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Tricks for saving time on school mornings anyone?

(45 Posts)
bijou Thu 05-May-05 08:47:40

I get Ds's school snack ready the night before and even put water in the kettle sometimes, ready for morning tea.

I'd get my clothes ready the night before but who know what the weather's going to be like...and, well, getting clothes ready the night before is just too nerdy for me.

We're always the last ones at the school gates.
Anyone got any tips on how to shave a few minutes off the morning rush?

misdee Thu 05-May-05 08:50:25

get up earlier

Miaou Thu 05-May-05 09:02:09

I presume that you also have DS's clothes ready the night before too? Including shoes, coat etc.

If you have the TV on in the morning, knock that on the head as it slows breakfast/dressing down IMO. Does DS complain about the clothes you have put out/change his mind etc, which causes delays? If so, just be firm, or get him to choose his clothes himself the night before.

Otherwise, you sound like you are doing the right things and I can only suggest what misdee does ... do you know specifically what slows you down?

SecondhandRose Thu 05-May-05 09:04:30

Get DS dressed before he comes downstairs for brekkie.

misdee Thu 05-May-05 09:05:20

leave the tv off till everyone is fed dressed washed etc. i plait dd2 hair the night before sometimes, otherwise i dont get a chance to sorth her hair out as its so bushy. dd1 hair gets put up each morning.

roisin Thu 05-May-05 09:13:35

How old is he bijou? Do you only have the one? For me the biggest trick on school mornings is to be strict, and to expect the boys (5 and 7) to take responsibility for themselves.

We have a super-strict (nerdy?) routine for mornings, and if it starts to slip I come down heavily on them. It is an effort keeping up the motivation, but it's worth it - tbh our mornings run like clockwork now, and we rarely have any problems at all. (But it wasn't always like this).

I also set my alarm to go off 20 mins before theirs, so that I can have a shower and get dressed and start getting things done before they get up.

bijou Thu 05-May-05 09:29:34

He's 5, and yes, the only 1.
I think your 20 mins earlier than the rest is the answer.
20 minutes less sleep.......

As to what specifically slows me down, I can tell you easily it's DH! "Where's this, that and the other" etc

By the way, clohtes DS wears....never a problem...I could put a tutu on him and he wouldn't care as long as it was comfy.

SoupDragon Thu 05-May-05 09:32:30

At 8:28 this morning I realised DSs weren't dressed (they'd had breakfast though). No clothes were set out ready either. We were out of the house by 8:37 I'm so proud of myself . In my case, it's just sheer bloodymindedness - I refuse to be late.

roisin Thu 05-May-05 09:35:44

LOL SoupDragon! It's amazing how fast they can move if necessary isn't it?

This morning I gave them croissants for a treat, and they were downstairs and dressed before I'd even put them in the oven!

SoupDragon Thu 05-May-05 09:38:45

Lots of shouting was needed (which isn't good).

My usual routine is that we aim to be out by 8:30 but we have to be out at 8:40 whether they are dressed, fed or not. This works for me and I am rarely more than a couple of minutes outside my 8:30 target. The time limit focusses my mind, as does the thought that I will be child free once I get them dropped off.

sparklymieow Thu 05-May-05 09:39:47

I have 3 kids, two at school and one at preschool, I get up at 7am, wash, get dressed, get the kids drinks (milk) and cereal, while they are at the table I run an iron over their uniform, then DS gets dressed while i help the girls, get shoes on, brush hair, brush teeth and Dh takes them to school for 8:45am, I have to stick to this routine or it all goes to pot....

Kelly1978 Thu 05-May-05 09:40:21

I have literally everything set out the night before, clothes, breakfast ready in bowls, bookbag hanging on front door, dp sandwich for work, coats on carseats, etc. I sterilise bottles and sort out feeds when I get up for the night feed.

As for clothes - watch the weather! It's very hard to tell what the weather is going to be like at 7pm anyhow.

DP and I shower first, then get up DD and ds who then have to eat, then dress themselves (they are 4 years and 2 years), while I feed and change babies.

We also aim to leave the house ten mins earlier than we need to. Sometimes we are early, but most of the time once we're actually out the door it'sa botu right.

