Sometimes it feels like as soon as you’re done unpacking from your summer vacation, it’s time to start packing new school supplies into backpacks and preparing lunches again. Getting back into a routine to start the new school year can be tricky to navigate at first, but, if you plan ahead and explain the plan to your kids in advance, your school year could get off to a smooth, organized start!
Get Back to a Bedtime Schedule Now
When the school year ends, parents and kids are typically excited to relax the rules and sleep later than usual. While this is enjoyable at the time, it can complicate things when the next school year comes around. To get back on track, parents should start setting bedtime guidelines before the first day of school. On average, it takes 10-14 days for our bodies to fully adjust to sleep pattern changes. You should make changes in smaller increments and start bedtime about 30 minutes earlier each time. Then continue to move bedtime up every couple of days until you reach the appropriate bedtime start.
Make Back to School Shopping a Joint Effort
While kids may not be excited to have homework, they may be more enthusiastic to use the supplies they helped pick out to complete it. With most schools supplying parents with recommended shopping lists, kids can be involved in choosing which pencil case, bookbag, folders, and more they wish to use throughout the year. The same can be said when it comes to new clothes and shoes. While parents may not always agree with their kids’ style choices, looking good can lead to feeling good and build confidence for kids heading back to the classroom. It can be fun picking out everything they need to start the new school year off right!
Develop a Morning Routine
Just like developing a steady bedtime routine is important, a morning routine can be the difference between catching the bus and missing it. If you discuss with your children how the mornings should go, it can make things easier and prepare them to get ready for their day. If several family members are trying to get ready to get out the door at once, having dedicated time in common areas can help everyone get to where they’re going on time. Communication is key to getting everyone on the same page.
Prep the Night Before
While the best laid plans can make your mornings go more smoothly, you’ll still have hiccups that arise to keep things from going according to plan. If you can do some prep work the night before, your morning routine will be easier. Some things you can do ahead of time include:
- Laying out clothes so kids can get dressed quickly
- Preparing lunches and snacks as much as possible
- Showering or bathing at night instead of in the morning
- Packing book bags once homework is complete so kids can grab and go
The start of the school year can be hectic and stressful for students and parents. But if you start with a plan and develop a routine everyone is comfortable with, you can make the first days back more enjoyable. And students who are well-prepared at the start of each day, are poised to thrive and succeed throughout the year!