Random school questions

Discussion in 'Childhood and Beyond (4+)' started by Fran27, Sep 2, 2013.

  1. Fran27

    Fran27 Well-Known Member

    The kids are (finally) starting Kindergarten on Wednesday. Unfortunately they won't go to sleep until 9pm at least most days, so that's gonna be fun.

    So, the questions... Keep in mind my kids are 5.5.

    1) At what time do your kids go to bed? When do they wake up?
    2) How long do you take to get ready in the morning? (basically I have to pack lunches while they have breakfast and get dressed, and I guess we should really try to enforce doing teeth and hair in the morning now too)
    3) We have to pack lunch and snacks. What do you send with them? They'll have snacks in the afternoon so it has to be non perishable and 'nutritious'.
  2. Rollergiraffe

    Rollergiraffe Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    My kids are younger, but they are in a full day pre-K daycare program and it was a huge transition for us. If yours have already done pre-K hopefully it will be a little easier, but I would still expect the mornings to be a challenge until you get a routine going.

    Bedtimes: mine go to bed at 7:30 and fall asleep around 8:30 after reading books and playing for a bit. We are working on making this earlier, but it's s struggle. I know when my nephews started grade 1, the teacher expected them to have about 10 hours of sleep a night, and they weren't getting enough. However, after a few months of tiring school and working on a routine they go to bed early now.

    We take about 40 minutes to get out the door in the morning. Husband does breakfast with kids while I shower, kids get dressed with me while husband showers, then 10 minutes of gathering things, shoes etc, and we're out the door. I have everything ready as much as possible the night before so this is easier on everyone; mornings are not my shining hour. You could even get ambitious and have lunches packed at the beginning of the week. I make sure to have the kids clothes laid out, my clothes planned, any stuff we have to take to school organized and put out for us and even put in the van the night before if I think of it.

    We're don't have to deal with lunch and snacks very often, but there are some really great, practical ideas on pinterest if you google lunch ideas. When we have to send non perishable food, I usually pack things like fruit, cut up veggies, whole grain crackers, a babybel cheese (I know that's perishable, but it keeps long enough), nuts (if you're nut free obviously you can't do that), veggie hummus sandwiches.

    I also wanted to add; life has become a lot easier since I started putting pressure on the kids to do more as well. They are now in charge of getting themselves dressed, getting shoes on, putting their plates away, pottying, tidying up any toys they've taken out, and now that our house is on the market they have to help tidy their room too. I help them a bit, but they do most of it themselves with some prodding and me directing.
  3. rrodman

    rrodman Well-Known Member

    My kids go to bed at 8. They get up between 6 and 7 on school days, depending on what meetings my husband and I have. On the weekends, they tend to naturally wake up around 8, but really anywhere between 7 and 9.

    We can go from wake up to out the door in about 30 minutes or less if we have to, including breakfast, teeth, hair, and getting dressed. We average 45 if we are bein more slow. That's from wake up of the kids. My husband and I both shower before they get up.

    We don't have to do lunches because my kids are just in half day K and in K enrichment at daycare where lunch is provided the rest of the day.
  4. tarcoulis

    tarcoulis Well-Known Member

    Mine are now in 3rd grade but we've had the same routine since K.

    5:30 - I wake up, shower, dress, finish packing lunches (started the night before but fruit is better cut in the morning and anything in a thermos has to be heated up) and start making breakfast
    6:10 - DH wakes the girls with a cup of warm milk. They wash and get dressed
    6:35 - Girls come out for breakfast
    7:00 - I do their hair, they brush teeth, double check backpacks etc
    7:15 - load up the car to go to school
    3:00ish - arrive home from school, have a smoothie and snack, do homework
    Anywhere between 4:30 and 5:30 - finish homework (including 20 mins required reading which sometimes stretches to an hour depending on how interesting the book is, and the written response, math homework, KidBiz, and IXL requirements for the week), go out to play and do chores
    6:30 to 8:00 - dinner, showers etc
    8:00 - in bed and they can read or I will read to them
    8:30 lights out. In Kindergarten we might have had lights out at 8:00 They've never needed quite as much sleep as recommended.

