Depending on where you live, school is still in session or it’s about to get started really soon. Our school distict starts on Aug 18 and for those of us who DON’T homeschool, it means getting back into the school groove even though it’s still summer.
Our family lives and dies by schedules and routines. We have a routine for just about everything we do at home. We even have routines for weekends. What can I say, I’m kind of neurotic. But the nice thing about routines is that it leaves nothing to chance.
Here are 5 tips for getting your family back into the school groove:
1. Bring back bedtime (use black out curtains if needed.)
If your kids have been going to bed a wee bit later than they do during the school year, you’ll want to start scaling that time backward. This is something that can be challenging in the summer as the sun doeesn’t start going down until almost 9pm and your circadian clock is all, “Dude, I’m not tired yet!” Blackout curtains or even just a blanket over the window can help with this transition. Don’t do it all at once though, aim for going bed 15 minutes earlier every 3 days or so, until you are at your chosen bedtime.
2. (Re-) Establish morning and night routines
If you don’t use routines, this is a good time to write a few. If you have gotten lax in your routines, start bringing them back. Our morning routine consists of:
- Go to the bathroom
- Get dressed (shoes and all)
- Brush teeth and hair
- Make beds
- Morning Prayers and Breakfast
While our night routine is:
- Make sure backpack is ready to go
- Prep lunches (mama/ DD1)
- Brush teeth
- Story and Evening Prayers
- lights out
The key to a good routine is brevity. You don’t want to have an overly complicated routine that the kids have trouble following. The routine should follow a logical flow so it feels natural.
3. Scale Back on the Extracurriculars
This can be a hard one in our very scheduled lives, but if you can cut out the extra activities in the weeks leading up to school and during the first weeks of school, you may find yourself a little bit happier. Extracurriculars, while great at times, can be huge suckers of time, leading to more frantic evenings, fast food and loss of sleep. Getting back into school means changing up your status quo, so try to ease the transition by lightening your schedule! If you don’t LOVE it, shelve it for a bit.
4. Practice what you can
Remember that nothing goes smoothly during those first few days. Take the time now to do a few dry runs: Get up at “School Time,” go through your morning routine, all the way to leaving the house. Get into the car or walk to the bus stop and go! You don’t have to go far but the act of walking though the motions can point out any hiccups you may encounter along the way. School involves more sitting than at home, so practice some quiet desk activities to get their little bodies back in to the study groove. Work on handwriting, or coloring, or pattern making with blocks. 10 minutes of quiet activity once a day should do the trick!
5. Fuel up Right!
If your kids are like mine, they spend the summer grazing. Unless your school is pretty progressive, they aren’t going to get that liberty. Take a few days to get them on a new snack and eating schedule. Be sure to fill them up with slow burning complex carbs and whole fruits and veggies. Both contain fiber to keep your kiddos full and even keeled until lunch time. Our school has designated snack times, so I make sure to send them snacks that will get them through to lunch.
When does your school starts? If you are a homeschooler, do you have routines in your home to follow for school?
Until Next Time!