Getting The Kids Back Into the School Groove

Some kids are already in the classroom, and some will be there soon. So what can you do to help get your kids back into a schedule and routine. After several weeks of sleeping in and staying up late, you need to get your kids back on track. Otherwise you're going to be dealing with tired, grouchy kids in the morning.

What's the best way to get back into school mode?


1. Gradually transition your kids back into their school-year wake and sleep cycles. A few weeks before school starts, set your kids’ bedtime at an hour that is earlier than they go to bed during the summer but later than they go to bed during the school year. In subsequent weeks, shift their bedtime earlier and earlier until you’ve reached their traditional school-year bedtime.


2. Limit access to refined sugar and processed foods before bedtime.


3. If you increased your kids’ household responsibilities when school was not in session, then reduce their chore load when they return to school.


4. Don’t go cold-turkey on all the fun, active, creative, or educational activities that you planned for your kids during the summer.


5. Host a back-to-school party to reacquaint your kids with the classmates that they may not have seen since the spring semester ended.


6. Dedicate a day for back-to-school shopping for your kids and include your kids and make a fun day of it.


7. If your kids are transitioning to a new school building, visit the school building with your kids. Take a tour of the building. Introduce your kids to the administration, teachers, and staff.


8. Address any emotions your kids may be having about returning to school. If they are nervous, ask them what specifically makes them nervous about returning to school and then discuss their concerns and try to help them see that their anxiety is normal but likely constitutes worry over something that won’t happen.


9. If your schedule permits, volunteer to help out in your kids’ classrooms. (Before you volunteer, ask your kids how they’d feel if you did this. Many kids find this to be reassuring, but some find it embarrassing or space-invading.)