Easy Thu 05-May-05 09:43:24


Why don't you iron uniform the night before?

Actually I don't iron ds's at all

kid Thu 05-May-05 09:47:19

I fib to my kids, I tell them we are leaving in 5 minutes when really its 15 minutes before we have to leave. They then start to rush as I tell them we are leaving at that time whether they are ready or not! DD is 6 and DS is 3, never been late to school, so far anyway!

sparklymieow Thu 05-May-05 09:47:40

coz I'm lazy in the evenings

Kelly1978 Thu 05-May-05 09:48:30

I love that idea kid, I'm going try that one too!

sparklymieow Thu 05-May-05 09:48:55

sometimes I have forgotten to dry the uniforms and have to tumble dry them the mornings, so no ironning needed then

roisin Thu 05-May-05 09:53:11

I think it's just about being organised and having a routine. The people who are regularly later for school are not the ones with the furthest to walk, or the youngest children, or the most children ...
(Have you got 4 Kelly1978? You sound super-organised, but I guess you just have to be?)

The other thing is the people who are regularly late at school, are always consistently late. On my way home I meet people at a certain point on the road! So they regularly arrive 7.5 mins late - never 15 or 20 mins late. I just can't understand why they can't adjust their routine by those 7.5 mins and be on time?!

bijou Thu 05-May-05 10:07:58

Looks like I'm looking for 7.5 minutes then. Where did they go?
How many seconds is that?

SenoraPostrophe Thu 05-May-05 10:49:25

Roisin - it doesn't work like that, I don't think. We are regularly 5-10 mins late for nursery even on days when we start getting ready an hour early. I don't worry too much as it's nursery, not school but even so...

My advice is:

porridge, weetabix or ready brek for breakfast - they slip down quicker than cornflakes.

aim for a time to be out of the door that's 7.5 mins before you actually have to be out the door and start telling dh you're late earlier.

in fact put all the clocks in the house forward by 7.5 mins.

also there's Zebra's famous tip:
get them dressed the night before.

Kelly1978 Thu 05-May-05 10:53:22

roisin, yep I have 4. Mornings feel like a production line in my home!

roisin Thu 05-May-05 10:59:13

SP - I think nursery is different, but it does actually annoy me quite a lot when children are persistently late for school. It's a really bad start for them for their day at school, they might miss important notices and announcements, and it's disruptive for the other children too.

Marina Thu 05-May-05 10:59:46

We invoke the oven-timer as a reminder some mornings. But I also run all the clocks 5 mins fast and use incentives - it's not telly in our house but five minutes with our beloved Lego - to get people ready 10 mins beforehand.
Ds is very good now, I have to say - we have recently engineered a huge improvement in his bed-time routine resulting in nearly an hour's extra sleep for him, and the difference in his freshness and cooperation at 7am is fantastic.

QueenEagle Thu 05-May-05 11:02:09

My older 2 get their things ready the night before so everything is ready. dd does paper round in the mornings and is always running late but she is old enough to take the consequences of being late for school. She walks with ds1 and they both egg each other on to be ready by 8.30.

I have to get ds2 to school by 8.45, we end up going in the car as ds4 being only 4mths is still unpredictable with what time he wakes. Biggest prob is chasing round after ds3 to get him dressed. He thinks it's playtime when the older ones are at home and I have to be really strict with him and use loads of distraction to get him ready.

I tend to have everything more or less ready the night before including lunch boxes. We stuck a checklist on the front door, but as it's been there so long now it doesn't get a second glance.

Sonnet Thu 05-May-05 11:03:28

LOL SP - I remember that thread!!

Agree with being superorganised and nerdy...Everything ready the night before works for me as i can have a calm (ish) and serene (ish)start to the day!

I have to be out of the house by 8am and I get up at 6,15. I can shower, hair, makeup and a welcome cup of coffee before the DD's rise at 6.55/7am.
They then go straight downstairs and use the downstairs loo for toilet, face wash and teeth(showers/baths every night). I can then keep an eye on them whilst the dress and I prepare breakfast. Do their hair and get all bags, coats and shoes ready by the back door.We then all eat breakfast together, pack car and we are off!
It works for us!

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