It’s that time of year: time to break out the lunchboxes, backpacks, and new notebooks. It’s time to say good-bye to the relaxed routines of summer, and enter the schedules and activities of Fall. Follow these tips to start the school year off on the right foot.
Get into a routine
After summer days with little structure, it can be helpful to use the few nights before school starts to get your child back into a routine.
- Start your child’s bedtime routine earlier each night leading up to the start of the year.
- Make sure your child is getting enough sleep each night:
- Children ages 1-3 should be getting 12-14 hours each night
- Children ages 3-5 should be getting 11-13 hours each night
- Children ages 5-12 should be getting 10-11 hours each night
- Wake your child up at the same time each morning, even on the weekends
Make the morning a breeze
Being prepared can make the difference between a chaotic, frazzled morning and a calm school send-off. Here are some tips to consider when planning for the school morning:
- Prepare as much as you can the night before:
- Lay out school outfits
- Pack snacks/lunches
- Pack backpacks
- Set an alarm clock to give everyone plenty of time to get ready in the morning
- Set up a visual schedule and post it in a clear area so everyone knows the expectations for the morning
Handle drop-off like a pro!
Drop-offs during the first few weeks of school can feel challenging for everyone. Here are some ways to make the morning transition as easy as possible:
- Role Play- on the days leading up to the first day, role play what morning drop-off will look like. Give your child a chance to practice and ask questions about what drop-off will look like, and when you’ll be picking up.
- Be confident! Kids tend to take their cues from their parents, so the more confident you are, the more confident your child will be.
- Create a good-bye ritual- Create a handshake, or secret word between you and your child to use at drop-off. This helps connect both of you before transitioning away.
- Use your teachers for guidance- if your child is feeling nervous about drop-off, tell the teacher beforehand so they can work with you to make the transition as seamless as possible.