I cannot believe it’s that time of year already, but it is. My girls start first grade in just a few weeks (someone hold me, I’m not ready!), and it’s time to start thinking about getting them back into a routine. Routines are incredibly helpful to parents and kids alike, so, while you may meet some resistance, it’s going to be good for everyone in your house to get back on track in the coming weeks.
5 Helpful Ways to Ease into Back to School Routines
We have enjoyed our lazy summer days so much. No real commitments to attend. No rush to get out the door. No packed lunches (my personal favorite thing about summer). It can’t last forever, unfortunately. At some point, I have to go back to being the parent and get back to a routine. That can be easier said than done, but I’ve got a few tips to help us get there together.
1. Bedtime is Key
While this may seem like a “duh” idea, it can be very difficult to pull off if you’ve been as lax as I have this summer about bedtime. We certainly haven’t had to wake up early for much of anything, so that’s really where this idea comes into play. That first pre-7am wake-up call is going to be brutal to my kids. I’m going to try to start working with them the week before school. Easing them back into an earlier routine will, hopefully, make this transition much easier.
2. Breakfast is Essential
As I’ve been writing this post, I literally just asked my girls if they were ready for breakfast yet. “Not yet,” they both replied. That has been our mantra all summer. They eat when they feel like it. Fine by Mama (especially when I’ve got a deadline to meet, right work-from-home moms?), except this won’t be fine when school starts. Just like bedtime, I’m going to be working a consistent breakfast time into our mornings to remind them that if they don’t eat, lunchtime at school will feel like an eternity away.
3. Stay Calm
If you’re wondering what this tip means, it’s really quite simple. I have a history of anxiety in stressful situations, like getting everyone up and out for school, and it can really kill my productivity for the rest of my day if I let it. I’ve also noticed that my girls pick up on my anxiety and mirror it back to me in certain instances. Who wants their kids to be stressed out every morning before school? Certainly not me. Whatever your calming method is, use it to prepare for the new school year. When Mama is calm, everyone else can be calm too.
4. Wake Up Before Your Kids
This summer I have really enjoyed being woken up by my girls. Hang with me here if this sounds like crazy talk to you. I’ve missed being able to start the day slowly with cartoons and snuggles. School is wonderful, but so is slowing down and enjoying my time at home with them. Whenever we have had an event this summer where we had to arrive at a certain time, I usually just rolled out of bed, threw on clothes, and took them. Those days were never good ones for me. I need my back to school mornings to start slowly and quietly. I am going to make myself get up earlier and take time to focus and renew my energy for the day. Doing this will certainly help me accomplish tip #3.
5. Practice Your Routine
Whatever your back to school routine is, practice it! Print out a schedule and tape it to their wall. Quiz them on the order of the routine. Make them repeat steps they missed (teeth could always use a second scrubbing, right?). Taking time to prepare your kids before the night before the first day will make falling back into routine quicker and easier.
Moms of school-aged kids, let’s hear your best tips for easing into back to school routines! We’re all in this together, so any more tips you have will be greatly appreciated. Hoping your school year starts off swimmingly!