Summer is winding down, which means it's time to prepare your kids for the new school year that's just around the corner. Students and parents alike enjoy the freedom of summertime, so getting back into a routine in time for school (minus the stress and temper tantrums) means starting on new habits sooner than you think.
Read on for our expert-approved tips for creating the best first-day ever.
Get back on SST (School year Standard Time) 😉
We all know the feeling of jet-lag after a long trip to a different time zone...and the adjustment from a lax summer schedule to the structure of school-year wakeups is not much different! Kids have been going to bed and waking up at later times, and a sudden return to early bedtime the night before school starts may create confusion and angst, while a sudden early wake-up might prove nearly impossible. Get your family’s sleep schedule back to normal starting a few weeks before the first day of school, setting up a routine through a sound machine or audio bedtime story. It’ll make that first week back go much more smoothly.
P.S. parents: this is not just for kids! You’ve also gotten used to later nights, longer mornings, and generally more leisurely sleep schedules. Easing back into earlier bedtimes and wake-ups will help moms and dads adjust too—and avoid those dreaded zombie mornings.
Get your gear in order
Let’s face it: summer is a free-for-all. There’s no doubt that the organization tactics you rely on during the school year fade out in the summer months. But the first morning of school is not the time to track down their backpack, lunchbox, or search for folders and pencils. Create a schedule for the last few weeks of summer to knock out school supplies shopping (and if you’re able, buy some extra to contribute to the classroom), and break out or revamp your organization tactics. Whether it’s labeled cubbies, backpack hooks, or simply a system your kid understands (ex: backpacks go in X room, lunchbox goes here), you’ll set the stage for seamless mornings, and avoid those frantic, last-minute searches.
While you’re at it, secure their essentials: take advantage of Tile’s back-to-school sale to keep track of backpack or lunchboxes to help loss-prone younger kids.
Attend allllll the Back to School events. And create your own!
Most schools offer an orientation or “Meet the Teacher” Day in the weeks leading up to the first day. Getting kids familiar with their new classroom and classmates will majorly ease any first-day jitters, so they can wake up feeling excited for what’s to come.
Speaking of new classmates, these last few weeks of summer are the perfect time to set up a playdate with some of your kid’s school buddies. If summer schedules kept them apart (or if they’re in a class with lots of new kids), organize a get-together for them to reconnect, so they feel secure and excited for their new group.
Set tech boundaries (and any other kinds!)
This is a good time to reconnect on your family’s ground rules and boundaries for the year ahead. Chat with kids about what to expect and how these will help them have a great year. What will their screen time limits be? What devices can they use on school nights?
We’re wishing all parents and kiddos a great end of summer, and a smooth transition into the new school year.