School is just around the corner and the need for schedules and routine are knocking at your door. Trying to break the summer habits of late nights, sleeping in (or not sleeping at all!), constant snacking, and a do-whatever-you-want attitude can be hard to break. Here are some tips for easing back into the swing of things and starting the school year off healthy, rested and ready to conquer the year.
1. Sleep. This is number one for a reason. Every teacher and administrator pleads with parents to “please make sure your children get good sleep”. It helps with attention span, it helps with learning, it helps immune systems stay strong among all those germs, and helps with a lot of other things. During the summer the sun stays longer and later in the sky and our schedule naturally moves later. You can help kiddos get back to an earlier bedtime by getting back to a bedtime routine or creating a new one, making sure the room is dark so the body can prepare for sleep, have little or no electronic usage at least 2 hours before bedtime (see Blue Light Syndrome article here), and making sure they are eating well and active throughout the day so that their body is ready for rest and can create the correct wake/sleep cycle that they will need for the school year. Wink Naturals Kids Sleep Melts or Drops can also help get their wake/sleep cycles back in a healthy rhythm and work great for moving bedtime earlier so they can get adequate sleep for early morning school days.
2. Ease back into a routine and schedule a week before school starts. Try eating at the times you eat during the school year and make mealtimes more regular. In the summer we snack a lot, eat late lunches and dinners, and eat a lot on the run, but when my kiddos go back to school they are a little hungry for the first week or so while they get used to not being able to snack all day and adjust to eating at regular times. Starting regular meal times a week before school starts will help them not have the hunger pains and growling stomachs when the time between breakfast and lunch grows bigger during school hours.
3. Dejunk, Declutter, and Organize. Once school starts the papers start coming home and they don’t stop. Take this last school-free opportunity to declutter a bit. We go through clothes and shoes, to see what we actually need for ‘back to school shopping’, we declutter the rooms and make sure any papers that need to be kept are put into the memory book and the rest is thrown away.
4. Talk to your kids about the upcoming school year. Listen and let them express concerns, fears, excitement and other things they may be feeling about school, friends, teachers and anything else. This will help you recognize when things may not be going well. It will also help keep the communication doors open so that when they experience more hard things throughout the year they’ll know you’ll be safe place to come to.
5. Make goals individually and as a family. Goals are important to growth and creating goal-oriented individuals that can strive for success their whole life. Set goals for school - think areas that maybe they struggle with, set goals for sports or extra curricular activities, family time, and make Fall Activity Lists that bring fun, excitement, and anticipation to the school year.