Back to school time can get crazy after kids had an entire summer off to do whatever they want without having to worry about getting up and doing homework. Add in the COVID-19 pandemic which left many kids home for months remote learning, and this school year brings with it a new set of challenges.
As parents try to prepare their children for what lies ahead this school year, there are things they can do to make life easier for everyone.
Here are a few tips to get the new school year off on the right foot.
Get Kids Used to Getting Up Early
One of the biggest hurdles that come with the start of a school year is getting up on time for school. Some parents keep bedtimes during the summer months which makes the transition easier. But, if you let your kids stay up late, reversing that trend can be tricky.
If you can start pushing bedtime back by ten minutes every night, you can gradually get your children used to when they’re supposed to be going to bed again. It may not be easy, but it’s better than making a drastic change of a few hours all at once. Hopefully, as they start going to bed earlier, they’ll also start getting up earlier.
Set Schedules with Caretakers and Co-Parents
If you’re divorced, it’s important to get your ex in on a discussion to set up a schedule about childcare. Who is going to be taking care of your kids after school and who is responsible for that cost? These are things that need to be talked about and not assumed.
Many times visitation schedules can also change during the school year. You want to make sure that everyone is following guidelines that have been set by the court and are on the same page. This is another situation where you don’t want to just assume that everyone knows how things are going to go. Hopefully, you and your ex can work things out without having to get a third party in to help.
While you’re discussing schedules, you’ll also want to talk about activities and sports. Who is going to be responsible for making sure the children get to where they need to be? This is another area where it’s helpful if both parents can be on the same page to make things easier for everyone involved.
Get Organized & Help Your Kids Get Organized
If you have more than one child and they’re at different schools with different schedules, you need to get organized. Many parents use their phones to put all of their children’s information. But, it’s also a good idea to have this stored somewhere else. You never know when technology will want to take a nap.
Getting a dry-erase board at home that everyone can see can help with the organization process. Keep the board in a general area where everyone in the house frequents. This way, they can see what’s going on and who’s going where.
Encourage your kids to get organized too. They can buy a planner for their activities and projects in order. This will help teach them responsibility and ease some of the pressure on parents.
Set Screen Time Rules
While parents have been lax over the past few months when it comes to screen time when school starts it’s a good idea to rein things in. Parents could set rules on the amount of screen time kids can get and when it can start. One idea is to not allow screen time until all homework is done for the day.
It’s also important not to allow too much screen time before bed. According to the Sleep Foundation, using electronic devices before bed affects your body’s internal clock and makes it harder for people to fall asleep. Keep this in mind as you set screen time rules for back to school.
Stock Up on Snacks
Having a stash of snacks for school and for when your kids get home will make things easier. Buy in bulk if possible so that you always have something on hand and don’t have to run to the store multiple times a week.
These are just a few things that parents can do to make things easier for themselves and their kids. Remember, each school year requires a certain amount of adjustment. Give everyone time to get into a routine and things will fall into place.