    Lunches - basically anything that is portable so a day's lunch might be pasta alfredo in the thermos, fruit, dry snacks (pretzels, dry fruit, crackers), a cookie and water. They eat the leftovers on the way home. I have lists of fruit/veg, carbs, protein, main meals, desserts, dry and wet snacks so if I'm stuck I can just grab something off the list. Right now they like any kind of fruit, carrots with ranch dressing, soya beans in pods. Sandwiches, rice balls, pasta. Coconut pudding, muffins, cake, cookies or pie we might have had at home. Dried fruit, beef jerky, pretzels, saltines, fruit leather. You can pack almost anything with a good thermos and ice packs. There have been days they complained that the food in the thermos was too hot to each at lunchtime (4.5 hours after I packed it). A two compartment lunchbox is also good. Make sure each compartment is fully insulated from the other. Some have a divider but nothing to prevent exchange of heat/cool between compartments.
  5. tarcoulis

    tarcoulis Well-Known Member

    Just wanted to add -- everyone told me how exhausted they would be after a full day of Kindergarten. My kids were the opposite. They had more energy and were falling asleep later and later (like 10pm) as K progressed. After 4 years of running around and swimming all day, then a year of running around and swimming for half days (preschool), sitting in class all day just didn't cut it. After a few weeks of K, I put them in stroke correction then swim team every day after school to get the sleep patterns back to some resemblance of normal.
  6. becasquared

    becasquared Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    My two go to bed at 8-8:30 and will be getting up at 6:30.

    I highly recommend making lunches the night before. We freeze sunbutter and jelly sandwiches on Sunday, I make an entire loaf of them at one time. Then toss in a sandwich, a drink, some chips or pretzels, a frozen gogurt and two fruits. Stick the whole thing in the fridge, it's perfectly fine all day long without ice packs.
  7. 4lilmonkeys

    4lilmonkeys Well-Known Member

    Our boys will turn six in a few weeks and they typically go to bed around 8:30, but don't fall asleep for about half an hour or so later, depending on how busy our day was. They're up by 6:45 most mornings, we eat breakfast at 7:00 and then it takes about 20 minutes to get them through breakfast, teeth brushing, clothes/shoes, and packing up their backpacks. Most days, we don't leave the house until 7:40, since the school is so close to our house. I drop them at the corner around 7:45 and watch them walk up the sidewalk.

    I make their lunches the night before and stick their lunch boxes in the fridge. It's normally a sandwich of some kind or leftovers from the night before, fruit, yogurt or chips, a drink and small dessert.

    And, I also wanted to say that I completely agree with Jen. I make the boys do a lot on their own. They make their beds in the mornings, clean up their breakfast dishes and are responsible for their lunchboxes, backpacks, folders and shoes. They aren't allowed to do any "fun" stuff after school until that's all done. They each of small chores as well and it has made a HUGE difference in how organized our house is and how smoothly things go. It takes practice, but it's honestly the best decision I've made.
  8. Danibell

    Danibell Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    When my kids started school they all went to bed around 8pm. My twins are 4.5 and have half day 4K right now. Bedtime is 7:30-7:50 and they fall asleep pretty quick. Wake up is 6:45. I have everyone's clothes laid out the night before, dh makes the big kids sandwiches and I throw their lunch together in the morning with an ice pack. Breakfast is fast, cereal and milk, or muffins if I have some made (I've been purposely buying extra bananas to make muffins with, or pumpkin muffins), or even bagels and cream cheese. Big kids brush their teeth in the mornings, I rarely have time to brush the twins. Everyone gets themselves dressed right after they finish eating, then I do the girls hair, and we walk out the door by 7:30-7:35.

    Last year, with just my two big kids, we could get up, eat, and get out the door in about 30 mins. Now, with 4 kids, I've stretched it to 45 mins.

    Lunches are a sandwich, or crackers/meat/cheese, or bagels and cream cheese, or leftovers in a thermos, yogurt and fruit, soft tortilla's can replace bread for sandwiches just to change things up a bit.

    My older daughter is the slowest eater alive. She gets a sandwich and only eats about half of it. If I send a snack she won't even eat half a sandwich. So I usually send a very small snack with her. My older son gets 2 snacks. Yogurt, stick cheese, snack crackers, fruit, pudding, fruit cup.....etc.
  9. KCMichigan

    KCMichigan Well-Known Member

    1. Mine get up at 6:30/6:45 everyday of the year and have since they were about 4. They go to bed at 7:30 and lights out at 8. This is new this past year. From age 4-7, bedtime was 7 and lights out at 7:30.

