Getting Ready for School
Getting kids back into a routine is the most challenging task to tackle weeks before school starts. I struggle with this yearly no matter how soon or hard I try with summer not yet over; we keep bending the night time rules. For example, on Sunday we are going to the fair, and we will be back late. Secondly, the sun is still up, and our bodies are not always ready to go to bed earlier.
I recommend starting applying routines three weeks in advance before the first day of school.
Start forming a bedtime routine even if they are not going to bed at the time they should. Forming habits will take the drama out! The method should include at least 1/2 hour before settle time to wash face, hands, brush teeth put on jammies. It is a good idea to find activities that will calm kids down for a half-hour before bedtime, such as reading or watching a movie.
Start going to bed earlier. I think, on average most kids end up not getting enough sleep when school starts for about two weeks for the reasons I stated above. Keep in mind the excitement starting school, sports, and new routines keep us up and prevent us from getting the sleep we need. So start practice going to bed earlier, even if you do not sleep. Read or do calming activities in bed until you fall asleep.
It is also a good idea to start waking up earlier. Morning routines need to start forming what kids need to do and how long it should take to get it done. Waking up, eat breakfast, brush teeth/hair, wash hands, and getting dressed. There is no shame we let these routines go during the summer. Summer is about unpredictable events and schedules. But two weeks before school starts, we have to start training the mind and body to form a routine again.
Bedtime should have a routine by now if not get busy! Again it doesn’t matter if they go to bed at 8 pm and fall asleep. Use that time to settle in bed, so the body starts to understand it needs to go to bed and calm down.
Bathroom routines should be formed by now.
Start getting up earlier each morning.
Start the school routine, find out how long it takes to walk to the bus stop, walk to school and back, ride bikes, whatever the morning and after school, the routine will be getting to and from school.
Start organizing chore tasks for after school and doing them. Kids need to know what they need to do once school starts.
Practice getting clothes picked out, ready, and finding a central area gathering homework, library books, and other school items prepared to go the next morning.
Jot down how long it takes and then determine how early everyone needs to go to bed and get up. Get a timer and have fun and have a race see how quickly everyone can get it together, then do a checklist and assess if the kids got everything completed.
Week of School
Make sure everything is ready. Start planning lunches and other routines that are necessary to prepare for the start of school. Older kids can print their schedule so they can start prepping mentally for their school routine.
It is all about routine; without it, everything disorganized and scattered. Do not expect your method to run smoothly at first. It will take time and practice once school starts. Set goals when you want everyone to be in bed at a specific time and up in the morning. Have a checklist of morning and night routine. Make sure everyone is getting it all done.
Morning Checklist: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BzzyOkNnk2f8ZlFlQXJPMmZuVms/edit
After School Routine List: https://gigglesgalore.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/My-After-School-Routine.pdf
After School Checklist: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BzzyOkNnk2f8U1hGX0g0YTdKY0U/edit