How to get the youngins back into routine…
The 2015-2016 school year is almost upon us. Here are some tips for mamas for getting your kiddos back into the school year swing. Within two weeks before the start of school, make sure to do these five things to set your child up for a great school year.
1. Reintroduce routine.
Summer is all about no routine! Perhaps there were some days of sleeping in, staying in pyjamas all day, maybe lots of TV. Basically, a kid will have enjoyed a little lack of structure during some of those summer days. School, on the other hand, offers complete routine. To help your child out, start to reintroduce some routines for him or her. Wake them up a little earlier, ask them to make their bed, and have breakfast and lunch at set times. Also in the evening, set some expectations such as helping to set the table and clearing their plate. Little household chores will help your child transition back into classroom routines and structure.
2. Bring back some academics.
Sometimes reading and writing gets replaced by lots of playing outside during the summer. This is a great thing! Imaginations are fully engaged during this summer playtime. However, a couple of weeks before school starts, it is a good idea to reintroduce reading. Make a trip to a local library or bookstore and pick out one or two books. Set some time aside in the mornings to read after breakfast has been eaten and beds have been made. Alternatively, set a reading hour for the entire family in the evening rather than watching TV. Play some math games, card games, or word games just to get the minds back to thinking. Get out the pencils and crayons for some drawing journal time. Providing kids with some time to sit still for a bit will help prepare them for their return to the classroom, where sitting and completing work in a designated timeframe will be expected of them.
3. Set some goals.
Just like adults like to set goals for themselves, kids do too. Have a conversation about their thoughts on the coming school year. What are they excited about? What are they nervous about? Remind them through prompts about what they are good at—this will help give them confidence for the new school year. Also, discuss things that will help calm their start-of-school nerves, like drop off and pick up timings or a menu of lunches for the week that they help to make. When an individual—old or young, attempts the start of any initiative with some goals in mind, success usually follows.
4. Bring the kids school shopping.
Each mum gets a set list of what is required for her child’s school year. True, some things on that list aren’t so exciting to buy, but let your child help you shop for the not-so-boring items. Pencils and paper are pretty generic, but lunch boxes and notebooks offer a child the chance to personalise their school supplies. Once all the supplies are purchased, make sure to take a moment to initialise each item with your child’s name. Also, if they have a favorite type of short, underwear, or sock, buy a second set for the second half of the year. After the first semester, many of clothing items will be done for with stains and wear, so buying two sets of favourite items and storing it away will make the new term in January that much easier. (Ed – don’t forget to check out our Ultimate Back To School Guide for ideas on where to buy school supplies!)
5. Have some serious fun before summer ends!
The summer will have been a blast, and many kids are actually very excited by the time the new school year starts. Set some fun traditions to cap off the summer: celebrate with a family date night or go to the beach one last time before the first day of school. I know one family who for every first day of school served ice-cream instead of a regular breakfast. Summer may be ending, but end it with fun! It doesn’t have to be sad. The new school year brings new beginnings that are worth celebrating. (Ed – check out 7 fun family field trips to take before school starts!)