Getting your kids ready for school after a long vacation can prove to be a hassle for everyone involved. The transition can be smooth or bumpy, depending on your kids’ frame of mind during the summer. Successfully getting your children in the ‘back-to-school’ mindset involves organization, repetition, and routine. The team at San Francisco Toyota has compiled some tips for making your kids’ transition back to school as easy as possible for you and your children.
Talk about school
Frequently remind your kids that their first day back to school is coming up, and set up a calendar with the first day circled. Sit down with your kids and ask them how they are feeling about the upcoming school year. Be encouraging and supportive. Begin with the understanding that all kids experience some sort of hesitation or anxiety when going back to school. Remind your kids that it will be nice to see their friends and classmates again, and give them positive ideas about returning to school. Mention exciting opportunities such as making new friends, joining clubs or sport teams, or even just learning about interesting subjects.
Start a sleeping schedule
During the summer, kids often go to sleep late and wake up late. Start implementing earlier bedtimes at least a week or two before the first day of school. Nothing will make an early morning routine worse than a lack of sleep the night before. Plus, kids need a full night’s sleep to stay mentally alert and involved in class all day. Even older kids will benefit from this new sleep schedule, and it will make learning and morning routines much easier once school starts.
Establish morning and evening routines
Practicing daily routines will significantly decrease early morning chaos on the first day of school. Getting into a set morning routine that includes waking up, getting dressed, and eating breakfast will speed things along on that first day back. Set a morning schedule now, and get your child an alarm clock to decrease your morning rush and to give them the responsibility of waking themselves up in the morning. In the evenings, cut back on TV and videogame time. During the school year, this time will be spent doing homework. Get your kids in the routine of reading in the evenings during summer vacation to make the transition back to school easier.
Eat a healthy breakfast
Research has continually shown that eating a healthy breakfast every day is extremely important, especially for young children and students. Without proper nutrition in the morning, kids tend to feel drowsy and distracted. Many children don’t like eating breakfast in the morning because they are not used to getting up that early, so as soon as you begin setting a practical sleeping schedule for your kids, also introduce a healthy breakfast routine. A nutritious breakfast will give your kids the long-lasting energy that they need to kick start their school day.
Unless you pay for school lunches, your kids’ midday meal usually comes from home. Get yourself or your children in the habit of planning their lunches the night before. You can also pack the non-perishable items in their lunches the night before to save even more time in the morning. Include healthy snacks and try to limit the amount of junk food and sugary drinks in their lunches. Nutritious snacks will give your kids the energy and important nutrients that they need to focus on learning.
Lay out clothes
Avoid last-minute searches for socks or your kids’ favorite article of clothing by laying out their outfit for the next day the night before. Ask your child for input and suggestions to help them feel a sense of inclusion and responsibility. For younger children, practicing getting dressed quickly and efficiently can save lots of time and hassle in the mornings.
Shop early for school supplies
Going shopping for school supplies ahead of time will relieve the anxiety of having incomplete supplies on the first day of school, and will also help prepare your child for school. Bring your kids along with you and have them help pick out the things that they want to use for school. Most school systems provide complete lists of necessary school supplies to make your shopping trip even easier.
Set up a study area
A designated study area will help keep your kids focused on homework, assignments, and studying. This space can also double as an area where your kids’ school items are located. Backpacks, lunchboxes, and the next day’s clothes will all be conveniently located in one spot the night before, so in the morning your kids have everything they need already prepared and laid out for them.
Go over safety tips
Last but not least, it is important to go over safety tips before your kids leave for their first day of school. Teach your children basic safety measures such as to never travel alone and to stay away from strangers. More importantly, teach your kids to be aware of situations and actions that are out of the ordinary, and to follow their own instincts. Make sure they know that if something doesn’t feel right, they should keep their distance and tell an adult.
Having everything prepared and organized ahead of time will save you and your children a lot of time and energy, and it will give your kids time to prepare and get excited for the upcoming school year! By reintroducing school-year habits and routines before school starts, kids naturally shift out of the summer mindset and get ready for a year of learning. At San Francisco Toyota, we wish you and your family a safe and exciting back-to-school season.