly focused on the fear of being away from parents. Those children who have been in daycare may be more comfortable knowing that their parents are going to comeback, but if this is the first time your child will be in a classroom environment they may experience separation anxiety. This book helps your child know that you are always with them and that you will always come back to get them. It follows a raccoon who does not want to go to school. His mom tells him about the kissing hand which allows him to carry her love with him in any situation. It's a beautiful story and you too can have a kissing hand when your child goes to school.

6. I Don't Want To Go To School: This book is about a bunny who decides he does not want to start school the next day. He is nervous so he talks to his parents.  His parents tell him that he will learn new things and make new friends and have fun. He gives it a try and has a great day at school. At the end of the day when his mom comes to pick him up, he has had such a great day that he doesn't want to go home! Children will relate to this book as will the parents.

7. Sam and Gram and the First Day of School: In this book Gram helps Sam get ready for his first day of school. The books takes you through the school day step by step so children know what to expect. It answers questions like what will the teacher be like? When do we eat? What do we do? At the end of the book is a section for parents on identifying and addressing your child's concerns. This helps you understand what your child is feeling when they may not be able to express it very well.

Some other books to check out include: First Grade Jitters, Little School, Chu's First Day of School, and I Love You All The Time. These all help children deal with different aspects of starting school.

Do you have a favorite book about starting school? Share it in the comments!

Come back Friday when I will talk about a cool and useful toy for babies!



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