We all know that the end of summer can be abrupt and the change of going back to school tough! We suggest to try easing into a school like schedule a week before or even more, depends on what you can get away with. These 7 quick tips will help you and your child be school time ready!
- Start implementing the proper bedtime – age appropriate – The Sleep Foundation shows this handy chart
A 30 minute work up (bath, brushing teeth, reading, stories etc.) is important for younger children to get them ready for bed and to help them wind down. It can all be about routine.
2. Regular mealtimes: Summer is a wonderful time for kids, generally families have a more relaxed attitude towards dinner and times, however, when school starts, families should try to be on a schedule or routine. For younger children that require more sleep dinner should be set earlier, which can help with digestion. Sometimes, eating within 2 hours of sleep time can create sleep problems. In the mornings start with an early breakfast when they wake up on their new school time.
3. Buy your school supplies early: It’s true, summer has just begun and you are seeing the back to school ads and you think “already?”. School supplies start to go on sale mid-summer, and selection is best at this time, easy enough to buy early and put away in a safe place.
4. Stay Organized by creating a calendar with up-coming events: Many schools have online calendars of events, you can print them out or make your own calendar with your child and put everything in it that you can. Start with when the bus time or drop off time. Or you can use a calendar on your computer or smart phone, print it out and get your kids into the routine of checking it often. Printed calendars have to be updated often, where as adding an event to the fridge calendar can be easier.
5. Start Limiting Screen Time: Yes, we just said it – start limiting screen time! Good news is with school schedules kids will have less time for screen time and therefore, less battles. However, you’ll want to make sure screen time does not interrupt the precious hours they have between playing sports, afterschool activities, coming home, finishing homework and family time. You may want to think about the many apps that help to manage daily time usage and set bedtime locks on devices.
6. Turn off the TV: A personal choice because television is a favorite pastime. Turning the television off and keeping it off right before dinner begins is a good practice when getting them ready for the transition to school. Children should not step off the bus or into the home and head straight to the TV. Homework should be a priority and if time is left let them turn on the television to watch a show. Priorities change from summer to school year for many of us and this is a big one. And again, it is all about the ROUTINE.
7. Designate a special spot to do homework: If you have a straight from the catalog room then awesome for you and obviously a good choice for homework. If you are challenged for space or finances do not permit the perfect homework room, then choose a spot that is clean, well lighted, comfortable. Most importantly try to choose an area that is distraction and clutter free, by a turned on TV would not be a good choice. Maybe it’s the kitchen table or a desk you use for work. Choose a special spot together with your child and commit to using it. Make sure you have plenty of sharpened pencils and whatever else they need on hand for homework.
Hopefully these tips will be helpful for you and your kids. Attitude, health, self confidence and academic performance will benefit from establishing clear school time routines and you hopefully will see the difference.