Is Your Family Ready to Head Back to School?
It may still be summer, but the back-to-school season will be here before you know it.
Will your family have a smooth transition back to the classroom, or a rough start to the new school year?
Back-to-school can be a breeze when you get your family on a school schedule before the new school year begins.
With time on your side, you can avoid some of the more common back-to school pitfalls, including:
- Rushed Morning Routines
- Bedtime Battles
- Homework Headaches
Introducing a school schedule into your summer plans is not as complicated as it may sound. A few simple tweaks to the routine will have your family heading off to the classroom well prepared.
Oxford Learning’s Five Summer Tips for a Better Back-to-School Season.
1. Start watching the clock. Time has a way of slipping away during the summer, especially where sleep in concerned. It can seem less important to enforce that 8 o’clock bedtime when there isn’t any place to be in the morning. The problem is that sleeping in or staying up just a little bit later can wreak havoc on sleeping patterns, throwing a wrench into the works when it’s time to follow a stricter sleep schedule. Sticking to set bedtimes and morning times keep a child’s sleeping habits regular, and means less disruptions when summer time becomes school time.
Tip: Use an alarm clock, even in the summer. If your child has never had an alarm clock before, summer is a great time to introduce one. Putting an alarm clock in your child’s bedroom can help with developing time management skills.
2. Eat regular meals, regularly. Mealtimes are among the primary markers that divide up the day, both at home and at school. During the school year, eating a healthy breakfast before heading off to school requires a reliable morning routine. Why let that routine slip just because school is out? Kids still need the energy that breakfast supplies to be mentally alert, even during playtime. Growing bodies can become dependent on set meal schedules during the school year, and it’s important to maintain set meal times to keep brains functioning optimally. Regular meal times mean that when students head back to school in the fall, they are focused on the teacher, not on their growling bellies.
3. Get supplies ready the night before. Getting ready for school in the morning can turn your normally happy house into a mad house. There are usually lots of last- minute scrambles to find the needed supplies. From binders to running shoes to lunch bags, locating a needed item when there’s a time crunch can be a source of stress. Families can practice refining their morning routine by organizing the night before. Whether it’s the summer or school year, picking out clothing, preparing lunches, or bringing sports equipment and supplies to the front door the night before makes morning routines run much smoother.
4. Use a calendar or an agenda. Throughout the school year, students use an agenda to stay on top of homework and assignments. But using an agenda or wall calendar to keep track of activities is just as beneficial in the summer, especially since the days have a tendency to blend into one another. Keeping track of play dates, swimming lessons, camp schedules, or picnics ensures that no important summer activity is forgotten and keeps children in the habit or organizing their time—a must-have skill for the return to the classroom.
5. Read everyday. One of the simplest (and most enjoyable) ways to keep the brain active all summer and avoid losing summer learning momentum is to read everyday. Whether its comic books, magazines, or novels, reading everyday helps to maintain active learning and keeps young minds prepared for back-to-school.