Eight easy tips to re-establish a school routine, so your children can have a stress-free and seamless transition back into school.
It’s been a strange few months for many children. Bedtimes have become less stringent, morning routines have changed drastically, and the need to get dressed and pack a school bag has become a thing of the past… until now that is. As schools prepare to return to ‘business as usual’ across the country, parents struggle to quickly re-establish a school routine. Here are a few simple tips to help you establish this routine and ensure a stress-free and seamless transition back into the school year.
Heading back to school after being in isolation has felt a bit like starting the school year all over again. Towards the end of every school holidays we make a few changes in our home to prepare for school – and these are the exact same changes we’ve made to re-establish a routine after this recent home-schooling adventure. The most important of them all is re-establishing the kid’s school sleep times which helps with their performance and engagement during the school day.
1. Re-establish Sleep Times
My children have been staying up later at night because they haven’t needed to wake early to get ready for school. They’ve simply rolled out of bed, had some break, and then logged on to start home-schooling.
Instead of changing their sleep times drastically and having them lay awake in bed for hours unable to sleep, I’ve gradually reduced their bedtime by a half hour each night until I reach the desired bedtime. I then do the same in the mornings, by waking them a little earlier each day until their body clock is comfortably set to 6:30am.
2. Create A Morning Routine
I created morning routine charts for my kids when they started kindy as I found I was continually repeating myself. To eliminate me yelling from the kitchen, I instead created a routine chart so the kids knew exactly what they needed to do each morning to get ready for school.
To create a schedule, work out what time you need the kids to wake up each morning to allow them enough time to leave for school, then work backwards with all the tasks they need to do.
Every child and every home is different, which is why I offer personalised morning routine charts in my shop that are created to suit you and your individual schedule. These charts even include times and pictures so that young children can easily follow along too.
3. Label Their Clothes + School Supplies
Getting new school supplies and labeling them, helps to build excitement about school returning (plus means no lost items!). Get the kids involved in doing this with you. This is a particularly great idea for children that are feeling anxious about school, as it provides an opportunity to talk to your child about their expectations and worries.
My girls love putting their new stationery into their pencil cases ready for back-to-school (my son on the other hand is perfectly happy for me to do it all – LOL).
4. Set Up School Organisation Stations
Creating an organised space in your home where your children can drop off all their school items, will help to keep your home tidy and make it easier for the kids to find what they need during the school morning rush hour. You can check out one of my budget-friendly school organisation station ideas here. Other ideas that will help to re-establish healthy back-to-school routines, is to create a simple school bag station and homework areas.
SCHOOL BAGS – When my kids started school I saw the trend of them getting home and throwing their school bags under the kitchen bench, forgetting to unpack their lunchboxes. I created a school bag nook in our hallway to the garage to help keep their bags tidy and off the floor. As soon as they got home they hung up their bag, got out their homework, and put their lunch boxes in the kitchen sink to be cleaned. Our afternoon routine chart helped to create this system and thankfully they now remember to always take their lunch boxes out of their bags.
TIP: When my kids were younger I would put one of these Personalised Weekly Have You Packed Charts in the school bag storage area as a helpful visual aid for them to remember what to pack.
HOMEWORK AREA – Having a designated area for study, makes getting your children to do their homework a lot easier. My kids used to study at the kitchen table during their primary school years, but as they got older they started studying in their rooms. They needed more room and more quiet, and it just made sense. There are lots of different ways to create an inspiring study nook for your child, check out some ideas here for inspiration.
5. Use A Back to School Checklist
Regardless of whether it’s the beginning of the school year, the beginning of Term 2, or the return back to school after home isolation (that still seems like such a strange thing to say), this back to school checklist will help. I’m so forgetful, so having a checklist like this means I don’t forget anything!
6. Start Regular Reading Patterns
When children aren’t going to school every day, their reading habits can slip a little. To encourage your children to get back into reading – which will help them once school is back in full swing – try using this reading chart.
7. Stock The Freezer With School Snacks
My kids are now in the habit of packing their own school lunches, so I make sure I have a few lunch choices to choose from as it makes them more excited about their day! I often do a big bake up and fill the freezer with lots of muffins, scrolls, and other lunchbox snacks. The kids then quickly grab a tasty sandwich alternative (sweet or savoury) straight from the freezer each morning, which is then defrosted by morning tea time. All the recipes in my Lunch Box Recipe Cookbook are perfect for this!
8. Plan A Day Of Fun
Make plans to do something fun next weekend – this will give the kids something to look forward to whilst they’re getting back into school. Plan to go to the beach, have a picnic in the park, walk up a mountain or even have a board game day at home together.
HOW DO YOU RE-ESTABLISH A SCHOOL ROUTINE?
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