Back-to-School Time Saving Strategies

With seven kids of my own, I’ve had my fair share of school morning mayhem over the years. Through trial and error, it also taught me what works and what doesn’t work to get everyone dressed, fed breakfast and out the door on time.  School mornings don’t have to be stressful with a few simple measures in place to keep your sanity intact.  Below I’ve shared a few tried-and-true time saving ways to help your kids stay on schedule:


1. Get breakfast staples that the kids can make themselves. Make sure to stock up the pantry with cereals and oatmeal breakfast bars, fill the refrigerator with yogurt and berries, and have half cartons of milk and juice (half cartons are easier for the kids to use). Make sure the kiddos also know how to rinse their plates and put them away in the dishwasher to make things less stressful for you!

2. Make sure the kids shower in the evening so the mornings are less hectic. However, if the kids like showering in the morning, set up a shower/eating schedule where while one child showers, the other one eats, and vice versa.

3. Set up a morning schedule as soon as your kids can tell time. They might wake up and get out of bed when the alarm goes off, but that doesn’t help much if eating breakfast takes them 45 minutes and the shower another 30. Set time limits for every activity, and provide some rewards initially to motivate them to stick to the schedule. Soon enough, it will be their daily morning routine.

4. Make television and other screens off-limits in the morning.  As it’s easy for kids to lose track of time when on their iPad or while watching a show, just make the am a ‘no screen’ time for everyone.  Or allow screen time if they get ready and have breakfast before it’s time to leave for school. This might motivate them to move faster in the morning.

5. If you can do a school preparation task the night before, do it! For example, spend time each night helping the kids pick out their next day’s outfit, getting their backpacks ready and at the door, packing lunches and putting them in the fridge (or have the kids pack their own lunches, as they can definitely do that themselves once they are in elementary school), and sign any permission slips. This can save you much-needed minutes and help everything remain calm in the morning!

6. Choose comforters for the kids’ bedding. Your kids will be more likely to make their beds in the morning if they have comforters rather than sheets and blankets, as the process is much quicker and simper.

7. Make sure the kids are self-sufficient as early as possible! If they’re not relying on you to get themselves ready, it will make things much easier on the parent. It will be a big confidence booster for them!

Good luck & happy back-to-school season!


Daddy Nickell


Parenting Expert and father of 7, Robert Nickell (aka Daddy Nickell) offers his “5 cents” worth of advice to expectant and new parents.  Daddy Nickell is the founder of Daddy & Co., delivery room duds and daddy gifts and apparel for every stage of fatherhood, and the Daily Daddy Blog.  He is also the creator and producer of “My Life as a Dad,” the groundbreaking new web series that showcases celebrity fathers offering their personal experiences and parenting tips.

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