Summer’s winding down, and it’s back-to-school season. If you have school-aged children, this can be the toughest time of the year for them. As school starts, it’s hard to get up in the morning and get used to a new schedule. We all have an inner scheduler called the circadian clock that helps you fall asleep each night and wake up the next morning.
There are ways to shake off the back-to-school blues by getting into a schedule that resets your clock. Here are some tips.
Start Thinking About School
Going back to school is also a state of mind. It can be quite a shock to the system to head back to the classroom after a couple months of summer vacation.
- Refresh your rules about screen time for the school year. What’s allowed and when?
- Encourage your kids to read at least one book before the school year begins.
- Create a “device-free” zone where your kids will be able to read and study (if they have homework).
Get Ready… To Get Back on Schedule
It’s always a good idea to establish regular bedtime routines for elementary school kids and preschoolers. There are various ways to do this, including:
- Reacquaint your kids with the calendar schedule they’ll use to manage their activities.
- Set your kids’ sleep schedules to “School Time” two weeks before the first day.
- Set — and enforce — regular weekday and weekend bedtimes.
- Set — and enforce — regular weekday and weekend wake-up calls.
If being on time is really a problem, try setting your clocks forward 10 minutes. This makes it easier for the whole family to be on time.
It’s not fun to battle the crowds and shop for school supplies the week before school starts. It doesn’t have to be that way if you follow these tips!
- Keep a running list of supplies, clothing, and food that you need to buy before school starts.
- Create a list and budget for back-to-school shopping.
- Let your child choose their clothes, shoes and other personal items they’ll need.
Finally, to make things easy when things get busy in September, set up a hanging organizer with five boxes for clothes, one for each day of the week.
Make Time for Family
Spending time with family is important, and we often forget that when our lives are busier. As the school year kicks off and people’s schedules get busy, establish a set “Family Time,” — whether it’s during dinner or before bed.
- Give kids a specific day when they can choose the activities you do together.
- Have a family discussion about what your kids can expect on the first day so they feel more prepared.
Remember to Have Fun
Plan something fun to diffuse this stressful time of year for all of you… consider spending your winter vacation someplace warm, like the Turks and Caicos.
Tips For Taking A Vacation During The School Year
When it comes to planning trips, we can often feel paralyzed by the school calendar. But, if you plan and execute in advance, there is plenty of opportunity to take a vacation without missing school.
With a little creativity and planning, families can travel during school holidays.
Plan Travel Well In Advance
- Book travel that overlaps school holidays as soon as possible—even a year in advance—to avoid accommodations selling out and inflated airfare.
Outline Your Trip
- Your vacation will go much more smoothly if you take the time beforehand to outline your plan, including which cities and attractions you’ll be visiting, which accommodations you’ll be using, what you’ll be seeing, etc.
- Book hotels and restaurants in advance, and buy tickets to any events and attractions if possible.
Make Arrangements for Work and School
To avoid any last-minute conflict with work or school commitments, be sure to make all the necessary arrangements well in advance of your winter vacation.
And, as a parent, do your own homework! Make sure you finish all of your work beforehand, and make arrangements for co-workers to take care of any necessary tasks in your absence.
What Do You Think?
Do you have any back-to-school tips? Let us know in the comments below!