Preparing Kids to Return to School

Preparing Kids to Return to School

07/15/2024
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Prepare for school as it starts very soon.

Summer is coming to an end, and that means that school is starting soon. Kids are excited to get back and see friends. Parents are excited to have a little less chaos in the home. Prepare for having your child go back to school with a few simple things so that they go back happily and readily. It doesn’t have to be complicated to get your kids in school again, and being prepared will make the transition much smoother.

Going back to school really is fun and exciting for kids, but it also brings back a pretty set structure that most kids lack over the summer (as expected). This means that there is often a rough transition the first couple of weeks as your child gets used to all of the expectations again. Here are a few things you can start doing right now to prepare for that transition before it actually happens.

Start a morning schedule

No more sleeping in until noon, no more waking up at 5AM (I’m sure you would stop this if you could regardless of school starting). It’s time to wake up every morning at the same time, get breakfast, and start being somewhat productive in the mornings. This may be easier said than done for some kids, especially the older ones.

One way to start this is to slowly ramp it up - don’t do it every single day or start the time to wake up to be later than it will actually be during the school year. Slowly get the wake up time to when it needs to be - maybe wake up 10 minutes earlier each day. Or you could choose the specific days that your child needs to be up by whatever time they’ll need to be up when school starts.

Follow a bedtime routine

In addition to waking up earlier and having a set schedule in the morning, it’s also important to go to bed at a reasonable time. Your child isn’t sleeping in until noon every day because they went to bed at 9PM the night before. Getting back into a bedtime routine will help with the morning routine, which will then help with the bedtime routine again.

For younger children that are still going to bed at a reasonable time, simply getting back into a set and repeated bedtime routine will help them. Make sure they are brushing their teeth, you are spending some time reading, and doing whatever else you like to do with them before bed each night - having a consistent bedtime routine simply makes the next day easier.

Eat healthy meals

If you’ve been struggling with feeding your child healthy meals over the summer, then it’s time to get back into it. No more macaroni and cheese for lunch every single day - it’s time to get a little protein and some vegetables into their meals as well. If you’re unsure what to do and don’t have a lot of energy, just figure out what you’d send in a sack lunch.

For example, a simple sandwich will do (with some lunch meat), a raw vegetable such as carrots, celery, or otherwise, and a little bag of popcorn - we prefer popcorn over chips around here simply because it’s a bit healthier. Include milk as the drink (try to skip the sugar loaded juices), and you’ve got a semi-decent lunch for your child without having to bust out any cooking skills.

Make dedicated media-free time

It’d be fun to go to school, learn a little bit, and then sit and play video games for a bunch of the time. Obviously, that’s not what’s happening (although kids do sometimes play computer games for a little bit while at school). If your child is watching TV or playing video games all day at home, it’s time to transition into a bit less of that.

Instead of watching or playing video games, have your child draw or create a book each day. Kids generally will like to be creative, so work on getting those creative juices flowing. You could also get them a workbook appropriate for their age to help them start to review all of the good things that they’ve forgotten over the summer - some kids are into this while others definitely are not.

Read every day

Finally, make sure your child is reading a little bit each and every day. Ideally, they’ve been reading all summer, but most kids have not. It’s time to start that routine back up so that they get a few minutes of reading each day. If your child is just learning to read, make sure you’re reading to them.

Ideally, kids are reading at least 10 minutes each day. Jumping from 0 minutes to 10 minutes will be tough, so start with 3 minutes and work up to 10 minutes. Older kids (10 and up) should work up to 30 minutes a day of reading. Pick books that are appropriate for their reading level and that they’ll enjoy.

Conclusion

Going back to school is fun. Get back into a daily routine before school starts to make the school transition just a little bit easier on everyone.

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