Morning and bedtime madness overhaul


If you dread waking up on a school day to face the morning madness and nagging to get to the school on time, this solution will ease your pain if not completely restore your sanity.

We started the school year, like any family in the country, lacking sleep and time to get ready for the school. As days passed by, the amount of the phrases used such as “hurry up!”, “c’mon”, “let’s go” increased exponentially. Kids started to react to my nagging passive aggressively, literally slowing down to a snail speed, all while complaining that I was getting them to school late.

On the brink of madness, I remembered Honestly and Truly‘s “No more morning nagging” post, that I’ve pinned to my mental “lifesavers to be used in times of emergency” board. I immediately opened up a Word document and put down the major tasks that are a part of our morning routine, “decorated” it with Microsoft cliparts and saved it as our Morning Routine Chart. I printed out the list on a cardstock and laminated it.

When kids came home that afternoon, I explained them that they are old enough to take care of themselves and get ready for school without their parents’ reminding them every single thing to do. Besides, I felt sure that they would be much happier without me screeching “HURRY UP!” every other minute. It was up to them to own this and make the mornings a less dreadful time of the day.



And it worked. It worked so well on the first day, obviously, I had to give it the benefit of the doubt. Few weeks went by and as I realized this is working quite well in our household, I created another chart for bedtime routine.

Both charts have “deadlines” for the final step. Therefore, there is a”latest starting time” to start the first task. The tasks don’t need to completed in the given sequence as long as they make it to the last task, which is either “ready to go out of the door” or “ready to go to bed”, at their deadlines.  Bedtime routine, consists of tasks that makes their morning routine  faster and easier, such as getting clothes and backpacks ready. They have to remember their special class days, such as PE and Spanish etc., themselves.

I put boxes for each of them to check the task they complete. They use dry erase markers on the laminate sheet. The easiest way to erase markers from laminated sheet is to use Magic Erasers.

Sometimes, they compete on who will get ready first, which I don’t stop but I don’t praise the winner either.

After almost two months, this process is as much self-regulated as it can get. I, unfortunately, don’t get to watch them while I lay back and rest. I am responsible for preparing their breakfasts sand lunch bags in the morning. I still have to rush because I also have to get my workout done and get ready before they wake up. Still, not having to start our day by irritating each other is such a blessing.

This chart trick will not  give you extra time to sleep in. I highly recommend you to wake up earlier than your kids and to wake your school kids up early, giving them ample time to rise and shine.

Our morning routine chart includes:

  • Finish breakfast
  • Change clothes
  • Bathroom needs
  • Brush Teeth
  • Get backpack ready

Our bedtime routine chart includes:

  • Do homework
  • Eat dinner
  • Eat fruits
  • Get backpack ready
  • Lay away school clothes
  • Bathroom needs
  • Brush teeth and
  • Ready to go to bed

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