8 Ways to Nudge Your Child Into a Back-to-School Routine
Tips from an Omaha dentist: how to ease into a back-to-school routine.
Summer fun for your family may have meant letting go of your routines. But now that school bells start ringing soon, it’s time to nudge your child into a back-to-school routine. Check out these helpful tips from an Omaha dentist to help make the transition less stressful for your family.
1. Get them to bed earlier.
It’s normal for parents to get a little lax on what time their kids go to bed during summer. One of the best ways to nudge your child into a going to school routine is to bring back bedtime. Start getting everyone to bed earlier one or two weeks before school officially starts. But don’t enforce the new bedtime right away; instead, back bedtime by 15 to 20 minutes each night to ease your kids into the usual school sleeping time.
2. Wake them up earlier.
When it comes to aligning your child’s sleeping patterns to match their school routine, getting them to bed earlier is only one half of the equation. You also need to wake them up earlier… at least for one or two weeks before school starts. Afterwards, depending on your child’s age, they may be able to wake up and get ready on their own, and if they can’t, get your child an alarm clock. It will help transfer some of the responsibility of waking up on time from you to your little one.
3. Prepare for tomorrow, today.
Back-to-school mornings can be hectic. No matter how early your child wakes up it sometimes feels like there are not enough minutes (hours?) to do everything that needs to happen between waking up and getting out the door. Preparing for school the night before may help your mornings go more smoothly. Create a checklist of the things that normally happen before you head out for school every day. Identify what your child can do the previous night, such as putting their books in their backpacks, picking out an outfit, and doing all their homework, and make it a part of their usual before-bed routine.
4. Do a practice run.
Diving into a school routine straight out of the laidback days of summer can be stressful for the whole family. Doing a practice run of a typical school day may help everyone ease into a going to school mindset. Wake up at the same time you would on a school day, have your kids get ready, and even practice walking them to the bus stop. You can also go a step further and actually visit the school with your child. Your child will feel less anxious on their first official school day back.
5. Get them back to studying.
Summer break can sometimes hit a “pause” button on math, writing, and reading skills for your child. Set aside time at least two weeks before school starts where you and your child go over the topics covered in the previous year. You can even use a game-based educational tool—no one said studying has to be boring. Plus, academic games can help your child remember the skills they gained faster, and nudge them back into the habit of studying sooner.
6. Pick out school supplies together.
Kids love new things and getting school supplies is no exception. The first day of school (or the first week) is when kids spend time showing off their new pencils with a fluffy top or the glitzy backpack you bought them—really anything that shows off their personality. Picking out school supplies together and giving your child the autonomy to choose the type of writing pads they want or even the pens they’ll use in school will not only make learning a little more fun but also help make going to school seem more real.
7. Put school necessities in one place.
School supplies, backpacks, baseball uniforms, lunch bags… The list of things everyone needs to have for school can feel almost endless. One way to reduce the amount of time spent scrambling in the morning looking for this and that is to put all school necessities in one place. This can be a section of your couch, one corner of the kitchen, or right behind the front door. The whole family will have a visual of the things they’re taking to school. Many parents are often surprised by how much this mental picture can help nudge you to remember other things you may need that day.
8. Get a back-to-school dental checkup.
Adjusting your child’s bedtime routine, getting them back to studying, and picking out school supplies can take a bit of time. Don’t forget to also prepare those beautiful smiles for the new school year too. Schedule a dental checkup with our Omaha office so our dentist can check on your child’s tooth development. Even if your child’s teeth seem otherwise healthy, regular professional tooth cleaning helps remove plaque build up, reducing the risk of tooth decay and cavities.
Getting into a back-to-school routine is an adjustment for everyone, but with a few of these tips, you and your family will be ready for the new school year!