We’re gearing up for back to school. While summer’s too short, it’s still long enough for all of our kids to get out of the school year routine. We’ve been sleeping in, going to bed way to late and yes, I’ve even caved on the time that the phone goes away. It’s time for all of us to get back into the routine. Here are my handy tips for getting your kids ready for back to school.
Gradually go to bed earlier– All of our kids stay up way too late in the summer, but it’s hard to go from a 10:00 bedtime to 8:30 all of a sudden. A couple weeks before school, set the expectation for an earlier bedtime then work your way into it in half hour increments. That gives your child time to adjust hopefully without argument.
Adjust wake-up time- If your child’s been sleeping in all summer, it can be hard to get up on the first day. Since your adjusting bedtime by a half hour, start waking up a half hour earlier. Yes, you may drag your child kicking and screaming out of bed the first couple of times, but they’ll adjust. Hopefully this makes for a smoother wake-up call on the first day of school.
Set a technology deadline- There’s no reason for any child to need their cell phone, I-Pad or any other electronic device at night. (Those of you with little ones will thank me later if you start this when they’re young). Set a time that electronics have to be turned off. And, if you have a teen, I highly recommend that they have to check-in their phones at night. It’s too tempting when they can’t sleep to see who else is awake.
Introduce them to books again– Since technology’s gone, visit the local library or book store and pick up a couple of books to read. This not only introduces them to the concept of reading consistently, it gives them a quiet activity to relax before bed. Have a tween or teen? The Fault in Our Stars is one of our favorites.
Pick up a workbook or download some worksheets– Be honest. How much math has your child done over the summer break? Outside of counting change while shopping, mine’s done zero. Refreshing your child on math is a smart thing to do for a couple of reasons. First, it gets their problem solving abilities going again and second, they have to show some discipline and they need that to get through school. Amazon has a great selection of workbooks that you can check out here.
Adjust meal times to the school schedule– In sixth grade, we had lunch at 10:30. If I had known before, I would’ve gotten Rosie used to eating early so she’d adjust better to not eating for a longer stretch. Instead she walked out of school starving every day at three. Figure out when your kids eat meals and snacks and see if you can get them into that routine the week before.
Sit down with your child and go over their schedule so there are no surprises– School brings full days and some kids have trouble adjusting. Be sure to sit down and talk about what they should expect and show them the days that they have extra-curricular activities on a calendar so they’re prepared. Saves on melt-downs the first Thursday there’s ballet and they’re unaware.
We go back to school this week and I’ve tried all these tactics and they work (plus, I have a teen now so I’ve already made every mistake in the book). For those of you that have a little more time- even just a week- see if you can get your children back on a schedule. Makes gearing up for back to school so much easier. If you’re still shopping, you’ll want to check out my 18 ways to save for back to school and my Amazon shop for school supplies. If you have Prime, they’ll be delivered in two days!
How do you get your kids back on schedule for school?