Summer is a sign of freedom for kids and when August rolls around, they tend to dread the structure and early wake-up times of the upcoming school year. Parents with older children know that there are a few tricks you can use to make the process easier for the whole family. We’ve rounded up 5 tips to create a foolproof back-to-school routine!
Morning & Bedtime Routines
Automated Window Treatments
Transitioning from no alarm to a 6 AM wake-up call can be difficult for kids, especially teens! Going to bed at a reasonable time to get the necessary 8-10 hours of sleep is extremely important for a child’s development and mood. To adjust to the new schedule before school actually starts, try to get the whole family active in the evening with a dog walk or trip to the playground and then encourage baths and reading to further wind down. For the teenagers, make it a habit to put screens away about an hour before bed. In the morning, a family breakfast might help everyone get up and out of bed earlier than they usually would on a typical summer day.
We often have parents visit our showroom in search of window treatments for their bedroom to block out light for a better night’s sleep. It’s during this time that we’re able to educate them on how powerful automated window treatments can be for both improving sleep and creating a back-to-school routine as well! With Hunter Douglas PowerView Motorization, you can set your window treatments to adhere to a very specific schedule. They can close with sundown to increase privacy, helping your eyes adjust for bedtime and raise at the first sign of light to bring you out of deep sleep to wake-up naturally.
Pick Out Outfits the Night Before
The closing of your window treatments can cue the kids to start getting ready for bed. Having a bedtime routine that includes morning preparation is extremely impactful. Preparing lunches and picking out outfits are two activities best done the night before so that your little ones can wake-up calmly with everything laid out and ready to go! The fewer decisions they have to make in the morning, the better.
Central Spot for Backpacks
Designate a place near the front door for all backpacks and school supplies to live to prevent the last-minute morning scramble. You may have to spend the first few weeks reminding them of where things go when they come through the door, but it’s a habit worth forming!
This space should also include a whiteboard or calendar of sorts to keep track of bus numbers, pick-up and drop-off times, sports schedules, and anything else that is constantly changing!
Meal Plan and Prep for the Week
While the whole family looks forward to the weekend to be out of the office or classroom and free from structure, there are a few things you can all do to make Mondays easier. Spend a few hours grocery shopping and planning out meals for the upcoming week. Use this as an opportunity to get the whole family involved to contribute ideas and try new foods!
If possible, cook meats and chop vegetables in bulk so that you can easily pull what you need from the fridge and simply reheat. If you’re unable to meal prep days in advance, just knowing what the dinner plan is each night can reduce stress.
While it’s natural for everyone to stay-up and sleep-in later on the weekends, try to make sure it’s not excessive. Kids have an easier time going to sleep when they think everyone else is too and let’s face it, a few extra hours won’t hurt you either! Remember, you can always program your shades to raise and lower a little later on the weekends.
We hope these tips help you create a back-to-school routine that makes returning to school easier for the whole family! We’d love to hear any other tips you’ve learned over the years.