Tuesday, August 3, 2010

How to Get your Kids Ready for Back-to-School

 If you're like most moms I know, you probably let your kids sleep in every day until they woke up.  While this is good for the summer, it's horrible to get them on a schedule for back to school.  Not to mention, that by the end of summer, both you and kids are usually ready to go back to school.  So, how exactly do you get the kiddos ready to abandon those lazy days of summer?  Well, let's look at several different things you can do:

  1. First, you need to start getting kiddo back on a sleeping schedule.  The night before back to school IS NOT the best time to start this schedule!  I started about a month before school started.The reason I say this is because, you can't just say to your kid, "OK time to get back on a sleeping schedule you're going to bed at 8:00."  Yeah, that just doesn't work, because the kid has probably slept in late and won't be tired.  The best way is to start with a bedtime 2 hours after "school" bedtime.  That way, as each week progresses, they will be more tired. 
  2. Second, you want to start waking little one up on a schedule.  Along with the going to bed early, comes the getting up early.  Again, start with 2 hours after "school" wake up time.  Yeah, that first week is gonna be really hard, as all of you will want to go to bed after you wake up.  Then, you have the problem that brings us to number 3.
  3. You have to now figure out what to do with kiddo, now that they're up early and crabby from no sleep.   Well, you need to feed them a healthy breakfast and get them used to breakfast again.  Because, if your kids are anything like I was growing up in the summer time, I didn't eat breakfast...I always woke up too late for it.  Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!
  4. Next, (and this is especially true if it's a first time at a new school) you need to start getting kiddo ready to "get ready" for school in the mornings.  That means, no more lounging around in PJ's until noon and showers at 3:00 PM.  Just like a sleep schedule, you need to have a "getting ready" routine. 
  5. Now, this brings me to getting to school.  About a week before school starts, it's always a good idea to pick a route to go to school.  If you drive kiddo to school, map out the route you're gonna take and start making the trip daily so you know what kind of traffic and roads you're dealing with.  It's a bad idea to just say, "I will take this route" and then there's construction on a certain street or road.  Not to mention, the horror that kiddo will feel at being late on the first day of school. 
  6. This one ties in with the getting to school routine.  You should make sure that kiddo knows WHAT they need to take with them every day so that they can get used to carrying it out the door with them.  There's nothing more embarrassing than getting to school only to realize that you forgot your lunch or homework.
  7. Some school districts have a meet and greet before school starts, so that you and little can meet the teacher, etc.  I would definitely go meet the teacher, especially if little doesn't like strangers, like Monster. 
So, here's some big tips for getting you (and little one) ready for back to school.  Do you have any other ideas that I've forgotten?  If so, I would love to hear them!!

I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms blogging program to be eligible to get a HarperCollins book set. For more information on how you can participate, click here.