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A Good Morning Schedule for a Teenager in School

by Sara Ipatenco, studioD

If you feel like you spend too much time reminding your teen what he has to do in the morning, it's probably a good time to help him establish his own schedule to follow. Once he develops a morning routine that works for him, it will help him remember what he needs to do -- and give you more time to tend to other matters.

Getting Up

The exact time your teen needs to get up depends on what time her school day begins, or what time she needs to report for any extracurricular activities such as swim practice. Encourage your teen to set her alarm early enough so she's not rushing around in the morning. You might time her one morning to see how long it takes her to get out the door so she can count backwards to determine the best time to get up. According to the KidsHealth website, teens need about 9 hours of sleep a night, so to make it easier for your teen to wake up, make sure she's getting to sleep early enough to reach that goal. If your teen hits the snooze button several times, remind her that she'll need to set her alarm even earlier to accommodate that extra snoozing time.

Activities to Finish

Help your teen make a list of all the things he needs to do before heading out the door. Assign a reasonable amount of time for him to check off each item in his list. For example, he might need 20 minutes to eat breakfast, 10 minutes to take a shower, 5 minutes to get dressed and 5 minutes to fix his hair. So if your teen gets up at 7:00 and likes to takes a shower first, by 7:20, he should be dressed with his hair styled and ready to eat his breakfast. This means at 7:40, he'll be ready to gather his things, put on his shoes and head out the door. By assigning specific windows of time for each activity, your teen can glance at the clock and immediately know where he is -- or should be -- on his schedule.

Packing Belongings

Part of your teen's routine should include checking to ensure that she has everything she needs for school. You might want to post an actual list of things she typically needs everyday, so she can quickly scan the list before heading out. For example, she'll need her books, her completed homework, and perhaps, signed permission slips. She'll also need to grab her lunch, as well as anything she uses for extracurricular activities after school. Assign about 10 minutes for your teen to gather her things so she's not rushing around trying to find what she needs when she should have one foot out the door.


Make the morning routine go even smoother by encouraging your teen to do as much as she can the night before. For example, she might choose her clothes, including her shoes -- and lay them out in her room. That reduces the amount of time she'll spend staring in her closet trying to decide what to wear. She might also pack her lunch so it's ready to grab on her way out the door. Ask her to put everything she needs in her backpack -- and stash it by the front door so it's ready and waiting when it's time to leave. Your teen might take a shower a night, too, so she has less to do in the morning. If you know you teen is prone to bad hair days, you'll want her to factor in extra time for her to get her hair the way she wants it before leaving.

About the Author

Sara Ipatenco has taught writing, health and nutrition. She started writing in 2007 and has been published in Teaching Tolerance magazine. Ipatenco holds a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in education, both from the University of Denver.

Photo Credits

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