Unfortunately, summer has gone by way too fast and it’s time once again to start thinking about getting back into a school routine. This year I have a third and a fifth grader. My fifth grader starts middle school, which in our district means catching a bus at 7:25 AM. This is a big change from the 8:50 AM elementary school bus! Summer has meant long, lazy days, lack of routines and staying up late. I’m trying to slowly ease the kids back into school mode over these next couple of weeks so they are not in shock once September 1 rolls around!
1. Regular bedtime: Getting to bed at a reasonable time EVERY night is probably the biggest adjustment that the kids have to make. Like me, my kids need a lot of sleep to function well. Last year, bedtimes were 8 PM and 8:30 PM for the kids. For these next two weeks we are doing our best to get the kids back on track with these bedtimes.
2. Re-establish a morning routine: This summer since the kids weren’t at camp, if we didn’t have a morning appointment, I’d let them lay in bed. They’d wake up anywhere between 8 and 9 AM, but then they’d lay in bed and read a book. Some mornings, my daughter didn’t get out of her bed until 10:30! Then they’d come downstairs, eat breakfast and then go up and shower and get dressed. Obviously, this lazy schedule can’t work once school begins. So, I’ve been having them get up and out of bed when they wake up. They can’t come downstairs for breakfast until they are showered and dressed. And breakfast now has a time limit. Thirty minutes max (and that’s being generous!).
3. Clean out closets and drawers: During the school year the kids need to pick their outfits out the night before. There’s nothing I hate more than hearing “I have nothing to wear” when trying to get them out the door in the morning. I have recently tortured the kids with our seasonal “fashion show.” We go through their closets and drawers and I have them try clothes on to see what still fits and what doesn’t. This helps me figure out what we need to buy for fall as well as remind them of what they have to wear.
4. Set up calendars and planners: Both my kids have calendars in their rooms. Over the summer my daughter also bought herself a planner. I am hoping that a planner will help her keep track of her schedule, since she likes to participate in lots of school activities. Now that she’s in middle school and has different teachers she also needs to keep track of her various tests and projects. Plus, back to school means back to scouting, sports, music lessons, before/after school clubs, etc. So the kids are seeing me keep track of all of their activities on the family calendar as well.
5. Buy school supplies: We haven’t received teacher assignments yet, but school supply lists are available on our school website. My kids love to help shop and pick out their school supplies. This also helps to get them excited to go back to school to use all of their new stuff!
What have you been doing to get back into the school routine?