How to Help Your Kids Get Back Into the School Routine

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Are your kids ready to go back to school? Are you prepared for them to go back? Do you have a plan for a smooth transition? 

The beginning of the school year can be a stressful time for both children and parents. If you think about it, kids aren’t the only ones starting a new year or new routine, parents are too.

And this year will be different from last year. You and your children may be getting ready for:

  • New teacher and classmates
  • New schedules
  • Changing schools
  • Senior year
  • Multiple kids in school
  • After-school activities

However, there are a lot of challenges that remain the same.

  • Getting out of the house on time
  • Being organized
  • Bedtime routine
  • Picking out clothes
  • Breakfast time
  • Preparing lunch
  • Electronics
  • Homework
  • Stress or anxiety

Now that summer is coming to an end, and school is only a couple weeks away, what should you start doing?

  • Clothes shopping – Does your school have a dress code? If you’re unsure, the school website should have the information.
  • Bedtime – During the summer, has the bedtime routine gone by the wayside? How do you plan on returning to a school-time ‘lights out’ routine?
    • Start a couple of weeks beforehand
    • Gradually push bedtime back by fifteen minutes a night
  • Waking up – fifteen minutes earlier each day
  • Set clear expectations, teach organization (calendar, whiteboard, planner), encourage contribution and independence

Being prepared and calm will help lower stress, which will make life good for everyone.

What should your nighttime routine include, so the next day starts off on a positive note?

  • Pick out clothes
    • Have your child help pick out their clothes for the next day
    • Use it as a ‘sneaky’ teaching moment and check the weather forecast
    • Make sure to set the outerwear by the door
    • If you want to get a jump on the week, pick out all the outfits on Sunday night and label each one
  • Make lunches
    • If you’re kids help make their own lunches, they’re more likely to eat it
    • Use multiple little food items
  • Set things by the door
    • Backpacks
    • Homework and projects too big to go inside the backpack
    • Jackets and shoes
    • Sporting equipment
    • Musical instruments
  • Choose what they’ll want for breakfast and set dishes out on the table

It’s morning!

Is your child a morning person? Are you? Keep this in mind when interacting with each other. It’ll set the tone for the day.

  • What order have you and your child decided is the most efficient way to get ready in the morning?
    • Wake up
    • Snooze
    • Eat breakfast
    • Brush teeth
    • Get dressed

As much as kids tend to dawdle, they often become stressed if they arrive late to school. Help lower their anxiety by being ready 10-15 minutes before they need to leave.

The school day has finished, and your children have walked through the door. Now what?

  • A little downtime is in order – their brains and bodies need to decompress
  • Provide healthy snacks
  • Homework
    • Do you have a designated place?
    • Help them be successful by showing them how to break down tasks and make small achievable goals
    • Take short breaks
    • Have some more healthy snacks available

It’s common for children (and parents) to feel stress or anxiety about a new school year. It may take a couple of weeks for everyone to become comfortable and at ease. But once it does – an exciting, fun year of learning is ahead! And these tips can help you adjust even quicker.

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