It can be exciting and stressful to get back into a school year routine. Summer can be a lot of fun, but children thrive on the structure that comes with a high-quality school and classroom environment. Many families experience some struggles to readjust to the school year routine. You can minimize those struggles and get back into a quality school year routine more quickly by following a few helpful tips.
Make sleep a priority
Helping your child get the proper amount and quality of sleep is the most important thing you can do to prepare him or her for school. All of the educational resources in the world will not matter if your child shows up to school exhausted each day. This may seem like a basic piece of advice but the reality is that modern life makes getting enough sleep difficult – even for kids. Sports, piano lessons, dance, and other extracurricular activities can eat into the time you have in the evening. In order to fit everything in, many families push bedtime back later and later. Younger children who have not started extracurricular activities are often along for the ride as older siblings or parents have activities in the evening. What can you do to combat this problem? Make sleep a priority by setting and protecting bedtime. Establish a bedtime routine that is predictable and consistent – kids thrive on this. And, practice good sleep hygiene. You can practice good sleep hygiene by keeping electronics out of your kids’ bedrooms and creating a physical environment that makes it easy to get to sleep.
Prep for the week on the weekends
Things like grocery shopping, laundry, and preparing meals are all essential to a smooth transition back to school. For many families, there is so much going on during the week that it can be impossible to keep up with these important tasks. Prepping for the week on the weekends is one way that you can get back into a quality school year routine. You can make this as basic or involved as you want based on the needs of your family. If you have small children, you may include laying out clothes for the week as part of your weekend preparation. All your preschooler will have to do each morning is grab the clothes that were previously chosen for that day. If your kids are older, it may be enough to make sure they have some clean clothes to choose from. You can also prepare school lunches and put together several evening meals for the week on a Sunday afternoon. Prepping for the week on the weekends will look different for each family. But every family can benefit from taking a little time during the weekend to plan for the week ahead.
Manage your child’s expectations
Your child’s expectations can impact how quickly everyone gets back into a quality school year routine. Talk to your child about what to expect at home and at school now that the school year is starting back up. It helps children of all ages to have some idea of what to expect when changes are coming. You can also help your child with the adjustment by involving him or her in the preparations for each week.
Transitioning back into a quality school year routine is not complicated but it does require some planning and consistency. If you make sleep a priority, prep for the week ahead, and manage your child’s expectations, you will be well on your way toward getting back into a quality school year routine that works for everyone.