How to Get Your Kids in Back to School Mode  -USAA Community.jpg


Summer is coming to an end, which means back to school and back to daily routines. Preparing for a new school year after a relaxed summer can be quite the adjustment not only for kids, but also parents.


Earlier bedtimes, homework and added responsibilities are just some of the adjustments that families will have to get used so that adjusting can be done successfully.


Here are 4 tips that will help your kids get in back to school mode:


Adjust bedtimes 

Because kids tend to go to bed later during the summer months, and bedtime is always one of the hardest things to adjust, get started a week before school starts.


Not getting enough sleep will surely affect your kid’s mood and how they perform throughout the day.

The National Sleep Foundation says that school-age children should be getting the following amount of sleep each night:

  • Ages 3-5: recommended 10 to 13 hours
  • Ages 6-13: recommended 9 to 11 hours
  • Ages 14-17: recommended 8 to 10 hours

Each night have them go to bed a little bit earlier until they are asleep at the time they need to be for the school year. We typically adjust sleep schedules by 30 minutes the first couple days, and then another 30 minutes the last days. By 8-9pm both children are asleep and ready to rise at 7 am the next morning.


Dry-run morning routines

The same week you are adjusting bedtimes is a great time to get kids into the groove of the morning routine. Have them wake-up at regular school time, eat breakfast, and implement any other routine they would need to accomplish before heading off to school. This is also a great way to test out if wake-up times need to be earlier or later based on what needs to get done.


Talk about school year expectations

Get them used to the idea by having open discussions a week or two before school. Let them know exactly what responsibilities you expect of them when it comes to school or house work. When you talk about the routine, it helps kids visualize and eventually remember the structure and why it is needed during the school year. A good visual for kids is a calendar with scheduled times of when tasks need to be completed. This helps smaller kids especially get back into the groove quickly.


Designate homework/study areas

If during the summer your homework/study area became the arts and craft zone, ensure you have this area cleared off and ready to go for the first week of school. Kids should always have a designated area at home that is clean, comfortable and has plenty of lighting. Get kids used to this area once again by placing supplies needed to complete homework, this way they have the structure needed to complete work that is separate from play or sleep areas in the house.


What tips can you share for getting kids in back to school mode? Share with us in the comments below.


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About the blogger: Angela Caban is an Army National Guard spouse, published author and branding expert. In 2010, she founded the Homefront United Network, a military spouse and family support blog created to assist spouses who do not live near an installation, but also focusing on bridging the gap between National Guard, Reserve and Active Duty spouses. She has an extensive background in Human Resources and Communications, with her Bachelor’s in Business Administration and a Master’s in Human Resources. Angela resides in the beautiful Garden State of New Jersey with her husband and two children.