As the end of summer vacation gets closer, now is a great time to start implementing those important routines with kids to ease them back into school. Gradually getting kids and parents back into the routine will help with making the transition from summer to school a little bit easier. It can take some time getting used to new (or old) routines so the earlier you can start, the better the results will be.
1. Bedtime Routine
In the summer time it is normal for children (and adults) to veer from regular bedtime schedules. This might be due to going to bed later, waking up later and taking naps through the day. Since school is just less than a month away, now is a great time to start those bedtime habits again!
Of course telling your children to go to bed at 7:00pm when they have been staying up until 10:00pm all summer won’t be easy. Try gradually getting them to bed earlier. Start with making bedtime 30 minutes to an hour earlier a few times a week and gradually work up to the desired bedtime. You can do the same with wake up time. Try waking them up earlier in 30 minute increments. Moving the bedtime and wake up time earlier gradually helps their bodies readjust to the school routine and will help them feel energized for the new school year!
Tip: Try doing some nighttime and wake up stretches with your kids. This can be a great way to promote restfulness in sleeping as well as energy for the day! Getting up and moving first thing in the morning helps us wake up quicker and helps to take away that “groggy” feeling we get when waking up early.
2. Meal Times
Meal times often become sporadic in the summer. Eating whenever hungry, grazing throughout the day or eating out. Getting back into regular meals at certain times can also help with the back to school routine.
Start with trying to have meals ready when they typically would be during school (lunch at noon, dinner at 5:30pm etc). Implementing meal times before school starts will help kids avoid hunger during the day when they are not able to snack (during class or extra curricular activities). An important meal time is breakfast, ensure they are getting used to eating earlier. Breakfast is often the most skipped meal of the day so making time for it will help everyone have a better day.
Tip: Try using make ahead meals that can be found online, like Pinterest. They have tons of make ahead recipes for breakfast, lunch dinner and snacks! Taking a few hours on the weekend to prep all the meals for the week will take a lot of stress off of the regular weekly hustle.
3. Back to School Shopping
This can be a fun way to get kids excited for back to school! In new grades, students often need additional supplies to what they had last year (calculators, binders, pens etc.). Shopping for supplies can often make them feel excited about the new school rather than dreading it.
Another big one is clothes and shoes, kids grow FAST. Taking some time to go through clothes and see what fits and what doesn’t can speed up the in the morning. Getting a new first day back to school outfit can also motivate them to get out of bed that first day back!
Tip: After seeing what fits and what doesn’t, have your kids put together some outfits. Having pre-made outfits hanging in the closet for the week can greatly speed up the morning routine. Instead of looking everywhere for a certain shirt or pair of socks. It can be made into part of the Sunday routine to pick outfits for the following week!
4. Give them responsibility
The summer is an easy way to forget the responsibility kids have during the school year. If you haven’t already, create some small daily age appropriate tasks and chores. This could be anything from helping with meals to cleaning the kitchen and more. It could even be something not chore related like reading or doing some worksheets every night to help them remember what they learned the previous year.
Tip: Practice making lunches with your kids (age dependent). Having them make their own lunches is great for responsibility and takes some stress off of mom and dad in the morning.
Everyone’s daily routine is going to be different. However, starting with these 4 basic tips can greatly improve the transition from summer holidays to school for everyone in the family.
Another tip, would be to think of areas that were difficult last year (wake up time, getting dressed, starting homework). If there was anything that seemed exceptionally difficult try focusing on implementing that into the routine before school starts.