A Mom’s Guide for Navigating School Mornings


We all know that school mornings can be a bit of a scramble, with tasks piling up and time seemingly slipping away. But fear not, I’ve gathered up a treasure trove of tried-and-true tips to help you master your school morning routine this year.

A school bus balloon

Tips for School Mornings

1. Nighttime Planning: Set the Stage for Success

Let’s be real, the magic often happens the night before. Gather up your kiddos and make it a fun evening ritual to prep for the next day. Lay out school outfits, pack backpacks, and get everything organized for the morning. If your child has a difficult time with drop-off in the morning (as mine does), consider discussing in detail how the morning will go. A friend suggested to me to plan as detailed as how many hugs and kisses would be exchanged before closing the car door. Having an evening routine sets the stage for a hassle-free morning.

2. The Early Bird Catches the Calm

As tempting as a few extra minutes in bed can be, an early start can be a game-changer. A peaceful cup of coffee, some gentle yoga stretches, or a few minutes of quiet can make all the difference in setting a positive tone for the day. I like to have myself ready, the dogs fed, and breakfast started by the time my kids’ lights turn green.

3. Breakfast

I know, I know, mornings can be a whirlwind, and a breakfast bar in the car may be the only way some days. But a wholesome breakfast is the secret for fueling your family’s busy day and minimizing hangry, sugar-fueled kiddos. Our family is really big on egg bites, so we purchased an egg bite maker. If you make them ahead of time, they’re super quick in the morning. You may also consider whipping up quick and nutritious options like overnight oats or fruit smoothies.

4. Checklists: Your Secret Weapon

Ah, the power of a good checklist (spoken like the true Type A mother I am). Design a simple morning checklist for your kids, complete with tasks like getting dressed, brushing teeth, putting on shoes, etc. This not only empowers them but also ensures that everyone’s on the same page and nothing’s forgotten. I ordered a reusable checklist from Etsy for each of my kids, and it has been super helpful in getting out the door. Since my kiddos can’t read yet, the checklist is made of picture stickers.

5. Unplug

I get it, those screens are enticing. But in the morning rush on school days, there’s just not time. While we look forward to slow mornings on the weekends, we’ve told our kids that most days, we just won’t have time before school.

6. The Grab-and-Go Zone

Organize backpacks, shoes, keys, and all school essentials in one designated grab-and-go zone by the door. This little slice of organization heaven minimizes last-minute searches and ensures everyone leaves the house on time.

Two small backpacks hang on hooks for the school morning.7. Embrace the Power of Routine

Consistency in bedtime, wake-up times, breakfast routines, and departure times is extremely important for kids and adults of all ages. One of my friends begins the year with a handful of alarms on her phone to help make sure she’s on schedule.

8. Embrace the Imperfect

Last but not least, remember that perfection is overrated. Sometimes, despite our best efforts, things might not go according to plan. Instead of stressing, take a deep breath, pivot, and embrace the beautifully imperfect morning mess.

So, Charleston Moms, as the school year trudges on and backpacks are slung over tiny shoulders, remember these tips. With a touch of nighttime planning, a sprinkle of organization, and a dash of flexibility, you’ve got this!

What other tips help your family get out the door and make school mornings less chaotic?

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Born and raised in Indiana, Brandy spent a decade as an elementary teacher and instructional technology specialist in Chicago. After marrying her husband, Chad, rescuing their beloved pup, Harper, and having two beautiful children, Emerson and Charlie, they traded in their snow boots for swimsuits and purchased a duplex in downtown Charleston. Brandy loves being outdoors, capturing memories in photographs, exploring new restaurants, blogging, and organizing anything and everything! From being landlords and Airbnb hosts to parents and travel enthusiasts, you can follow her family's adventures at www.thewalestales.com.


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