(Part 1 of 4)
It’s that time of the year again, when kids swap out their bathing suits for school supplies. It may seem simple to just buy the school supplies and send your kids off to school, but there are many steps you can take to make this a “smooth sailing” school year… starting now! Whether you are a parent, teacher, or student going off to college, these tips are good for anyone getting back into the routine of going back to school. We have come up with a 4-part “Back to School Series” to ensure this to be your easiest and best school year yet! So lets start off with Part 1: How to get back into the routine of a school year.
- 1.) Establish a routine. Seems simple… wake up, eat breakfast, pack lunch, get ready, leave. But overall, that is a lot of things to do in the morning, which can stress you out and wreak havoc on your day. Take the last week or two of summer and start to wake up at the same time every day. If you need to, set multiple alarms. Go through the routine with your children, or by yourself if it is you who is going back to school. At night, practice a routine of packing up the backpacks, making lunches and snacks for the following day, getting the coffee maker ready so all you have to do in the morning is press the start button, getting clothes ready, and having a plan for breakfast. Over all, this should only take about 30 minutes of your time at night, which will save stress and conflict in the morning routine. Teaching your children to get ready at night, at a young age, will help them establish a routine that they can carry with them the rest of their lives.
- 2.) Create a School Corner. You can designate a spot where school things such as backpacks and lunch boxes go to avoid last-minute scrambles in the morning. You might also have your child make a list of things to bring to school and post it by the front door. In the school corner, you should have all school essential things as well. Post up a calendar of the month and write down all school activities and events in one color, then any other activities and events in another (such as soccer practice, etc.). This will help the child, and you, remember their schedule for the day
- 3.) Create a time and place for homework. This could be included in the “School Corner”. Get a desk for you child, or have them use the kitchen counter, and that will be the place where they do their homework each and every day. This will help them have consistency, and have a plan in place for electronics. If they finish all their homework before dinner, they can watch TV or play a video game, etc. For the older kids in high school and college who may have busier schedules, have a daily schedule of all activities and due dates. Schedule time around each activity to get homework and projects done.
- 4.) Make a last minute trip to the store. Make sure everyone has clothes that fit, school supplies they need, snack for lunch and after school, and a few extra school supplies at home such as a 3-hole punch, folders, markers, stapler, tape, and glue. This will help for any last minute projects. Also, many stores discount school supplies and clothes toward the end of the summer (end of August, early September) which makes it great for any last minute extras that you need to buy!
- 5.) Lastly, write down the schedule so you and/or the children can look at it daily until it becomes second nature to them. What time do you need to be awake, what time do you need to be asleep, what time do you need to leave in the morning, etc. This will help keep in place the routine each morning for a smooth sailing school year.