5 ways to get back into a school routine

It’s almost here- Bear starts first grade in one week and my mama heart can hardly take it. Where did the summer go? It’s absolutely flown by and while I’m ready to get back in a routine, I’m going to miss having Bear at home sleeping in till 10am every day. We’ve traveled a lot this summer and that will slow down once school starts. But I also know he’s going to have a big year full of fun and learning, which requires some new back to school items. Boone is also going to start Mother’s Day Out sometime this year (probably closer to age 2) so we went ahead and ordered both boys their their picks from Pottery Barn Kids and it’s safe to say we have 2 happy little boys! Boonester’s not sure what he’s excited about; he’s just happy to be doing the same as big brother :).

photos by Ban Avenue Photography

Bear’s backpack | lunch box | pencil pouch | water bottle
Boone’s backpack | lunch box | water bottle
food storage containers

Since we just got home from vacation, we have some serious adjusting to do before school starts. As I stated above, we’ve been staying up late and sleeping in pretty much every day. Bear has kept up with his Summer Learning Packet his kindergarten teacher gave and he’s been reading, but next week will hit us hard if we don’t go ahead and make some changes now. Growing up with two parents as teachers, summer coming to a close was a big change for all of us. Here are some practices below that should help get back into the swing of things when school starts:

1. Set a sleep schedule. This is a hard one for me, because I am NOT a morning person at all and I’d love to keep staying up late and sleeping in until the last possible day. However, this is not a great choice for Bear since studies show that loss of sleep for kids can negatively impact not only their performance in school, but also their physical and mental health. We’ve set the following sleep schedule up for the next week in order to adjust (we also adjust bedtime a little earlier each night!):
Day 1 – 9:30 am wake-up
Day 2 – 9:00 am wake-up
Day 3 – 8:30 am wake-up
Day 4 – 8:30 am wake-up
Day 5 – 8:00 am wake-up
Day 6 – 7:30 am wake-up
Day 7 – 7:00 am wake-up
2. Plan out lunches ahead of time. Are your kids going to eat in the lunch line everyday? Or do they prefer to pack a lunch? For Bear, it’s the latter, which is why we chose some food storage containers from Pottery Barn Kids. They fit perfectly in the boys’ lunch boxes and are so handy no matter what they I pack. At the beginning of every school year, I hop on Pinterest and try to come up with new ideas for Bear’s lunch. I always try and incorporate:
Fruit and veggie
Drink (water or Capri Sun for special occasions)
Small dessert
Whatever else rounds out the meal
3. Order/buy school supplies. We had the option to order a pack of school supplies online which was waaaaay easier than last year when we went to 5 different stores trying to find everything on the list. If your school offers this, definitely take advantage! Either way, this is a must-do but also lets your child know that it’s time to pick back up on school work again soon. Ordering backpacks and lunch boxes tends to be way more fun; Bear loves picking his out every year and PBK always has the best quality/cutest designs.
4. Get organized. Set up a work space for your child to do their homework. If you have a designated area and start making a habit of your child doing their homework there, they’re more likely to thrive with work at home. For us, this is the bar in the kitchen because Bear likes to do school work while I cook or do dishes.
I also have a basket for all of his important papers that need attention (letters from the teacher, PTO flyers, etc.), and another container for all of his school work we keep. It’s hard to limit this because I want to keep everything he brings home, but staying organized with it from the start helps to weed out papers later.
5. Encourage your child. No-one is super excited about the school year starting (well, I actually always was but more to see my friends than anything) and most kids need some encouragement. All kids (and adults!) have a hard time getting back in the routine of school and letting your child know they’re not alone in this experience makes he or she feel like they’re being heard and understood. This is so important when they’re starting a new school year with a new teacher and so many new classmates. Amongst all that new, it’s our job as parents to make our children feel safe and supported.

How do you feel about school starting soon? Are you hanging onto the last days of summer or ready for routine?
xo, Britt