15 August 2014

Preparing for the back to school routine


Your Twitter and Facebook feed may soon be cluttered with meme’s about Christmas being under 20 weeks away. Which for me means it is time to start doing my Christmas shopping, in about 19 weeks. However, with the red and green season already being advertised, we are well into the back to school movement.

If you have been like me, you have let certain school routines slip during the summer. Sleeping in, staying up late, more snacking, later meals, more screen time, and so on are now happening daily.

The struggle is, especially with school starting in about three weeks, is figuring out how and when to get back into the school groove.

The following are just some ideas of how to get back into the school routine (I recommend only doing one or two a week, so you don’t stress yourself or your children out):
  1. Wake up earlier. If you have been sleeping in until 9:30 try waking up at 9am next week, 8.30 the week after, 8 the next, and then 7.30 for the first week of school. This allows your body to slowly ease into getting up earlier.
  2. Go to bed earlier. This is ideal to do once you are getting up earlier, as you and your children should be tired earlier. Try the same method as waking up earlier.
  3. Bed time routine. Re-establishing your past routine, or starting a new one. By having a bath, getting in pj’s, brushing teeth, reading stories, cuddles and so on, in the same order each night develops an indicator for the body to know that it is time to get ready for sleep.
  4. Structuring meals. Start having meals at a set time, or as close to the same time as possible. Note that children need a hearty and healthy breakfast.
  5. Start reading. Substitute reading books alone or together instead of screen time.
  6. Have weekly family calendaring. So often scheduling is left do the day off, and it creates frazzled parents and children.  Now don’t have too rigid of schedule, have flexibility in it.
  7. Start deciding on extra-curricular activities. Investigate or start generating interest in what after school programs your child wants to be in, whether it is gymnastics, piano, or chess.
  8. Have a weekly family activity. When the school year starts, balancing life, work and school becomes difficult. By starting a family activity before school starts it creates a tradition that can be carried through the school year.

Again, slowly adjust into a back to school routine. Trying to do it all at once is exhausting. Which might just happen for some of us on the first day of school.

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