Our Nightly Routine During the School Year


our nightly routine on school nights to help mornings go smoothly

Our nightly routine during the school year involves a lot of prep for the next day so our mornings run as smoothly as possible. This is what our typical school night prep looks like, plus a few tips to help your kids get involved and feel responsible.


Are you ready for back to school? Let’s talk about nightly routines on school nights.

We head back to school in two weeks, and I’m already gearing up for it. I love a routine and a schedule, and I love prepping things beforehand to make our days run as smoothly as possible.


Have you heard of Stage.com? They are an awesome resource for all things home and kids!

Today we’ve teamed up with Stage, an online retailer that carries everything from clothing to home goods to beauty products, to help get us ready for heading back to school.

I grabbed the boys some new pajamas for back to school (literally where did all their pajamas go? They sleep in old sport team tees  and basketball shirts every night – what?), and then also picked up some lunchboxes and a few new clothes.


nightly routine on school nights
our bedtime and night time routine on school nights
back to school evening routine with my boys and stage.com
stage.com is donating 50% of proceeds from specific products to No Kid Hungry!

Stage.com is donating 50% of proceeds from specific products to No Kid Hungry – how cool is that?!

Stage is also partnering with No Kid Hungry and selling some adorable lunch boxes, a water bottle, and a little sports back, and donating 50% of proceeds to No Kid Hungry. Thirteen million kids in the U.S. struggle with hunger, over half of the public school students in America are from low income families, and about 22 million rely on free or reduced priced school lunches.

Grabbing your kids some school supplies and simultaneously helping this amazing cause is so easy, and a fantastic way to give back this season, especially as we head back to school, so you can check out the entire line of eligible products RIGHT HERE 

So if you have back to school needs still, like clothes, pj’s, lunchboxes, etc, hop over to Stage.com to do it AND support a good cause. 

OR you can give back in the easiest way ever — next time you post a picture on Instagram through August 31st, use the hashtag #FuelKidsFutures and Stage will donate $1.00 to No Kid Hungry® (up to $25,000). So easy!


Now let’s talk about nightly routines.

I live and breathe by routines during the school year. It’s the only way we get homework, dinner, family time, lunches packed, reading aloud, teeth brushed, showers, etc, etc, etc, done every night.

During the summer when our routine is much more flexible, bedtime can take up to two hours. THIS IS WHY I NEED ROUTINES.

nightly routine on school nights with stage.com

What’s our routine after dinner? 

Everyone is assigned two after dinner jobs:

  • Clear your own dishes and put them in the dishwasher.
  • One other assigned task: clear the food/other dishes off the table and put it away, wipe down the table, wipe the counters, sweep or vacuum the floor.
We rotate day to day who does each assignment, but you could have permanent assignments if that’s easier for your family.


What about school lunches? 

We send our boys to school with packed lunches 4 days a week, and we let them buy lunch one day per week. After their dishes are cleared and after dinner jobs are mostly done (we wipe down counters and vacuum after dinner is ), we start on lunches. 

Stage.com has a bunch of good lunchboxes, including the little lunch bags that are part of their No Kid Hungry promotion, that I’m going to use for my lunch when I’m working out of the house. 

I also grabbed some Nike brand lunchboxes for them, and they’re perfect for tossing a few items in, or putting a whole other lunch box inside and keeping everything secure and cool. 

Everyone packs their own lunches (with my supervision and help). 

  • Main item:
    • Tortilla with PB and bananas
    • PB&H sandwich
    • Bagel sandwich
    • Crackers and cheese
  • Vegetable:
    • carrots
    • cucumbers
    • bell peppers
  • Fruit: 
    • apples
    • grapes
    • cherries
    • peaches
    • blueberries
    • strawberries
  • Something crunchy:
    • chips
    • pretzels
    • goldfish
  • Something sweet: 
    • fruit snacks
    • fruit leather
    • piece of candy

After lunches are packed and the vacuuming/wiping is finished, we head upstairs for our bedtime routine. If we’ve eaten dinner early, we’ll usually have some play time in here before we get ready for bed. 

back to school prep for my kids

Next, everyone takes a quick shower, and changes into jammies.

Stage.com has the cutest selection of pajamas, like THESE CUTE SPACE ONES I got for B, and THE DOG PJ’S I got for Sanny. You can see their whole, huge selection on their website!


My favorite nighttime routine mom hack

After everyone is showered and in their pajamas, I look at the clock and choose a time. I’ll say, “family scriptures are at 7:47 PM tonight. You have eleven minutes to get the rest of your night time things done.” 

Then they are in charge of their personal prayers, personal scriptures, teeth brushing, flossing, mouthwash, and lay out their clothing for the next morning before the designated time. 

It makes it so it’s not a race with each other, and I’m not having to personally oversee every step, or nag them through the process.


The reward for completing their nightly routine

If they’re on time to family scripture study, then I will read them a full chapter of our current read aloud. It works like magic every night, because reading aloud with me is their favorite!

After scripture study and family prayer, they all get in their beds (except Sanny, who sits by me on the chair), and we read a chapter of our current book.


Every family has different needs. Do what works for you!

Every family is different, but with a good routine and a few good tools, nightly routines can be fun and happy and smooth. And trust me, our mornings run so much more smoothly when everyone is showered, clothes are ready to go, and lunches have been packed the night before. 

All kids deserve a good start to their school year, so make sure that you check out Stage.com and their No Kid Hungry partnership!


photos by Aubrey Stock


  1. Alice says:

    Thanks for sharing Merrick. I Feel like we need a slight routine change atm and so its good to hear yours.

  2. CHantell HammonD says:

    You’re magical. ❤️

  3. You should try vans, ( they are so comfy to ware with bare feet).

  4. SamuelWaters says:

    Routine kills me and does not give each of us the opportunity in life to find something new. It’s always like this with my studies. I always think about solving homework. So that helps me https://assignment-help.co.uk/university-assignments/ I find the whole structure of the work there and read about how to do it right. So I advise you.

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