Originally posted here.
With lazy summer days dwindling (how did it get to be August already?!), and busy school days looming, it’s time to prepare for the back-to-school transition. Try these stress-free steps for easing kids back into a school schedule.
1. Re-establish a School Routine
You’ll all have more energy for the first day if you don’t try to change your sleeping schedule all at once. Try going to bed and getting up a little earlier each day for a week, until you hit your school year bed- and wake-up times. You can also use this week to re-establish any school-day routines that you put on hold during the summer, like specific bath-times or nightly bedtime rituals like reading. This gradual approach can help you ease into your morning schedule too: When you get up in the morning during this transition week, you can stay in your pajamas, but eat breakfast according to your school-day schedule.
2. Get Organized
As the first day of school approaches, help your kids set up their own systems of organization. Pre-pack backpacks together, and making sure that the most-used items (e.g., pencils, erasers, lined and graph paper, glue, rulers, and calculators) are easy to access. Then, prepare a quiet location in your house dedicated to homework: Stock the space with necessary supplies and make sure it’s well lit.
3. Plan Nutritious Meals
Studies by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics show that healthy breakfasts and lunches lead to better learning. Guarantee that your children eat well by working with your kids to find the best meals for them before school starts. Involving your children in the choice and preparation of breakfast and lunch leads to a higher likelihood that they’ll eat what you make. You can also establish a routine with your children of packing their lunchboxes together before bed, which gives you a chance to talk about the upcoming day and makes the morning rush easier.
4. Talk up the Transition
Get kids mentally prepared for heading back to school by discussing all of the benefits, such as seeing old friends and meeting new ones and getting involved in activities like sports and clubs. Take the opportunity to discuss the good times they had last year and their new school schedule, including the various classes and activities your children look forward to.
Happy New (School) Year!