As a former 1st grade teacher, this time of year when summer is winding down still gives me the new school year butterflies, even as I am at home with our one-year-old daughter now. As the weather cools off, and the dollar section at Target fills up with back-to-school goodies, the anticipation of a new school year builds, and getting back into a routine is at the forefront of your mommy brain. I love summertime, especially in Minnesota, the summers here are hard to beat, but when I was teaching I was always ready to get back into the school groove by the end of August. Getting back into the swing of things can be tricky though! I remember getting home from the school day during those first several weeks of school and would be so exhausted. So, I compiled a list of five ways to encourage you and help with your transition into the new school year this fall, even if you have little ones who aren’t in school quite yet.
Start Good Bedtime Habits Early
As a teacher this was always something that helped me get back into a good routine before the first week of school arrived. During the last week of summer, practice going to bed at a more consistent time that is close to or at the time you want your children sleeping during the school year. That way when the first week of school rolls around, your kids aren’t trying to adjust to a new bedtime routine on top of all the other things they’re trying to adjust to at school.
…And While You’re At It Start Good Wakeup Habits Early, Too!
Another great way to get yourself and your kiddos back into the routine of a new year is to practice setting good wake up habits too! If you’re like me, then maaaybe you tend to hit the snooze button? Twice? So, finding a good wake up time that works for you and your child and doesn’t require the snooze button, but also gives you enough time to get through your morning routine before heading out the door is a great way to prepare before the first week of school arrives.
Along with setting good wakeup habits, one way you can prepare your children for the new school year is to have plans to be out the door around same time you will have to be out the door everyday to get to school. It doesn’t have to be every day of course, but during those last few weeks of summer, plan a park date or early trip to the library or breakfast date at the coffee shop during this last week of summer. This will help you game plan and troubleshoot your morning routine, as well as, prepare your children for what they will be expected to have accomplished prior to getting out the door in the morning. When you and your children know what your general morning routine should look like, this will alleviate stress on everyone during that first week of school!
Do A Little Reading (in the mornings!!)
As a teacher, I could definitely tell which students had read (even a little!) over the summer versus students who hadn’t worked on too much throughout the summer. Maybe you’ve been adding some light reading and math throughout your summer, maybe you haven’t (no judgement here!), but during those last few weeks of summer, even adding 10-20 minutes of reading every morning will help your child prepare mentally for the school year. It’s not too late to start! Ideally, core subjects like math and reading are done in the morning when children are most engaged and focused, so working this into your after breakfast routine in the morning before your day gets going can definitely prepare your child for the structure, attentiveness, and focus that the first week of school will require of your child!
ENJOY This Last Week Of Summer While It Lasts!
Once the school year starts, it is a whirlwind. Throw fall sports into the mix, and you can just about blink and it’ll be Christmas. So along with those other four ways to prepare for the new year, be intentional with your time as a family. Check off those last few summer bucket list items, stay up a little late for a family movie, have a breakfast date all together. Do those things together, before the busy-ness of the school year begins.
These five ways are some of the best that I’ve personally found helpful to transitioning back into the school year. I hope these meet you where you’re at and you find them to be helpful for you and your crew this fall, too.