The transition from the freedom and fun of summer to setting a strict school schedule can often be difficult for kids, but even more so for the parents.
Between waking up hours earlier in the morning to getting homework done at night, there are still plenty of ways to make the transition as smooth as possible.
Limit Television and Video Games
It can be easy for kids to spend hours in front of the television during the summer, playing video games and having movie marathons. Instead of shocking them with limited TV time after school arrives, begin to wean them off of their entertainment by limiting it to an hour or two a day in the final weeks of their summer break.
Ease Into a Bed Time
Avoid waiting until the last day of summer to get the kids in bed by eight p.m. Begin to set a bed time a week or two before school starts, even allowing them to stay up an hour past their bed time as long as they’re in their room.
Equally important is having them wake up earlier and not sleep in until noon. Make it a rule to have everyone in the house awake by six or seven a.m. so that their body’s circadian rhythm naturally begins to adapt and the first week back isn’t so difficult. Try to have everyone dressed and ready for the day after an hour of waking up.
Practice a Homework Routine
Begin to set a quiet time in the afternoon where the kids can spend time reading, writing, or practicing their math skills. The quiet time can last anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, making it easier to transition into their homework time once the first week of school arrives.
Go School Shopping
To avoid tantrums or arguments when transitioning into a routine, take the kids school shopping where they can pick out a new backpack, pencils, crayons, and even fun folders. Find a back to school outfit that each child can get, which will make it fun for them to return to school and have something to look forward to.
Limit Excessive Snacking
Replace junk food in the house with healthy and clean snacks, making it a point to begin scheduling meals throughout the day, and even making dinner at night. Instead of ordering out, cook dinner and have the family sit down at the table for bonding time as the summer concludes. Ask the kids to only eat if they’re hungry during the day to regain their nutritional diet for better moods, sleeping habits, and overall health.