As summer vacation comes to a close, it’s time to make sure your children are getting ready to be on a back-to-school schedule. It’s not as hard as you think! Take these simple steps to make creating a back-to-school schedule easy as 1-2-3.
- Sleep: Start transitioning bedtime back to normal a few weeks before school is starting. Don’t wait until the week before–that will create too much stress on your child’s body and on your household! Starting a few weeks before school, move bedtime back by 15-30 minutes. Do this weekly for 2-4 weeks until you reach your school year bedtime. Make sure you have a solid week where your child is going to week at their school year bedtime before the first day of school. Are you unsure of how much school your child needs? Many parents don’t realize just how much sleep a child needs. For example, an elementary child should still be getting 10 hours of sleep a night! Read more about sleep needs for children at Sleep for Kids.
- Morning Routine: Now that your child is spending a week practicing going to bed on time on their back-to-school schedule, it’s time to wake up on time! Practice your morning routine at least 2-3 times that last week before school starts. Set the alarm, wake up, eat breakfast–everything a normal morning looks like at your house. Remember how important a breakfast is to get your child’s brain going in the morning. Bananas add protein to keep your child full and focused at school. Check out these fun, easy Brilliant Banana Breakfasts or these Back to School Breakfasts.
- School Visit: Take a day to visit your chid’s school. Even if you can’t meet your child’s teacher, it’s important to be able to go to school and see which classroom is going to be theirs. Call ahead of time to make sure it’s alright to do a walk-through. Even if your child has gone to the same school for 2 or 3 years, it is a major comfort and reassurance to your child to have that visit the school without the hustle and bustle of the first day of school (or even open house!). As a teacher, I don’t mind when a student and parent stop in while I’m working in the classroom in the summer. I like having the time to actually meet the family and get to know them on a personal level.
- Before and after school routines: How will your child get to school in the morning? Is he going to ride the bus? Is she walking with a group of other children and another adult? Are you driving your child? Take the time to go over the go over how the morning will work and meet other students who are doing the same thing. What about your child’s after school routine? Does your child have to go to a babysitter’s house after school or after school care? Does your child know any other children who are going to be there? Take time to visit and meet other children who are going to be there.
- Fun, fun, fun! Don’t stress and enjoy the last few weeks of summer! Take some time to do last minute fun activities such as an evening playing putt-putt, flying a kite, visiting a fair or getting ice cream. Go swimming together and enjoy the last days of summer fun!