Depending on who is uttering that phrase….”Back to School!” it can mean anything from “Yaay!” to the excited keener ready to get back to see old friends, meet new ones and learn new things, “$$$$$$” to advertisers (sell, Sell, SELL !!!), to “Whew!” to the exhausted mom looking forward to a few hours break from the kids. Whatever your family’s take is on it, there’s no doubt that the whole world’s schedule seems in some way affected by The First Day of School, from the Preschooler to the PhD student.
Tips for Getting Back Into the Groove: (for Parents and Kids)
1. PREPARE Have everything ready for school the night before – know what your child will wear, backpack is stocked and packed and by the door and prep lunch (helps resist the temptation to throw in some pre-packaged low nutrition snacks when you’re too tight for time to peel and cut the carrot sticks in the morning).
2. UNPLUG Now is the time to flip the switch into more productive behaviours and create a state of mind for learning. Restrict screen time in the evenings and in the morning to ensure the child is getting enough sleep for one, and two, is not too distracted from getting the morning routine done in a timely manner. After school electronics time will depend on your child’s age – no screens on school days works for some (except for school work of course), and scheduled time works for others (after homework, during dinner prep etc).
3. SLEEP Getting to bed early and getting up earlier is going to be the toughest task for the first few days for both parents and kids. Getting into a routine right away for winding down earlier in the evening (reading is better than TV or video games) will make falling asleep easier, and the extra sleep will make the morning go more smoothly.
4. ATTITUDE Back to School means a new grade, a new level and wonderful new experiences in learning and personal growth. With a positive attitude, the rest will flow naturally. Nurture the excitement of reaching the next milestone, the next “Aha!” moment. Foster lifelong learning and share in your child’s discoveries.
What do you do to ease into Back to School more smoothly? Share your thoughts and strategies!