You can feel it right? The days are getting shorter. The stores are pulling out the Halloween decorations. The phrase “Back to School Sale” is everywhere…
Summer is almost over.
And the habits and routines that worked well this summer are not going to fly once school starts. Don’t panic! We’ve got you covered. Read on for tips about getting back into school shape.
- Bedtimes. Now is the time to start adjusting back to school year bedtimes. Start with your child’s current bedtime, and start getting them ready 15-minutes earlier every few days. For example, if your child is currently staying up until 9:30pm, but your preferred school year bedtime is 8pm, start getting them in bed at 9:15pm for two or three nights, then move back to 9pm for a few nights, then 8:45pm, etc. Not sure how much sleep your child needs most nights? Here is a guide.
- Lunch. What is your child eating these days? How much begging and pleading are you doing to get the fruit and veggies into them? Kids’ taste buds change, and what they took every day last year might be the one food that they cannot stand this year. Start talking to them now about what they’re going to be willing to eat, and figure out how to simplify.
- Assign “homework.” Kids hate homework, but it is important to start reviewing things that they will be expected to know in September. There are lots of sites to get free worksheets for each grade (like this or this). Start a book discussion group with your child, where you both read the same book and discuss it. Keep it fun and light-hearted, and keep it to one or two worksheets per week. It is still summer, after all…
- School. There’s A LOT that’s unknown about this school year, which can be anxiety-provoking for kids and adults alike. Start with what you do know. That might be limited right now – the name of the school, for example, and the route you’ll take to get to school. If your child wants more information, reassure them that all of the adults are working on the details, and you will share them as soon as you can. Empathize with how difficult it is not to know.
Remember to take your children’s feelings and desires into account when designing your routine for getting ready to return to school. Kids have unique needs, and it’s important to let them know that their opinions are valuable. Be willing to give in a little and you’ll often receive a great deal of cooperation in return.
By implementing these changes, you’ll prepare your children well for going back to school. When school begins, it will be less of a shock to your children and the transition to a new daily routine will be an easier one for all.