Helping Your Child Adapt to the Back-to-School Routine

by Hannah Howard October 04, 2023

teacher and schoolboy giving each other high-five

For many kids, there’s nothing more exciting than heading into a new school year. Still, that anticipation doesn’t always mean that they’re ready to tackle their back-to-school routine without a bit of help. It’s typical for kids, especially the younger ones, to need a little help from mom and dad to ease them back into the swing of things so they have the best chance of success from day one. To help, we have many simple tricks to help your child get back into school with as little fuss and drama as possible.

Easy Tricks To Make Waking Up Easier

It can be challenging for some kids to wake up early and get ready by a certain time every day, but you can make it easier by easing them into it. As the date approaches, talk to your kids about returning to school and how exciting it will be to learn new subjects, see old friends, and make new ones. Also, advise that you’ll be preparing them by starting new routines.

On the days right before school, start a routine of laying out their clothes each night and loading up their backpack so they go to sleep with the expectation that they’ll be waking up for school. 

You can make these preschool and regular school routines easier by setting up a visual schedule in their room. This illustrative schedule will tell the kids what needs to be done and when. You’ll include pictures of what is expected at each task, be it sitting at the table for breakfast or being outside waiting for the bus. When your kids can visualize what they’ll be doing, it will make it much easier for them to get into the routine.

Prioritize Self-Care

It’s also important that you factor your child’s self-care into their back-to-school routine. Get them used to waking up at a certain time every morning so they can brush their teeth, shower, and take any necessary medications before running out of the house. 

Part of that routine also include skincare. This should include washing their faces with a gentle cleanser and using sunscreen. For one, this routine helps protect kids from UV rays that may damage their skin and even lead to skin cancer.

A good skincare routine will also teach your kids about mindfulness and keeping them anchored. Every morning they can sink into the meditative practice of splashing water on their face and examine their shining smiles everyday. They can also use this time to speak positive affirmations, which may improve their self-confidence with time.

Good sleep is an essential building block of proper self-care, and it’s essential for children who need to wake up and pay attention in school all day. The key to good sleep is to put your kids to bed and wake them up at the same time every day so they can regulate their circadian rhythm. With a more regulated circadian rhythm, they’ll wake up feeling rested and refreshed. A healthy sleep schedule will also help their physical and cognitive development.  

  • Preschoolers under age five require 10-13 hours of sleep.
  • School-age children under 12 need 9-12 hours of sleep.
  • Teenagers need 8-10 hours of sleep.

If your kids are having trouble falling asleep, limit their screen time before bedtime. Also, give them sleeping exercises, like counting their breaths or describing guided imagery of a nature walk you once took, and the details could lure them to sleep.

Help Them Get Their Studying Habits Back On Track

To help them get on the ground running, talk to your kids about homework and set expectations for when they’re work should be completed each day. Once the school year starts, look at their homework and try to help without giving them the answers, and when they’re getting frustrated, give them a break or try a different subject.

You can get your kids more excited about studying and homework by providing or building their own personal study nook. Make a space in their bedroom, the kitchen, or a study in your house, and let the children decorate it with pictures and colors they like. Just make sure the area is decluttered and free of distractions.

Reconnect Them With Friends

If your kids haven’t seen many of their classmates over the summer, find a way to help them reconnect before the school year so they can get used to seeing those familiar faces. You can do that by putting the kids in a summer camp or setting up playdates in the weeks leading up to the school year.

Another way to help the kids get reacquainted on the way to school is to start a carpool group with other parents and take turns bringing the kids to class. Carpooling offers many benefits — cutting down the number of vehicles on the road and reducing pollution is great for the planet. It also helps to save money since everyone has to buy less gas, and there’s less wear and tear on your car. Of course, this is also a chance to give the kids some time to talk about class and their lives and break the ice before the school bell rings.

Using these tips and easing your kids into a back-to-school routine will help them be more comfortable and open when it comes time to learn in class.

Hannah Howard


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