Back-to-school is almost upon us, but like many families, mine is not ready. The lazy days have had their way with us, and our summer schedule is all over the map. On the one hand, we’re enjoying the last days of summer any way we can. On the other hand, we need to be washed and dressed and fed and ready to go first thing in the morning just a couple of weeks from now, and that’s going to be a big change in routine. How can I get my kids back on a school schedule in time?
If you can relate to my family’s summer conundrum don’t despair, because VancouverMom.ca is here to help. We surveyed our followers and fans on Twitter and Facebook, by asking: We’re looking for your input! What tips can you offer to help kids get off a summer schedule and on to a school schedule? We got some great suggestions for getting back into a school schedule so that the first day doesn’t come as too much of a shock.
Back-to-School Schedule Tips from Facebook
We had a great discussion on Facebook, full of back-to-school tips. Here’s what people had to say:
Amanda Wray said, “Start a week before school starts.”
Stacelynn Caughlan took a different tack, with, “We never bothered (entering high school this year) – the first week back is often very laid back at school so we just enjoy summer vacation up until the very last minute. Most kids will adjust pretty quickly to the routine. I’d only bother preparing ahead if I had a child that didn’t adjust to change easily.”
Kerry Sauriol said, “Start them into the regular hours of up and asleep. Remember to feed them at regular sort of school hours too.” And then she added, “We have not started this yet. They are still in their PJs at 5pm.” I can relate!
Angel Kisses offered a contribution, saying, “I think 2 weeks of going to bed on time and the second week wake up early…”
Pamela Findling has managed to avoid the problem altogether. She said, “Yeah, we just keep the same schedule year-round, even in the summer. My 6-year-old does so much better when we keep his bedtime the same and we’re all happier for it. On the rare occasion when he stays up late (weddings, special events), we usually have a very grumpy, hyper boy for a couple of days after.” She may be on to something!
And finally, Rockababy offered some detailed suggestions, saying, “I tell my clients that consistency is key. Pamela I agree, most children do best when kept to the same routine. Summertime is however more difficult for this so, I say start creating a healthy night routine that is calm and relaxed, and make this the new norm every night! Over a week to 10 days put the bedtime back slowly 10-20 mins each night. This should help make the transition smoother, and create less resistance.”
Twitter on Re-Establishing a School Schedule
We got some great tips on Twitter, too. Here’s what our followers had to say:
Sharon Perry, whose Twitter handle is @sjPerryCA, said, “‘Cold turkey’ is my motto – just jump in and get started with everything…they sleep better when exhausted.”
Sue Dickie of @wearthosedeals said, “Start putting them to bed earlier every few days and waking up earlier.”
Danielle Christopher, a.k.a. @just_d_world, suggested, “Start [your] bedtime routine for fall now.”
Finally, Jen and Jodi of @jenandjodi said, “Start shifting bedtime earlier and waking up earlier a week before [the school] start date.” She also suggested doing a wee bit of writing, math and reading each day to prepare academically.
Your Tips for Getting off the Summer Schedule
You’ve heard from our followers and fans, but I for one think we can always use more tips, so I’d like to turn the question back on you now. Do you do anything special to get back into a school schedule before class starts, or do you let the summer schedule last until Labour Day? Share your thoughts and tips in our comments section.
Image Credit – Anne Fitten Glenn on Flickr.
Amber Strocel is a writer, aspiring math teacher, suburbanite, wife and mom of two. She believes in the power of the Internet to connect people, and she believes that numbers are the poetry of the universe. You can often find her knitting, sewing, volunteering, working in her garden, and sneaking chocolate when no one's looking. She blogs at Strocel.com and shares her photos on Instagram as @AmberStrocel.