Getting back into your School Year Routine

By Susanne Myers

Even though it is still hot as can be, summer is slowly coming to an end, at least as far as the summer break is concerned. If you’ve opened a newspaper this weekend, you couldn’t have missed this for all the “Back to School” sales offers. Here are a few tips to make the transition back into a school year routine a little easier on you and your family.

Start adjusting your child’s sleeping schedule to slowly get her back to school year bedtime. You should be able to move her bedtime by about 30 minutes every few days. See our bedtime routine article if your child has trouble adjusting to the new sleep schedule.

Review schoolwork from last year. Make this fun. Get out some of the papers, worksheets etc that your child has brought home with her the last few weeks or even months of the school year. Tell her you just wanted to see what she had accomplished last year. Challenge her to duplicate some of the work. Make it a competition between the two of you. “Let’s see which one of us can do 10 of these math problems and make the least mistakes”. To keep her excited and motivated, make sure you loose most of the time.

Take your kids with you when you go “back to school” shopping. Let them pick some supplies and clothing for the new school year. They’ll look forward to showing their friends all the cool new stuff they got.

To get them even more excited to go back to school and see their friends, talk to them about all the great things they are going to learn this year. You can also create a scrapbook, storybook or memory box with them about everything they did this summer to share with friends at school.

Pay attention to your child’s reaction when you bring going back to school up. Address any anxiety or even fear she might have about the first day of school. Especially if she starts going to a new school, she may be more nervous about the first day then she’ll let you know.

Call in a family meeting to let everyone know what you expect from them on a daily and weekly basis during the new school year. Make your homework policy clear. Can they visit friends or go out first, or does homework have to be done right after school? What chores do you expect them to take on this year? Offer a reward like a family game night or a movie night as a weekly/monthly reward if everyone cooperates. If you’d like you can put all this in writing and post it on the fridge as a constant reminder throughout the year.

Get the school year off to a positive start by having a special celebration the evening after the first day of school. You can take the family out on a picnic, or go out for ice cream after dinner. If you announce this special celebration ahead of time, it will give your kids something fun to look forward to after the dreaded first day of school.

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