How to Get Your Kids Back in the School Routine
While there is still plenty of summertime left, you may already be thinking of back to school. There are school supplies to buy. New clothes may be needed. And backpacks to get ready for the first day.
Of course, if your regular school routine with your children went out the window this summer, then now is the time to start thinking about how you return things to normal. Bedtimes may be different. Morning routines may be a little off. But here are some ideas to help you and your children get ready for school.
- Don’t Wait to Get Started: Yes, there are probably still several weeks until the kids return to school, but there’s no time like the present to get started on getting your kids back into their daily routine. If you wait too long to begin the process, you could find that your children are still on their summer schedule and definitely not ready for a productive school year.
- Slowly Return to School Bedtime: Kids enjoy a little bit more freedom in the summer, and that may mean that you are less strict on bedtimes. After all, they don’t have to be up early for school – so why not let them stay up a bit later. But this can make returning to a structured bedtime a bit tricky as school approaches. Be sure to make the process of returning to school bedtimes gradual. You can start by simply putting kids to bed 15 minutes earlier each night until you’ve arrived at the desired school bedtime.
- Start Waking the Kids Up at School Time: Even trickier may be waking kids up in the morning in order to get to school on time – especially for teenagers. It is recommended that you begin getting children up for their school wakeup time several weeks before school starts. Initially, you may have some tired and grumpy children, but they will quickly adjust to this schedule.
- Post the Routine for Your Child: While some children fall quickly back into routines, others may struggle a bit. You may find it easier to post both a morning and evening routine for your children to follow. This could include such things as personal care, homework, chores, packing lunches and book bags, and sports and activities. Younger children who do not read yet can benefit from a routine posted in picture form so that they know what they should be doing before bed and upon waking.
- Set Up Structured Homework Time: A summer without homework is most likely pure joy for children and parents alike. But with school starting up, it’s essential that kids remember the expectations you have for them and homework. Let them know when you want them to complete their homework, whether it be immediately after school or before dinner or at another specified time.
- Offer Praise: As you slowly ease your children back into the school routine, be sure to offer plenty of praise. This will help reinforce the positive steps your children are making.
- Be Aware of Challenges: Don’t forget you may come across some challenges as you start getting your kids ready for school. There may be trouble at bedtime or cranky kids in the morning. But if you can mentally prepare yourself for the possibility, you’ll have a better attitude if it happens.
- Help Your Child Get Organized: Give your child a helping hand when it comes to getting organized. Whether that means help with cleaning their room or making sure their supplies are in their backpacks, or the setting of morning alarms – a little organization can go a long way.
Now is the time to both enjoy the last few weeks of summer and get your children back into the school routine. You can do both – and it will help you to have a happier household when school begins.