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Today’s post is sponsored by Ibotta, which works out perfectly since It’s just in time for back to school shopping! 😉  Weekday mornings can be busy, so we are sharing 5 practical & helpful time-saving tips to get kids ready faster on school mornings (and off to school in a good mood!)  

5 practical & helpful time-saving tips for school mornings

This year we are making a MAJOR change in our home.  While I love our public school (I taught there), we’ve decided to send our kids to a partial Christian school/Partial homeschool.  They will be in school 3-days a week for school in their new school, and home 2-days a week for homeschool. 

I have realized how quickly these years are flying by, and I have also realized that I want our children to have time to devote to things outside of just school.   I want them to work on their music, their skills, and talents, etc… so using those two home days will help them. 

This school is fast-paced, so they will not lose time, but will hopefully apply what they’ve learned in the past about time management to stay on top of their studies.   It is based on a college-schedule, so they go to class for the lesson, and they are expected to study and apply it at home.    In fact, a lot of it is right in line with what I wrote about the other day, about teaching kids to have a Growth Mindset. 

With all of these changes, they did get a few extra weeks of summer. We took full advantage of our few extra weeks by spending it at our Hilton Head Island home:

vacation with our family - hilton head island
Now that we are home and we know that school is only a few weeks away, it’s time for us to prepare and get into the school-year mindset. 

To bring the point home, I opened my email this morning and found a personal email from one of our son’s teachers.  She had sent an email with suggestions of the supplies he needs next year to make the transition to the new school & grade as easy as possible.     It was so helpful, as this time of year is overwhelming even when you are not starting at a new school, as you are meeting new teachers, new friends, starting a new schedule, etc… 

If you read my blog, you already know that I use Ibotta for shopping. It’s the app that I have that saves you money on things that you buy at the stories, like Target, Walmart, Gap, etc…   You can use it online, too. (I do!) 

For example, I just ordered our daughter’s uniform from Amazon (a cute navy blue dress) and was able to earn money back on the Ibotta app.

A person holding a cell phone

I just went to my Ibotta App, then went to Amazon, then SHOP.  From there, I just ordered what I wanted.    After I ordered her dress, it was loaded into the app & I had cashback. 🙂 It’s just as easy at the store.
TIP: You can download the app here. 

A cellphone with an app opened to Amazon.

Along with getting their materials, we also talked about our schedule for school mornings.  The new school charges a “tardy fee” because they want children and their families to understand the importance of being on time for class,  so I do not want to be late this year.  I’ll be setting my alarm clock, for sure. 😉  Trust me when I say that is going to be a struggle for me, all on its own. 


I wanted to share a few things that have worked well for helping us move along quickly on school mornings, in the past few years.    First off, one thing that I do to help us start the day is to get up about 30 minutes before the kids’ wake.  It just helps because some of those times in the mornings can be rushed if I’m not ready to go before they wake up.  

1). Get everything ready at night, even breakfast! 

The following items should be prepared at night, to make it  easier in the mornings: 

  • Homework is in their folder before they go to bed. 
  • Pack lunches at night & put them in the refrigerator
  • Water bottle ready & in fridge
  • Library books in the backpack
  • Clothes prepared to put on in the morning
  • Shoes by the door. 
  • Breakfast is ready to be prepared (ex: box of cereal and bowl are on the counter,  or if you are making eggs, the whisk and bowl are on the table, etc…)

Tip: Do your shopping on the weekends for lunch box items.  You can buy in bulk so you’ll be ready for the week (or month).  Don’t forget to shop with your Ibotta app, so you can earn cashback.   Oh- While you are on your Ibotta app, you may want to stock up on breakfast items to make your mornings run smoother.  One of our sons LOVES to have two waffles with his breakfast smoothie every morning, so I always stock up on these items before the week begins. 

A person braiding a little girl\'s hair.

2). Prevent Tears in the Morning: Braid Her Hair at Night.

I can remember when my mom would brush my hair in the morning and how much it hurt.  All of those tangles are not fun to deal with before school. Our daughter has the same type of hair as me, so I knew I had to figure out a solution.

I braid our daughter’s hair at night, to make the morning easier.  There are fewer tangles and knots to deal with when I have braided it at night (either one loose braid or two side braids).  When she wakes up, we either take the braids out and curl her hair, comb hair or she can leave the braids in and go to school with it braided.  

3). Fill up the Gas Tank the Night Before 

I have made myself late MANY times by not filling up the night before.  I always think “I “ll leave five minutes sooner to fill up tomorrow,’ but when the time comes, I forget, and then I get into my car and realize that I forgot to fill up.   I rarely let it get below 1/4 of a tank, let alone close enough to empty to bring on the low-fuel light, but I have before, and I don’t want that to happen on a school morning. 

4). Have their Hygiene Items Ready. 

To help this run smoother, we keep all like-items together. 

We have a drawer in the bathroom with all hair-items for the boys (gel, combs, water in a spray bottle).   I keep a brush and ponytail holders in a drawer downstairs so I can do my daughter’s hair while she is having her breakfast.  

I do the same for brushing teeth: they have everything they need in their drawer in the bathroom.  I also keep toothbrushes, mouthwash, toothpaste, and floss in two areas: One is upstairs, and one is downstairs.  

Two children brushing their teeth at the sink.

5). Keep a Consistent Routine All Year.

When getting the kids ready for school, it’s all about keeping things moving.  They know that they wake up, make their beds, get dressed, brush their hair & teeth, and head downstairs.  When they come down, they eat breakfast, put their lunches and water into the backpacks, and get their shoes on.  
They can then ride their scooters, play basketball outside, watch a show (15 minutes of screen time is plenty for a quick show in the morning), or have some downtime until it’s time to go.

We don’t have to use a morning routine chart anymore, but being consistent is always a good idea because it lets the kids know what to do next (without asking or nagging them).

My only rule is no TV until everyone is completely ready to go, or it slows down the slowest child.   LOL- on school mornings, you are only as fast as your slowest child, so keep that one moving. 😉

I hope that these 5 practical & helpful time-saving tips for school morning were helpful today!  Good luck & have a wonderful school year!! 


Hi there!

I’m Becky, a former elementary school teacher turned certified child development therapist and blogger. I work at home with my husband and together we are raising (and partially homeschooling) our four children in the Carolinas. I love diet coke, ice cream, and spending time with my family.

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