Most students are more than happy to take advantage of the slow pace of summer. From sleeping in and staying up late, to spending days inside on the Internet or gaming, the day-to-day pace of summer vacation is vastly different from the school year.
With the start of school just around the corner, it’s important to help students ease back into their routine. Slowly adjusting their schedule can help them prepare for the back to school hustle – and avoid a major shock to their systems on the first day of school.
- Gradually adjust sleep schedules. If your child is used to sleeping in well past 10 during the summer, getting up at 6 am on the first day of school will be a rude awakening. Start adjusting sleep and wake times several weeks in advance to gently transition from a summer to school schedule.
- Reset the schedule at home. In addition to adjusting your child’s sleep schedule, try to mimic the schedule for the school year in the weeks leading up to the first day. Start eating breakfast, snacks, and lunch around the same time as at school. Likewise, getting up, dressed, and out of the house first thing in the morning before school starts can help minimize morning hang ups.
- Nurture independence. Students are expected to manage their own time and materials in the classroom; nurture independence at home by having your child take on more responsibility before school starts. Older children and teens can help budget or shop for their own school supplie, and plan lunches and meals. Younger children can greatly benefit from skills such as tying shoes or writing their own name.
- Practice the first day in advance. A “dry run” before the actual first day of school can help alleviate anxiety and make the real first day go smoothly; this can be particularly helpful for young children starting kindergarten or any child starting at a new school. Practice the entire morning routine the exact same as it will be on the real first day of school. Wake up, get dressed, eat breakfast, gather supplies, and head out the door. Walking or driving the route they will take to school can also help kids feel more comfortable when the real first day arrives.