It’s that time again! The days of late summer evenings, hanging out with friends and family well past our bedtimes, and sleeping in late are over.
Fall is around the corner. New school supplies are on display everywhere you go, and most kids are somewhat excited but somewhat groaning about the new schedule about to take hold.
In addition to getting those school supplies and new clothes, here are a few things that might make the transition easier for the entire family.
Get into a Sleep Routine
As summer progresses, we tend to stay up later and sleep in a little later. Experts say at least one week before school starts, begin the process of backing up bedtimes and waking the kids up earlier each day. By the time school starts, they should be on a similar schedule to your school year routine.
What I have learned is to never get the sleep schedule that out of control to begin with. Yes, there is a weekend here and there that we stayed up super late, but try to make a concentrated effort on moving the sleep schedule just a bit.
Another tip to help get those sleep routines back to normal: Turn off electronics. Studies show that the glow from television, video games, computers and more can signal the brain to stay awake.
Create a Family Calendar
When kids are young, the moms take care of the calendar and make sure everyone ends up where they need to be and when. However, as the kids get to school age, they can start learning those organization skills. Create a family calendar where each person is responsible for adding their own sports practice, the play coming up and that birthday party they wanted to attend.
You might even add the evening chores to the calendar. Keeping the calendar in a high-traffic area in the house where everyone can see what is expected and when, not only helps everyone mentally prepare for the day, but also lends to staying organized during the school day too.
Set Up a Homework Station
You’ve marked off every item from the school supply list. However, don’t forget about homework! It’s often an afterthought and not a big concern, until you’re helping your second grader work through a homework project and realize there’s not a single glue stick in the house.
Set up an area where kids can come home, complete homework (without distraction) and have access to those extra supplies needed. I like to use a small caddy to hold a ruler, paper, glue, extra pencils, crayons, markers and a calculator. This way, it’s transferrable when we want to do homework at brother’s football game or while waiting for a sibling to finish up at piano lessons.
Keep in mind, the first few weeks of school are stressful, tiring and sometimes a little unorganized. But stick with it, and soon, the new routine will take over.