It’s hard to believe it’s that time of year again. The summer solstice is long past, and the days are starting to get shorter again. Vacations have funneled into sweet memories, and, parents and children alike are starting to anticipate the challenges of the next school year. Many websites, like this one provide helpful back-to-school checklists to help you remember things like buying backpacks, school supplies, and that iconic first-day-of-school outfit.
But getting ready for school isn’t only about buying necessities. It’s also about preparing mentally and physically for the structured days ahead. Many parents become more lenient about things like bedtime, and maybe even screen-time in the summer. That’s natural and even encouraged, if we want to allow ourselves a chance to connect with the season’s free-spirited nature. However, now is the time to get back to business.
So, here are some ideas for getting your ducks back in a row!
We find that this is best done on a gradual basis. There is no reason to force your child into trying to sleep two hours earlier than she is used to. Just try moving it up by 15 minute increments, and you will be there before you know it. If you are having trouble with bedtime, in general, check here for some great advice on how to include your child in the process, in order to make the whole event more palatable.
Brush Up On Academic Skills
In the summer, our children’s brains are more focused on wildflowers and swimming than reading and writing, so now is the time to re-introduce some of those skills. Flashkids Summer Study has a wonderful series of books designed to help kids stay in the know while on vacation. In addition, Family Education has exercises and skill-building activities based on age. This is especially important for kids with learning differences or autism spectrum disorders, a gentle reacclimation will help school feel more natural, and less aversive.
Decrease Screen Time
If you have loosened the reigns on how much screen time is allowed, this is a good time to tighten them again. Several sources have found an inverse relationship between screen time and proper rest, and there is nothing more important to your child’s success at school than a good night’s sleep.
Eat Regular Meals
Second only to sleep, nutrition also plays a huge role in how well your child will do at school. Hungry kids are irritable kids, and irritation doesn’t play well with learning. Make sure that your loved ones eat regular meals and snacks that include protein. This will help keep their blood sugar stable and their moods on point.
Most of all, remember that just because you are re-introducing structure into your routine, doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy these final summer days. Try to maintain some kind of balance between getting ready for the next school year, and savoring those last few picnics. Summer only comes around once a year, so be sure to make the most of it!
If you would like more information on how to get you, or your children, school-ready contact us. We are here to help!