All around the United States the bathing suits, sunglasses and Nintendo DS’s are being shelved for textbooks, backpacks and school uniforms. Yes, summer break has come to an end here and with that us parents must face the re-establishment of a school routine. This is a tough one since summer days are longer, more casual and less structured than a typical the school year. It can be quite a challenge to re-establish proper bed times, study hours, and less playful activities.
In my household we are battling fiercely to get back into the school routine. This week we have seen our fair share of tantrums and resistance. Every evening we are met with pleas for “5 more minutes,” at bedtime and kids who look like they are heading for a firing squad at having to put away their electronics in the morning.
[ctt title=”Although summer was a blast and it was great to let loose for a little, routine is what kids strive for. ” tweet=”Although summer was a blast and it was great to let loose for a little, routine is what kids strive for. ” coverup=”sPY52″]To help them feel safe, connected and know where they fit and what to expect. Even thought at first they are resistant in time they will adjust. Here a few ways to help you kids adjust to reentering the school year routine.
Re-establish specifc mealtimes
(source WebMD) After a few months of a flexible mealtime schedule. It will be much easier to get into the groove of the school day by starting of with a good breakfast the same time each day. Most students lunch time will be at a designated time (mine are always early in the day) so the other meals should adjust to follow suit. This will also help student stay fueled for the more hectic pace of the school day.
Get back to the RIGHT foods
I will be the first to admit I have taken the easy way out for summer cooking this summer. Yes it has been a summer of hot dogs and hamburgers. Tons of snacks, pops and ice creams. But with the longer school day kids need brain power in the form of more nutrition. So it is imperative that we reinstitute some proper nutrition.
Determine a set bedtime and stick to it
Between vacation travel, family events and just it being lighter longer outside. My kids bedtime had extended about an hour longer on than during the school year. Plus our bedtime routine has been totally thrown out of whack. No harm was done since they had a more flexible time to rise. However once the school year has begun, the alarm will ring and it is off to school we go. So in order for children to function and learn they need the right amount of sleep. See my post HERE on the right amount of sleep for each age.
Set screen time limits
During the summer I found myself being very flexible with the amount of screen time my kids had. Since it was so hot out and we mostly had to stay in doors I extended the one hour of screen time to a lot more. This week it has been a struggle to have then put down the DS but it has helped greatly in regaining their attention.
Homework comes first
It is great to have time to play and during the summer we had long stretch’s of uninterrupted play. Once school began kids need to understand that school work needs to come before playtime. Once the homework is completed, then you can play with your friends.
Getting back to afterschool movement
During the summer you have more time to play sports, outside, go swimming in the pool or head to the beach. Once school begins students spend the majority of the day inside, in a state of inactivity while learning. It is important to give kids a way to burn off this pent-up energy. This comes in the form of afterschool sports. I agree it is much harder to fit this in afterschool. Mostly, this can take a toll on the parent who has to stand around during sports practice. In my view, this activity is necessary for a well -rounded child.
It is hard to let go of the carefree feeling of summer but it is also nice to get back to a set schedule and a bit of routine…at least until Holiday Break.