Tips for Getting to School on Time

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Tips for getting to school on time and suggestions of what your "routine" should look like.


Let's face it (and studies support this): students who have better attendance have better grades and better success at school. Tardiness creates problems for students and their teachers and decreases learning time.

Here are some tips for getting to school on time:


1. Set up a ROUTINE, post it and stick to it. This makes the routine a goal and something to strive for rather than making parents micromanagers. If kids can't read yet, draw pictures.

7:15 Get Up
7:20 Make Bed & Tidy Room
7:30 Eat Breakfast
7:45 Brush Hair and Teeth
7:50 Get Dressed
8:00 Put on Shoes, Coats and Back Pack
8:05 Grab backpack and GO!


2. Do what you can the night before. Check the weather, lay out clothes, shoes and pack backpacks (including homework, reading log and forms to be signed) and make lunches the night before. (Changing your mind about what to wear is not an option) Set the table the night before and have quick and easy breakfast choices on hand. Here is our nighttime routine:


6:55 Pick Out Clothes
7:00 Bounce on the Bed
7:15 Pack Backpack
7:20 Bath
7:55 Brush Teeth
8:00 Braid Hair
8:10 Read Books
8:30 BEDTIME!!!

3. Get enough sleep. It is easier for everyone to get up on time when they are rested. Brain functioning is better when people are well rested.


4. Make a family commitment to be on time. It's rarely the fault of the kids that they are late. Modeling good morning behavior is important: If you whine about getting up, don't be surprised if they do too!


5. Give your child responsibilities. A harried morning now sets the stage for how they may behave in the future. Get your kids an alarm clock and let them start their morning and start building self-confidence.


6. Be ready early in case something comes up (because it more often than not, does).


7. Have a no distraction policy. If you are ready to walk out the door (including shoes on) you can watch TV, draw a picture, play a video game, or answer an email (that means you too parents).


8. Plan ahead the week(s) before. Make extra waffles, pancakes, muffins, etc. on the weekend for the week ahead. Freeze these if necessary.


9. Wake up earlier. If you need to get the kids up at 6:45 but you need 30 minutes before that, make it 45 minutes so you don't have to bleed over into kid-preparedness time. (Note: see #3-- getting up earlier and getting enough sleep means going to bed earlier as well. No "one last Netflix episoe of ____.)


10. Don't hit the snooze button. Pushing to get that 5 more minutes of sleep can lead to a rushed frenzy. Getting up right away also starts you off in a better mood; rather than delaying the day, you take it head on.


11. Know what you can get done, and don't do more.  Squeezing one more thing in than you can handle can leave you late to leave.


12. Have a place for all your 'out the door' essentials; keys, wallet, backpackes, phone, and glasses. Put those in a beautiful bowl or holder (that you buy locally) and it will make you more likely to keep them there. (Oh, and do you lose your keys a lot?  Here are some ways to help keep them in check!) 


Your family's lateness has an impact that has a ripple effect that impacts other people.  If your kids are late for school it means the teacher can't start on time and all the other children are impacted. If you keep 6 people waiting 10 extra minutes for a business meeting to start that means an hour of work time lost. Teaching your children to be on time do more than save time; it can strengthen their relationships (if you are on time for your friends they feel better about the relationship), make them more efficient, and increase their level of confidence as well as calm.  It's worth a try for so many reason.



Consider having kids shower in the morning. While it might seem counter-intuitive, the shower may wake your kids up and make it easier to get ready. (You'll also have more time in the evening for things!)


Wear the clothes you are wearing to school the next day to bed. Yeah they are wrinkled, but if it means getting to school on time without a fight then maybe it's worth it!


This is a shortened version of THIS article. Click HERE to get more in depth member stories and experiences about how to minimize the morning rush.