It’s almost September! Is it just me or did the month of August completely? It went way too quickly! Anyways , while some children have been back in school for a few days or weeks , some will be having their first official day in the coming two weeks. Having a good routine in place can make for a tremendous difference for your family and help the start of the school year be a little more smooth. If you’re wondering about how to get a good routine going, keep reading and gather some ideas to help you create your own.
Don’t wait too long to set up your back to school routine. The longer you wait to get a good routine going, the harder it may be to adjust. Once you are able to create your routine the goal is to be consistent and stick to it.
Start With Bedtime
A good night’s rest can set you up for a good day. Even if you’re not ready to add yet another list of chores in the evenings, you can start simple with getting your child into the habit of going to bed at a set bedtime or as close to a set time as possible.
It’s not unusual for children to stay up later during the summer than during the school year, but as your child gets back to school it can be helpful to adjust to an earlier bedtime.. Note that this might not go as smoothly with your child. You can expect some resistance about going to sleep earlier, but there are ways to help make the adjustment a little easier on them.
One way to combat the complaining is to have conversations around the importance of getting a good night’s sleep. You can explain to them how their body uses that time to recharge, and recover from the activities they do during the day. Tell them that getting enough sleep will help them have the energy they need to stay awake throughout the school day and also help them focus on the tasks that they will need to complete.
You’ll want them to get readjusted to going to bed early enough to be able to get up on time. Before the first day of school, have your children begin going to bed earlier each night until they are used to their new bedtime. If your child has been used to staying up two hours later than they would during school, you’d want to have them go to bed half an hour earlier every night for a few days. Then you’d have them go to bed another half hour earlier for a few days until they’re going to bed at the time that’s able to provide them with adequate rest for the next day. The earlier you start this process, the simpler it will be for them to get used to going to bed earlier again.
A routine can only become a routine through consistency . Get them in the habit, or routine, of following a specific pattern each night. Once it is nearing bedtime, have them choose their outfits for the next day, set up bathtime and teeth brushing, get into their pajamas every night before they go to bed. Having a set routine or any schedule you follow as a family, will give them a strong sense of continuity and help them wind down.A routine can only become a routine through consistency”
Getting the family ready and out the door on time can be stress inducing in the mornings.
For younger children you can create a chart of things they need to do at the start of each day before leaving the house. You can use pictures to create a “ Get- Ready List” list with the following items:
* Brush teeth – picture of a child brushing their teeth
* Get dressed – picture of clothing and shoes , if your child wears a uniform you can also have that picture instead.
* Eat breakfast – picture of food
* Get ready to go – picture of backpack, lunch bag and jacket
You can even personalize this by using actual pictures of your child completing each of these steps.
This list can be a helpful reminder of the morning expectations. If possible hang the lists up in several places so that they can be reminded of what comes next as each of these tasks get completed. A list like this can also help to foster independence. Pick and lay out the clothes that will be worn for the day the night before ( you can add this to their nightly routine). By doing this it can allow your child to complete that first step all on their own.
What Happens After School ?
Once they get home, allow them some time to transition. This can look like changing into comfortable clothes , having a snack and maybe even a nap if they need it. If your child is used to having a nap during preschool or even throughout the summer, it could be a tough transition if they are entering kindergarten. The first few weeks will be exhausting and could be hard to get used to without a nap in school , so a short afternoon nap may be helpful.
Once they’ve relaxed and you also had time to get settled, it is a good idea to get started with any homework they may have. If possible try to create a specific time for homework so that they know what to anticipate each day. Homework in preschool and kindergarten tend to be very simple so you may not need more than 15-20 minutes for this. Once homework is done, you can have play-time , family activities etc.
Staying consistent and following a routine can be highly beneficial for you and your family and make for a smoother back to school transition for your child. Make adjustments when necessary but try to keep it consistent.