Back to School: How to Get the Kids Back in the Groove
Back to School

Back to School: How to Get the Kids Back in the Groove

by Martha Scully

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Parents, the kids are headed back to school! While summer is full of fun days, and family time, it’s also great for the kids to get back into the routine of being in school. It’s pretty nice for the parents, too!

As the new school year begins, you may be wondering how best to get your kids back into the groove of school after being off all summer. There are a few things that you can focus on, or do, which will help to make the transition back to school easier on everyone.

Buying Supplies

One of the best ways to make sure that your kids can seamlessly transition back into school is to ensure that they have all the tools they need for success. Most schools will provide you with a list of supplies by grade that your child will need for each school year. Try to have as many of these supplies as you can for the start of the school year. Not only will this mean that your child is prepared, but it will also save you from having to run out to find a protractor on a Wednesday night in January!

Getting into a Routine

Kids thrive on routine, and the beginning of a new school year is a perfect time to start incorporating one. Regardless of your child’s age, you can still set up even a loose routine so they know what to expect every day.

For example, let’s talk about when they get home from school. Most kids will have a snack, take some time to decompress, and then start their homework. Getting homework done right away is a good way to ensure they have time for family time later on in the evening. If your kids aren’t old enough yet for homework, this time can be spent doing chores, or even engaging in activities like arts and crafts.

An example of a school day routine could look something like this

7AM: Wake up

7:05AM: Breakfast

7:30AM: Get dressed, brush teeth

7:50AM: School bus

8:30AM-3:30PM School, bus home

3:30PM: Snack

3:45PM-4:45PM: Homework

4:45PM: Chores

5:00-6:00PM: Playing outside/time with friends or siblings

6:00PM: Dinner

6:30PM: Help make lunch for school, pack bag for the next day

7:00PM: Bedtime

Establishing a strong routine will not only make sure that your child’s days are structured, and they know what to expect next, but it will also help you to make sure that everything is getting done.

Working on Sleep

In order for your kids to get the most of out of every day at school, it is important that they are getting enough sleep. Depending on how old your child is, the amount of sleep they will need every night will vary. Take some time to familiarize yourself with the sleep needs of your child based on their age.

Create a bedtime routine so your child is in bed at the right time every night, and try to ensure you are sticking to that bedtime as closely as you can even on weekends or vacations.

Finally, if your child is still getting a nap at school, find out what time it is at so that you can mimic that routine when they are at home.

Make Sure Your House is Ready

While it’s important to make sure that your kids have time set aside to complete their homework, it is equally important that they have a space in which to do it. While it may seem easy to set them down at the kitchen table in the middle of everything, that can prove distracting for many children. Instead, set up a quiet spot for your child where they can do their homework without distraction.

When setting up this space, take the time to ensure it has the supplies your child will need, so time isn’t spent roaming the house for a pencil. Depending on your child’s age, it may also be a good idea to buy doubles of any school supplies they will need, such as geometry kits, or calculators. This will mean your child doesn’t have to transport those materials to and from school every day.

If you are giving your child a computer to use in their homework space, you may want to set up parental controls, or even consider blocking social media sites in order to minimize distractions for your child.

Attend Back to School Night

Getting to know your child’s teacher is an important part of their education. Making sure that you understand the expectations of your child this year at school will ensure that you can help them to navigate the year.

If your child’s school has a back to school, or meet the teacher night, it is a good idea to attend. Think ahead of any questions you may have about the year in general. If you anticipate that your child may have any issues that may require special attention from the teacher, it is probably best to set up a one-on-one meeting with their teacher to discuss that.

Stick to It!

After a summer of late nights, carefree days, and vacations, it can be difficult for you and your kids to get back into the groove of school. It may take you and your kids some time to get there, and that’s to be expected. Back to school is an exciting time, so embrace your new routines, and enjoy the ride, as June will be here before you know it!


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About the Author
Martha Scully
Martha is the founder of CanadianNanny.ca. Martha has been featured as a Child Care Expert in hundreds of publications across Canada including The Globe and Mail, CBC, Today's Parent and The National Post, She lives in British Columbia with her husband and two daughters.