As August wraps up, summer is officially coming to an end. For your kids, this means less time for adventures and more time being dedicated to their education. As the time for them to head back to school gets closer and closer, as their parent, you want to do everything you can to help make the transition back as smooth as possible.
Some parents might ask what they can do, especially if they have a particularly rebellious child. This is where it is important to set up a school year routine for your kids to follow, no matter what their age is or what grade they are entering.
Here, we have compiled some tips for you to help your kids find a routine for the school year that works for both of you!
Tip #1: MAKE THE FIRST DAY A BIG DEAL
The first day of school is a huge moment in any child’s life. Whether they’re starting kindergarten, seventh grade, or are entering their senior year, each beginning is a new milestone for them.
Think back to when you were their age and starting a new school year. The excitement over seeing your friends after a long summer, the nerves over having a new teacher or being in a class with no one you know. It was a big deal to you, and it is to your kids too!
To help ease some of the anxiety, whether it’s good, bad, or a mix of both, come up with special ways to make their first day memorable from the start. While older kids may grumble over you being an enthusiastic parent, they will ultimately be thankful for the memories you’re giving them.
Tip #2: TALK TO THEM
Make it part of your daily routine to check in with your kids. Whether it’s conversation around your dinner table or making a special time before bed to have a one-on-one chat, it is important that your kids know you are interested in how they’re doing on a daily basis.
To avoid the cliché response of “good” when asking how their day was, try reframing your questions to get more specific answers. Ask them what they learned that was new today, or what class they are most excited about and why. Then build from there to show that you are genuinely interested in what they are saying.
Inquisitive questions will get you more detailed answers. Plus, it shows your kids that you genuinely care about what is happening in their lives, both at school and at home. This will only make them more willing to open up to you and confide in you in the future and if they have a problem.
Tip #3: CREATE A SCHEDULE
Having your kids adhere to a daily schedule will help to make their routine more solid and easier to follow for the entirety of the school year. This starts with what time they wake up in the morning. Make sure you are waking them up, or they are setting their alarm with enough time to get ready and have breakfast.
Next, encourage your kids to do their homework shortly after they get home from school. This way, the material is still fresh in their minds, and you aren’t encouraging a habit of procrastination.
Last, but definitely not least, set up a bedtime. Sleep is a huge key to productivity and success, so you want to ensure your kids are getting their recommended full night’s worth. Give them the tools they need by ensuring all screens are off, they’re comfortable with noise and light levels, and even making sure they have a supportive mattress to make them comfortable.
Once your kids are a little more self-sufficient, meaning they get themselves ready in the morning and before bed, and they can be relied on to follow their schedule, talk to them to create something that works for both of you. This way, they’ll be more likely to adhere to a schedule and not break it.
Tip #4: WORK WITH THEM
Just as it is essential to have conversations and check in on your kids daily, it’s equally significant to serve as a resource to them, especially when it comes to homework questions and study habits.
Talk to your child and see what their ideal work environment is, and remember that this will vary from person to person. Just because one of your kids can work at the kitchen table, doesn’t mean that will work for your other kids who may need someplace more quiet. Then you can help them set up an area to use daily for their homework and studying. This is only one of the ways you can help your kids develop good study habits.
You also want to make sure that you, or another person, are available to help them with their homework as needed. If they seem to be struggling without improvement, consult with their teacher on what else you can do and maybe consider a tutor.
Tip #5: HAVE SET RULES
Establishing rules for weeknights, no matter your child’s age, is another key to having a school routine and keep them accountable. Beyond having a schedule set for waking up, bedtime and homework, there are some other limits you can and should set.
Limiting your kids’ amount of screen time is one example. Not allowing them to play video games on school nights and only letting them watch a couple hours of television will enable them to get involved in other areas of life.
Encourage them to spend a certain amount of time per day reading for fun, practicing a sport or working on another interest or hobby. These rules will encourage them to explore their interests and make them more well-rounded individuals.
Tip #6: CELEBRATE SUCCESSES
When your child achieves an accomplishment or does well on a test or project they were worried about, do something special to show how proud you are of them for their hard work. Whether you are displaying it on the fridge, posting about it on your social media, or taking them out for a treat, it’s so important to make them feel important and special.
Celebrating your child’s success, regardless of whether they are big or small, reminds them that you are always supporting them and there to lift them up.
Getting back into a school year routine after a summer of fun and relaxation doesn’t have to be difficult for you or your kids. While there are plenty of ways you can help your children when it comes to school, it’s always important to show that you’re there for them through the good and hard times. These are just a few of the ways you can be there and help your kids’ school year get off to a great start!