    2. We have about 45 min to 1 hour to get ready. Bus comes between 7: 50 & 8 am (school starts at 8:10). Pack lunches the night before if possible. I also have water bottles pre-made to just hand to them. Make a visual chart of what to do (a pic of toothbrushing, hair combing, potty, breakfast, etc). Practice a few days before school starts. Layout clothes the night before if you can.

    3. We pack lunch and snacks. They get a water bottle for school and a 100% juicebox for lunch

    Lunch :
    1.thermos of pasta, lasagna or chili, a ham & cheese roll-up, cheese/ham/crackers, bagel & cream cheese, cold pizza,
    2.sides of fruit - apple slice, banana, applesauce pouch, raisins
    3.a dry crunchy something- pretzels, dry cereal, crackers, popcorn
    4. yogurt

    snacks: popcorn, apple, fruit leather, raisins, carrots, goldfish crackers, pretezels, cheese stick, granola bar

    We have parapros to help open lunch containers and open milks/juice boxes.

    ALL the kindergarteners are between 4 & 6. Most are 5. Their teachers will expect them to tie shoes (mostly with help), zip, button, and be able to stand in a line and wait an age appropriate length of time. You will be surprised at how independent they are!

    The wake/bed times are more HOW much sleep they get rather than set times. Kiddos that age need 11-13 hours a night. Set when you have to wake and go backwards. K is likely to have a rest time, but few kids sleep. Expect in the beginning, your kiddos will need a bit more sleep due to the overwhelming newness of it all.
  10. Fran27

    Fran27 Well-Known Member

    I'm kinda laughing at the 11-13 hours at night thing... I wish. My kids sleep 8-9 hours, 10 if we're lucky. Thanks for all the help so far! They did go to pre-k last year but I only had to pack lunch three times a week and no snacks, so this is more work (and we have to walk 15 minutes to school too, that's gonna be fun).
  11. MNTwinSquared

    MNTwinSquared Well-Known Member

    Crackers, apples, grapes and anything along those lines are great snacks. Lunches I put in a freezer pack into a lunchbox and do a pb/j sandwich or ham sandwich. I do have some thermoses that I can put hot food for their lunches in. Try to put a fruit/veggie in lunch as well. Good luck. You will develop a rhythm and it will work out.
  12. FGMH

    FGMH Well-Known Member

    Walking to school is great! We have walked to daycare and now pre-school in all weathers since my kids were 2, up to 30 minutes each way (often more with tired kids in the afternoon). We all enjoy our morning and afternoon walk - we get to chat about the day (plans and expectations, how things went, what they experienced), we sometimes sing or play games along the way, we can go through the park and watch the seasons, we all get fresh air and exercise and the kids settle down at pre-school at lot easier afterwards (I broke my foot and have to take them by car at the moment and the teachers commented several times that it makes a huge difference in the kids' behaviour, especially DS has a hard time sitting still before they have their outdoor play period). It might take a while to establish the routine but it is so worth it.
  13. Leighann

    Leighann Well-Known Member

    1) At what time do your kids go to bed? When do they wake up?
    On school nights we plan bed between 7:30 and 8:30. They wake up at 7.

    2) How long do you take to get ready in the morning? (basically I have to pack lunches while they have breakfast and get dressed, and I guess we should really try to enforce doing teeth and hair in the morning now too)
    I try to pack lunches the night before. The girls get up at 7, get dressed, eat breakfast, brush hair and teeth, use the bathroom and then pack their backpacks. They are pokey and not morning people so we are usually just in time when the bus comes at 8:30. Sometimes they are all done by 8 and then have some time to play. It's less stress for everyone if we give them plenty of time in the morning.

    3) We have to pack lunch and snacks. What do you send with them? They'll have snacks in the afternoon so it has to be non perishable and 'nutritious'.
    For lunch, sunbutter and jelly sammies, or cold cuts (sandwiches or just rolled up), with yogurt or cheese, and a fresh fruit or veggie. Sometimes I will send in cold pasta salad, but I haven't tried anything hot in a thermos yet. I don't think my girls would eat it as they don't really like soups.
    For snacks, fresh fruit or veggies with a dip, crackers and cheese, pirates booty, pretzels, fruit chips (just freeze dried fruit), granola bars, dry cereal, etc. for both lunch and snack I have their water bottles that they can refill if necessary.
  14. gina_leigh

    gina_leigh Well-Known Member

    School bedtime is 8pm. We generally do showers at 7:30 and have about 10 minutes of wind down time before lights out. (They can choose to have a story or snuggle time or a few minutes of calm TV- nothing too flashy or exciting basically.)
    We tuck them in and that's it. DD does take longer to fall asleep and sometimes sings/hums to herself. We're okay with it as long as she doesn't get loud.

