Every year I feel like Back to School sneaks up on me. Over the years I started implementing these tips in the weeks leading up to the school year. They are simple to implement and make a world of difference in readjusting to a stricter routine.
Preparing for School Tips
Every summer I promise to keep our bedtime routine the same. By the third week, I don’t even remember what the routine was. We sleep in late, eat meals at odd hours, and generally stay up much later.
While that makes for a relaxed summer, it isn’t ideal for the school year. To start getting on schedule we begin adjusting our bedtime routine 2 to 3 weeks before school starts. Each night we move up bedtime which will help kids adjust to the new schedule without it being a complete shock to their system. We also start waking them up earlier daily instead of letting them sleep in. Instead of midnight as our 12-year-olds bedtime, we make it 11 pm 3 weeks before school starts.
Our summer eating schedule is a mess. There are no set hours but there are tons of snacks. I’m pretty sure my kid has snacks hidden throughout the house.
Unfortunately, schools don’t allow for that schedule. As we start working on adjusting the bedtime routine we also start working on eating at appropriate times. That means breakfast at a reasonable hour and not 11 am, and lunch well before 3 pm – that’s our current lunchtime. Gradually returning to your regular schedule will make school days easier. Hungry kids do not do well in school.
Get the kids excited for school by letting them help choose their school gear. A new backpack, lunchbox, water bottle, or even colorful notebooks can help kids feel better about going back to school. School supplies don’t have to be expensive to be exciting. Colored pencils, markers, and fun erasers are always a big hit.
A late summer get-together with friends gives them all a chance to catch up and talk about the upcoming year. Reconnecting with classmates can work wonders if the kids hadn’t had a chance to see each other much during the summer. Knowing their friends will be at school does wonders for easing the back to school jitters.
If you can attend the teacher events or parents-only events – go! Kids aren’t the only ones who need to reconnect before school starts. It is a great way to meet other parents, reconnect and know more about your child’s classmates, teachers, and school. And if you are like me it will remind you of all the things you were supposed to do before school starts.
Visiting the school before school starts can also help ease anxiety. If you can visit the classroom with your child – please do. It will help the child know where to go – a common concern – on the first day.