Lazy days at the pool, late (or a total lack of) bedtimes, and the never-ending drone of “I’m boooorrreeeed” are now over and it’s back to the grind of schedules, homework and alarm clocks.
Getting back in the swing of things is no doubt hard on the kids but it can also be extremely tough on the parents. Here are six tips to ease the transition for everyone.
1) Get back on schedule early. – It takes a couple of weeks for your body to adjust to a new schedule, so go ahead and start now. Start adjusting bedtimes back to their regular times and start setting an alarm to get everyone up in the morning.
2) Make meals easy. One of the hardest parts about getting back into a school schedule is getting breakfast on the table, lunches packed, and dinner planned, all while still being on time for school and other activities. Create serve-yourself cereal stations with precut fruit, cereal in Tupperware containers, and milk in easy-pour containers, so breakfast is ready to go. Or, spend half an hour meal-prepping breakfast sandwiches to freeze. They’re easy, healthy, and will heat up in the microwave in less than a minute. Have pre-made snacks ready to toss in a lunchbox including cheese sticks, small packages of trail mix, pretzels, hummus, juice boxes, and fruit cups. You can even pre-make peanut butter and jelly or turkey sandwiches. Another great lunchbox stuffer? Freeze individual containers of yogurt. They will serve as an icepack and thaw by lunch!
3) Focus on things other than the report card. Many children tend to dread school starting back because their summer of lazy fun is over. Encourage them to set goals for the year outside of the classroom like trying a new sport, learning to play a musical instrument, or joining a new club. You never know- it may turn into their new passion.
4) Write down everything. Does your family have a control center? It’s a centrally located chalkboard, whiteboard, calendar, planner, or something similar that holds everyone’s various meetings, appointments, activities, and special events. If you don’t have one, you need one. It can be as basic or complex as you prefer. Some people even go as far as utilizing color codes (one color for each person), fancy pens and stickers, but this is all personal preference. A black pen will work just fine, too.
5) Have designated homework time. Be sure to plan time into every day for homework and study time. It’s easy to get distracted with the hustle and bustle, and before you know it, it’s bedtime, and nobody has finished (or even started) their homework. As the school year progresses, you will have a better idea of how long certain assignments take so plan them into your schedule and set a timer. This will help your kids focus and learn about time management.
6) Offer rewards. Sometimes, a little reward can go a long way. Consider offering some educational rewards that your kids can work towards as the school year progresses. Whether it’s a camping trip, museum visit, or a weekend getaway, giving your child, a pre-planned incentive, can help motivate them to do what is necessary to find success.
Hopefully, these ideas can help everyone kick off the new school year with a cheerful attitude and a mind ready to learn.