    They wake up at 6:30am. Generally, DD is up around 6:15 on her own and will come downstairs and lay on the couch until I get up. More often than not, I have to wake DS up. We do quick breakfast here- cereal, frozen waffles, toast, etc. I don't usually pack a lunch because they really like their choices at school. (And I'm okay with their school menu.) Every now and then they will ask and I pack it while they eat breakfast.

    After breakfast, they get dressed. Even though they are in uniforms, I lay their clothes out the night before just to have it done. They are responsible for picking up their breakfast plates/cups and feeding the cats and dog either before or after they get dressed. Doesn't matter to me what order they do it so long as it all gets done.
    I'm usually getting dressed while they do. (I wait and shower after I get back home from bringing them to school. If I have somewhere to be, then I get up earlier and am mostly ready for when they wake up.)

    After all that, we do hair. I'm encouraging them to be more independent with their hair, but DD has long hair, so she needs a bit of help.

    We are walking out the door at 7:10. And honestly most mornings, around 7 they are ready. If so, I'll let them watch a few minutes of TV until it's time to go.
  15. dtomecko

    dtomecko Well-Known Member

    1) This schedule is new to us this year too. They've been in school for 2 weeks so far. Bed time is 8:30, they usually fall asleep by 9. I wake them up at 7:45. They need about 11 hours of sleep, so this has been ok so far. I may push their bedtime back to 8 or 8:15 if necessary. Technically, they can take the bus, which comes around 8:05-8:10. But I didn't want to disrupt their sleep schedule too much this year. They want to take it, but I don't want to push them to get up by 7:15-7:20 just yet. Maybe next year. Right now, we leave by 8:30.

    2) This gives them about 45 minutes to get ready. My son is a slow mover in the morning, but they're getting the routine down. I lie their clothes out the night before, and have their lunches ready in the fridge the night before. I get up at 7:30 and get myself ready. I get them up at 7:45. They must make their bed, get dressed, go potty and brush their teeth and be downstairs around 8:00 for breakfast. As they're getting ready I make breakfast. They have until 8:20 to eat. Then I make sure their faces are clean, do my daughters hair, have them put their shoes on and get their lunches and book bags. I'm trying to have a routine ingrained in them, where they are doing the work. I want to instill these habits early! So if they forget their lunch or bag as they're walking out the door, I make them go get it even though it's faster for me to help them. I want them getting in the car before 8:30. It's been enough time, and so far I haven't felt rushed. But I know it will get harder with winter and the extra clothing, boots, hats and gloves, etc.

    3) I've had to cut back what they get for lunch, since they only get 20 minutes to eat. This has been hard for me, because it used to be their best meal and I'm already worried about my son's weight gain. One day last week he seriously only ate 4 carrot sticks for lunch. That was it. Learned my lesson, no more veggies that take long to chew! I give them either a whole or half pb&j sandwich, some fruit and something like a cheese stick or a snack like pretzels or raisins. I'm learning as I go, to see what they can eat fast, and what doesn't work so well! They eat lunch late, so the school provides a morning snack and milk. Something like fruit or graham crackers or cut up vegetables. If I had to pack an afternoon snack, I'd probably do something like raisins (they like the yogurt covered raisins), a granola bar/nutri grain bar, graham crackers or teddy grahams. Something like grapes or an apple would probably keep ok, even if it wasn't refrigerated.
  16. sulik110202

