Making the transition back to school can be quite a change for kids and parents alike. Kids who’ve been sleeping in, now have to get up at 7 a.m. again. Leisurely lunches eaten when hungry now require planning and packing. And homework? Yes, it’s time to start that drill too.
But going back to school doesn’t have to be a grueling task for you or your kids. You can solve the four biggest back-to-school challenges and make the transition a better experience for everyone.
Back to School Challenge No. 1: The Rude Awakening
After two months of going to bed and getting up whenever they want, kids need to get back on a schedule, one that often involves waking up early. How to you get them to do that?
-Two weeks before school starts, move their bedtimes back by 15 to 30 minutes at a time until you reach something more school-friendly. Once school starts, their schedules generally make them tired enough to adjust quickly to an earlier bedtime.
Back to School Challenge No. 2: The Morning Rush
For many families, the toughest hurdle is getting kids out the door on time. This is especially hard if you have to get ready for work as well.
-The key is to get organized the night before, with backpacks ready, clothes laid out and lunch planned (if not made). It’s important that the kids know what time they’ll be woken up by, what time they’re expected downstairs for breakfast and to get shoes on, and what time they’ll leave the house.
– Rushing children, in my observation, never works. Instead, I give them times that things need to happen by. Consistency is key!
Back to School Challenge No. 3: Packing a Healthy Lunch
Sending kids to school with a nutritious lunch isn’t always easy. Although school lunches are mandated to be healthier this year, many parents still prefer their kids bring food from home for financial and health reasons.
Back to School Challenge No. 4: The Homework Grind
Toughest of all perhaps, is the return of homework, which can quickly bring on whining and tears (from both parents and kids!)
-Homework is one of those necessary pieces of the day, so I make it a rule that homework gets done first, no exceptions. So they get home, take off shoes, wash hands, maybe have a snack and then it’s down to work.