The end of the summer approaches and inevitably, the school year is creeping up on us. But instead of panicking and trying to squeeze every last drop of freedom out of the last days of August, try out a few of these techniques to make the transition back into structured routines and scheduled days a little easier on both you and your kids.
- Adjust Your Sleep Schedule
Instead of waiting to enforce an early bedtime until the night before school starts, try getting your kids to bed a half hour earlier than they have been during the summer, and waking them up an hour earlier as well. We find there is less grumbling if you plan fun activities that they’d have to get out of bed to enjoy – maybe head to the waterslides or have a beach day. The adjustment period usually takes about a week but it’s worth it to ease into a decent school schedule and it will help your kids start off the year with lots of energy.
- Set a Budget for Supplies
We’ve all been there: you head out to buy pencils, erasers and paper but you somehow come home with a new backpack, pencil case, folders covered in cute cats, light up runners, a 30 piece set of felt markers and a superhero lunch kit. We understand, it’s hard to say no and it’s part of the fun! But if you are hoping to keep your purchases on the inexpensive side this year, set a budget and talk about it with your kids. Let them know how much money they have to spend on non-essentials so they can pick out one or two things more exciting than HB pencils but will understand before you get to the store that they will have to be selective.
- Read Books about Going to School
Especially if this is your child’s first year of school! Reading together about what to expect will help soothe their worries if they’re feeling anxious, and get them excited about all the fun they’ll have. Some great titles to check out are: The Kissing Hand, How Do Dinosaurs Go to School, First Day Jitters, The Berenstain Bears Go to School, and The Pirates Guide to First Grade.
- Brainstorm Ideas for Lunches
Check out Pinterest for some creative and healthy ideas for pack lunches. Get your kids involved and make a list of options that they approve of and you can refer back to throughout the year. Pack lunches can be so much more than a sandwich! If your kids are old enough, teach them how to make some of the recipes or put them in charge of assembling everything in their lunch box and packing it in their backpack.
- Get Excited!
Excitement is infectious! Talk to your little ones about what to expect; make it a family discussion by having your older children share their favourite experiences from their first year of school. Talk about what kind of extra-curricular activities your kids would like to try this year and search for good programs. If you’re excited, your kids will be too!