    sulik110202 Well-Known Member

    1) During school, we try to get the kids in bed by 8:15 or 8:30 and they fall asleep pretty quickly. They are typically up every morning by around 6:15 ish (time varies depending on who drops off at latchkey) and we are out the door by 6:40 at the latest.
    2) We get the kids up while we are still getting ready and it takes about 25 minutes to get out the door. They get up, get dressed, brush teeth & hair and head downstairs. By that time DH or I have their breakfast out (usually something simple like a mini bagel, toast, fruit & yogurt) and they take another 10-15 minutes to eat. We pack lunches the night before and also have their backpacks packed and ready by the back door. I also lay their clothes out for the week on Sunday. I have a hanging organizer in their closets and that saves a lot of time for us in the morning.
    3) For snacks, they can choose. Some of the choices are fruit, gogurt (I will freeze the night before and then put in their lunchbox with an ice pack and by the time snack rolls around it has melted, but still cold), ritz crackers, raisins, nilla wafers, granola bar, dry cereal, or another type of cracker. Lunch is typically a sandwich (usually peanut butter & jelly), fresh veggies, a slice of cheese, gogurt or yogurt, granola bar and a pack of fruit snacks.
  17. KCMichigan

    KCMichigan Well-Known Member

    "Experts estimate that preschoolers (3 to 5 years-old) need 11-13 hours of sleep, while school-aged children up to age 12 need approximately 10-11 hours of sleep."

    Don't laugh too hard! Some kids do need a bit less/more and are fine but a lot of kids are slightly sleep deprived. One of our Drs first questions at every check up is "How much sleep do they get?" It is also one of the first questions schools ask when behaviors pop up that were not previously there. Our pediatrician said that young kids (Elem. age) should wake on their own at about the same time each day and also not 'sleep in' on weekends since that is a sign that bodies are not getting enough rest during the week.

    They have looked at North American kids and found that they sleep less than children of the same age in other areas that have slower paced life-styles and/or more family- friendly work environments/schools.

    Sometimes kids get so tired at night-- they cant fall asleep. Which seems so odd- but is true.

    My DD will be 8 soon and one needs 10-10.5 hours and the other needs 10-11 hours. When they dip below those levels for more than one night we see A LOT more crying, whining, irritability, and lower length of focus/attention.

    Personally, I know that I am getting enough sleep when I wake a few minutes before my alarm. If I struggle to wake up (snooze button!!!) than I try to go to bed a bit earlier.
  18. Fran27

    Fran27 Well-Known Member

    I know. It drives me nuts. I don't really know what to do to make sure they get more sleep, short of splitting them up, and the house is so not ready for that (it would involve moving a lot of heavy furniture around). Maybe I'll just take all the toys out of the bedroom (ugh) or remove their light bulb or something... I'm hoping they'll be more tired and fall asleep faster once school start at least (they just play forever once we put them in bed).
  19. gina_leigh

    gina_leigh Well-Known Member

    What about putting them to sleep separately and then moving them back together once they are asleep?

    We did that occasionally before we separated them. We'd put one in our room and then move them back to their room when we went to bed.
  20. Rollergiraffe

    Rollergiraffe Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Yep, take the light bulb out, the toys away, the books away, make them bored! I also talk to them about how healthy sleep is, and what kind of good things we get to do when we're rested up. I am telling you; the difference in their behavior is night and day.
  21. cheezewhiz24

    cheezewhiz24 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I put them to bed separately (we alternate who goes first). If the first kid is asleep or really drowsy when kid #2 comes in they leave each other be and go to sleep. We had to do this when they started playing and being loud for hours at night.
  22. KCMichigan

    KCMichigan Well-Known Member

    Keep it dull.

    We have a light on a timer that tells them when to get up as well. If it is dark, they have to wait quietly---or one DD would wake the whole house!

    We play soft soothing music at night as well- so they are not just sitting there thinking of sleeping (or not sleeping). Also dark-- the girls room has to be dark. We use blackout shades year round.

    As PP said-- we see instant behavior improvement with an increase in sleep. It is SO NOT WORTH IT for mine to skip on sleep or stay up later...
  23. Babies4Susan

    Babies4Susan Well-Known Member

    My girls are 7.5 and in second grade, but our schedule has been the same since they started kindergarten at age 5.5.

    Bedtime - 9pm
    Wake time - 7-7:15am

    They eat breakfast, get dressed, brush teeth, and I do hair. I usually pack lunch while they eat breakfast. We make it out to the bus stop (which is my driveway) by 8:30am. Sometimes they do nothing but get ready, and sometimes they have some time to play or read.

    I pack fruit, veggies/dip, cheese/crackers, popcorn, applesauce, dried fruit chips, etc. for afternoon snack (morning is often yogurt).
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