YAY! It’s time for the kids to head back to school for another great year of classes, knowledge, friendships and sports. After a long (very long if you live in BC) summer of relaxation, fun, plenty of sunshine and unstructured days, it can be quite difficult to transition back into the routine of busy school days.
We have 5 simple tips that will help you make that back to school transitions smoothly:
1. Get your kids to sleep “on time”
This might be the most difficult one. The kids are now used to stay up late and get up late (specially if your kids are teenagers), so you need to get them back to a regular schedule at least a week before school start.
The first two days might be the more challenging, so perhaps start by getting them to go to bed each day only half an hour earlier until you reach their ideal bed time.
The part about waking them early is a key part. Their bodies will want to go to bed early if they have woken up early as well. So get that alarm clock going.
A very important part of kids getting a good night sleep is to make sure they learn to monitor their electronic devices. Some families have a rule to leave all devices out of the rooms at night to charge. Another option is for the devices to be turned off, it all depends on the maturity (or sneakiness) of your kids. Eventually, they will have to deal with this on their own, so they will need to be responsible for their own actions. Reward them for good behavior and lead by example!
2. Be ready for the morning
Mornings are usually hectic and even more when you don’t have things ready. “Be prepared”. Make sure the kids have their outfits picked out the night before, all paperwork ready in their backpacks by the front door and that they know what lunch will be. Even better if they have things prepared the night before.
3. Give them enough time
Even though there is always the possibility of getting an extra 5 to 10 minutes of rest, don’t fall into this tramp. It’s never fun to start a day rushed and stressed out. Wake them up with enough leeway time in case something happens that makes a task take longer.
Once everyone is settle back into the routine, you can adjust wake-up time to allow a little more sleep.
4. Have a list
Yes I know, it sounds tedious, but you can always check the list and make sure things are on track. An easily visible list also puts the responsibility on the kids, and ultimately, that’s what we are trying to achieve… You can go farther and set times for each task, but starting with a list of tasks is always a good idea.
Make sure they check the list before heading out… Then they will know they haven’t forgotten anything and will appreciate having a great start of their day.
Here is an example:
7:10 Take a shower
Put dishes away
Get luch ready
Put lunch in backpack
Get backpacks and gear
8:15 Be out the door
5. Label School Supplies
It will get them excited about starting school and assure their belongings are not lost within the first week. If you are using markers, please beware, they will fade overtime.
Don’t forget to label clothing articles as well, specially jackets & hoodies. Permanent market works great on this. Make sure you only use their first or last name (not both) and have an adult phone number attached to it (not their own numbers). Safety is important and you can never be too careful!
Finally, make sure you are supportive and wish them a great First day of school (Copious amounts of hugs and kisses are always a good idea… Even when they are teenagers)