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    Hassle-free mornings

    The big morning rush can be one of the most hectic parts of any school day. From making lunch to making sure your child's socks match and everything in between, it can seem like an impossible task to get your little one to school before the tardy bell rings. Common snags in every school parent's morning schedule range from forgetting to do an assignment to running out of sandwich bread.

    One of the most important things to remember when getting ready for school is that a little planning goes a long way. A few minutes of prep work during the weekend – along with training your child to stick to a consistent morning routine – can easily translate into five days of school-morning bliss. With these simple strategies and organizational tips, you will be sure to start the school day off without a hitch.

    • Over the summer, label your child's backpack, lunch box and folders with his or her name and the name of the teacher.
    • Get a jump on the school-supply rush – call your child's school over the summer and request a list of supplies they will need for the coming year.
    • Check with your child's school about summer reading requirements and any special items they may need, such as a blanket for nap time or a P.E. uniform.
    School uniforms
    School supplies
    • A few weeks before school begins, go over the morning routine with your child: wash face, get dressed, eat breakfast, brush teeth, make bed and get book bag and lunch box.
    • Make a checklist of the week's necessities and use it as a guide for your weekly shopping: lunch food, sandwich bags, bottled water, juice boxes, detergent, writing paper and any project supplies.
    • Along with your child, plan their wardrobe the night before. The more your child is involved, the happier and more comfortable he or she will be in the classroom.
    • Plan your wardrobe the night before. It's easy to lose time and make up for it by rushing when you can't decide what to wear.
    • Pack and refrigerate as much of your child's lunch as possible the night before.
    • Make sure homework is finished and put away the night before. Ask your child to put his or her book bag by the door when the homework is done – this is a visible way to make sure it was completed.
    • If you drive your child to school, check your gas tank the night before to see whether or not you need to make a pit stop.
    • Include your child in age-appropriate morning chores: walking the dog, putting away breakfast dishes and making sure electronic appliances and lights are turned off before leaving.
    • Use the timer on your stove or microwave to monitor the morning's progress. This will give your child a "real" signal of when they should be dressed and ready to go.
    • During the winter, place your little one's coat, hat and gloves by the door. This way you won't be searching the closet or hamper at the last minute.

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