September is always a hectic month, but with the return of in-classroom learning this year, the adjustment process takes on a whole new meaning—for both kids and parents. While you may be a little rusty in the ‘getting everyone out the door’ department, here are a few helpful tips for getting back into the swing of things.
Return to a routine
Daily life has looked different for awhile now, and we’ve all gotten used to a different schedule. Re-establishing school day routines can help both kids and parents get organized, stay on track, and be on time.
- Prep meals in advance. Don’t get slowed down by scrambling to make lunches in the morning or cooking a time-consuming healthy breakfast. Packing lunches the night before saves precious before-school time, and quick to-go breakfasts like smoothie packs and overnight oats can streamline mornings.
- Communicate schedules. Between school and extracurriculars starting up again, things can move pretty quickly. Find a system for keeping track of everyone’s whereabouts that works for your family, whether it’s a whiteboard on the fridge or a digital shared calendar.
- Set (and stick to) bedtimes. It was easier to be lenient with bedtime when kids were logging into the classroom from the kitchen table, but establishing a consistent morning routine depends on getting a good night’s sleep—and that goes for parents, too.
- Limit screen time. Easing back into established bedtimes goes hand-in-hand with evening screen time, as the blue light from devices like tablets and phones can affect sleep schedules.
Encourage physical health
Between remembering their masks and practicing effective hand-washing, kids have more on their plates than just learning in the classroom. Make sure they’re prepared and comfortable with how to stay safe at school, and as a parent, be vigilant about symptoms and when kids should stay home.
Focus on mental health too
It’s natural that kids may feel more nervous or anxious about returning to school this year. Give them opportunities to express how they’re feeling, and try these Toronto District School Board resources for preparing for back to school to help cope with the transition.
Give them time to adjust
The pandemic has been a tumultuous time for everyone, and even if kids seem resilient, the change in schedule, socializing, and in-classroom learning may be overwhelming at first. Make sure to check in, and give them time to re-adjust to the ‘now’ normal.
Do you have any tips for preparing for back-to-school?