It is really important to start a scheduling system at the very beginning of the school year so that everyone has a plan, knows what each other is doing and to avoid chaos and stress! The key to starting the school day off without total chaos and stress is to be prepared, plan ahead and create routines. There are various morning routine charts available online at www.parentingresources.suite101.com.
The night before you should prepare the lunches, put everything in the backpack that needs to be returned to school and sit it beside the door you exit. Put signed papers in the backpack. Make a prioritized, written schedule for the next day of everyone’s activities. Take advantage of the timer on the coffee pot so the coffee is ready in the morning when you are. Have the kids do a nightly fifteen minute pick-up so there is no clutter to work around in the morning.
I recommend you start the morning routine two weeks before school starts so that it is not a shock to everyone the first day of school and you have time to make any necessary adjustments to each persons routine. Preschoolers can really benefit from a morning routine. They are at the age where you can teach them about making decisions and they want to help with just about everything. Leave enough time in the mornings to allow them to do as much as possible on their own as appropriate. Kids learn by example and by making choices. Do not rush them. Minimize distractions for them. Keep the items that distract them put away. They are easily distracted by their toys and books and do not have any understanding of time.
Do Not Over Schedule! It is really easy to do as the kids get older and become involved in after school activities. Having a centralized calendar with everyone’s activities on it will make it much easier to see if activities are overlapping and to gauge the amount of activities being done. It is recommended that kids should not be involved in more than three after school activities. You need to leave time in their schedule for friends, family, studying and rest.