Getting your kids to switch from the crazy, free days of summer into a Back-to-School routine again can be a little challenging. “I don’t want to go to bed!” “I’m not tired!” My husband and I can’t seem to get the kids in bed before 10 p.m. this summer but with the new school season creeping closer, we need to take charge and get the kids back on track. (And, reclaim our evening downtime.)
With just a little advanced planning, you can get everyone back into a School frame of mind. Here’s what works for us.
Get in the Groove Again.
A week or two before school starts, get the kids back into a routine. No more sleeping in front of the TV. No more waking up at noon or with younger kids, no more waking up at 6 a.m. for no reason. Reestablish a bed time, start reading a story again before bed, and wake the kids up earlier in the morning to get their body back into a “school sleeping cycle.”
State the Rules.
Sit down at the dinner table one night and lay down your expectations for the school year. Remind them of the family rules like:
- No breakfast until they are fully dressed
- Backpack ready the night before
- No TV or Wii until homework is done
- No friends over until homework is done
By stating these up front as a reminder, your kids should have the rules down pat by oh, say Middle School. However, you’ll feel better that you did your “Momly” duty.
As a visual reminder, make a chart that reminds the kids what they need to do each morning or before bed – brush teeth, get backpack ready, set out clothes for the next day, make bed. This takes away your need to nag, … or at least nag less. We sell athat we use daily to help with the reminders. (We also tie their allowance to the chart, so the kids actually use it.)
Address hidden emotional concerns.
Kids are usually worried about going back to school, even if they don’t express it. So ask them. Sit down at dinner and go around the table to ask your kids what they are most excited about and most worried about for the upcoming year. You’ll be surprised at what concerns them and you may be able to help them eliminate the concern before school even starts. But only if you know what’s bothering them. Most of your child’s concern will most likely come from not knowing what to expect (so ask an older neighbor kid), where their class room is (go see it when you Meet the Teacher), or how to get on and off the bus (ask an older neighbor to be their bus buddy). Give them the confidence to start school right.
Here are 3 More Ways to Get the Family Back Into a Back-to-School Routine.