It’s almost time to head back to school. Those lazy, carefree days of summer are about to be over, which means no more staying up late and sleeping in. Help get your kid’s school year off to a great start by establishing a back to school routine.
To get them back into the swing of things, you will need to implement your plan as early as possible. The longer you wait to get your children into the habit of going to bed at a set time, the harder time they will have getting up for school the next morning.
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You as a parent will also want to make sure that you are prepared as well. Don’t wait until the last minute to shop for supplies and other school essentials.
Before you get overwhelmed, consider these tips for easing back into the school routine.
A good day starts with a good night’s sleep
It’s not unusual for parents to allow their children to stay up later during the summer than during the school year. My son stays up past midnight on occasion during the summer and then, of course, sleeps late the next morning.
If possible, have your child start going to bed earlier two weeks before school starts. Explain to your children the importance of getting a good night’s sleep. Getting the proper amount of sleep will help them have the energy they need to stay awake during school. It will also help them focus on the tasks before them.
Wake up at the same time every morning
Most experts agree children need between 9 and 11 hours of sleep each night to be at their best. Make sure that your child wakes up in time to wash, dress and have breakfast without feeling rushed.
Stock up on school supplies
Most schools will give you a specific list of supplies that will be needed, but you can make sure you have the basics on hand: pencils, paper, erasers, and for younger kids, you will need to add crayons, markers, and glue.
This list is often provided before the kids head back to school. This gives you the opportunity to get your shopping done before the school year starts, and to take advantage of any sales.
Prepare your wardrobe the night before
By preparing your wardrobe the night before, your child won’t feel rushed or waste precious time in the morning by trying to decide on what to wear. I am a huge advocate of preparing for the next day the night before.
Have your child gather clothing, shoes, and any accessories that they plan to wear at night so that things will go smoothly the next morning.
Arrange carpools or other transportation
Before your child heads back to school, decide how they will get to and from school and any after-school activities. Make sure that transportation arrangements have been made ahead of time.
Register for after-school activities
In order to ensure that your child gets to participate in the activities of his/her choice, remember to sign up before the deadline.
Stay on top of paperwork
Go through any papers sent home with your child on a daily basis. Read each piece, then decide if you should trash it, or put it in a “to do” or “to file” pile. Mark significant dates on your family calendar.
Create a command center or calendar central
Create a centralized place or command center like the one above by Style & Dwell , for all family calendars and schedules in order to avoid over scheduling. I personally use the Day Designer as my family’s calendar.
Choose a calendar format that works for your family. Include a family event calendar to track all after-school activities and any special school programs. Be sure to include school lunch menus, class assignment sheets, and sports practice schedules. Post your family calendar in a place that is easily accessible to all family members.
We as parents want the best for our kids. By getting your kids re-adjusted to a routine before school starts, they are more alert. When kids are more alert, they are able to function at their best, which of course is our ultimate goal. Here’s to an awesome school year!