Fall is such a wonderful time of year. The leaves start changing, the days are cooler and, of course, school is back in session! As much as kids love summer, they often thrive under the routine of school even more. However, transitioning from free time to school time can be challenging for everyone. As a former teacher, and current parent, I have picked up a few tips to help make the switch a little easier on everyone.
1. Start on school bedtime NOW (about a week before school starts, anyway). It’s tempting to let kids stay up later when it’s light out for so long. Avoid first day alarm clock shock by getting to bed “school-night early”. And if possible, wake up early as well. The sooner this sleep routine is established, the easier it is for students to stay focused throughout the school day.
2. Prepare lunches and outfits the day before. If your student packs a lunch for school, encourage them to help make it. This way they have a say in what they eat and all that’s left to do in the morning is throw their lunch in their backpack. Ditto for clothing: whatever they pick out to wear the night before is set in stone. The fewer decisions made in the morning rush, the better!
3. Establish a homework time/place and stick to it. Whether it’s at the table after a snack or in the living room after practice: make sure your child knows when homework is to be completed. This is by far the topic that causes the most grief all around, so if kids know the expectations they are more likely to stick to a routine.
4. Lastly, stay positive! The school year often feels like a whirlwind of activity and the rushing of one thing to another. If you keep a positive attitude in front of your kids, they will more likely enjoy all the challenges the school year brings. Here's to a great year!