Smooth Sailing: Navigating the Return to School Routine

If you have had the privilege of watching the viral TikTok created by mom, Nicole Jackson, sharing ‘What We Not Gonna Do” as they prepare for the new school year, you were able to have a good laugh and relate to her experience.  Titled “Cuz This Ain’t That. Back to School Addition”, Nicole reviews her PowerPoint for how the transition into the new school year will occur. Click here to view. While we appreciate her hilarious post, this time of year is often not a joke for many families.  It can be a challenging adjustment for both kids and parents. But fear not, because with a little planning and patience, you can make the return to school routine a smooth and stress-free experience for your family. In this blog post, we’ll explore some strategies and tips to help you get back into the swing of things and set your child up for a successful school year.

1. Start Early:

The key to a successful transition is to start early. About two weeks before school starts, gradually shift your child’s bedtime and wake-up time closer to their school schedule. This will help reset their internal clock and make those early morning wake-ups a bit more bearable.

2. Create a Visual Schedule:

Visual schedules are a great tool to help children understand and prepare for their daily routines. Use a whiteboard, poster, or even a smartphone app to create a visual schedule that includes morning routines, school hours, and after-school activities. Include pictures or icons for younger children to make it even more engaging.

3. Set Up a Homework Station:

Designate a specific area in your home as the homework station. Make sure it’s well-lit, organized, and free from distractions. Stock it with school supplies, such as pens, pencils, notebooks, and a calculator. Having a dedicated space for homework can help your child focus and stay on track.

4. Plan Healthy Meals:

A nutritious breakfast and lunch can make a world of difference in your child’s energy levels and concentration throughout the day. Plan meals together as a family and involve your child in selecting healthy options. Preparing lunches the night before can save precious time in the morning rush.

5. Practice the Morning Routine:

A dry run of the morning routine a few days before school starts can help identify any potential issues and iron out the wrinkles. Practice waking up, getting dressed, having breakfast, and leaving for school as if it were a school day. This can help reduce first-day jitters and ensure a smoother morning.

6. Discuss Goals and Expectations:

Sit down with your child and discuss their goals and expectations for the upcoming school year. Encourage them to set realistic goals for academics, extracurricular activities, and personal growth. This conversation can instill a sense of purpose and motivation.

7. Encourage Time Management:

Teach your child the importance of time management. Help them create a daily schedule that includes time for homework, study breaks, and leisure activities. Learning to manage their time effectively will be a valuable skill throughout their school years and beyond.

8. Stay Organized:

Keep track of important dates, such as parent-teacher conferences, school events, and assignment due dates, on a family calendar. Use color-coding or digital tools to stay organized and ensure nothing falls through the cracks.

9. Foster Open Communication:

Maintain open lines of communication with your child. Encourage them to talk about their day, share any concerns or challenges they may be facing, and celebrate their successes. A supportive and understanding environment at home can greatly enhance their school experience.

10. Be Patient and Flexible

Remember that the transition back to school can be challenging for both you and your child. Be patient and flexible as everyone adjusts to the new routine. It’s okay to make adjustments along the way if something isn’t working as planned.

The return to school routine can be a time of growth and excitement for your child. By following these tips and fostering a positive and organized environment at home, you can set the stage for a successful school year. Embrace the back-to-school season with enthusiasm and just as Nicole did, keep your sense of humor.  You can then watch as your child thrives academically and personally in the year ahead. Here’s to a fantastic school year filled with learning, growth, laughter and happy memories!

Look for more family-friendly tips for a successful preschool experience on our Facebook Parent Page and the CPP website.

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