10 Tips on how to establish a routine ASAP!
Kids are going back to school! You are either crying in your coffee, or you are praising the big man upstairs…but either way you are probably like most people are NOT READY. Summertime often means schedules and routines are out the door. Bedtime and wake time are no more, dinner time is all over the place and chores never get done like they usually do. It’s a circus, right? Well hang on to your hat because once school starts back you need to be ready for routine. It’s a mental health precaution…trust me. So stick with me, as I give you 10 GREAT tips on how to get organized NOW and take on the school year like a NINJA instead of a headcase.
Tips for Routine when school is back in session
- Same bedtime every school night. Studies have shown that older kids need 9-11 hours of sleep each night and younger kids need 14-24 hours. If you are anything like me my kids are not getting the recommended hours of sleep, but we try. Setting the same scheduled bedtime each night really helps so we have a goal and can make sure we are working towards getting into bed by a certain time. Will your child fight you, YES, but ultimately we know it is what’s best for them and it gives us some time after they are in bed to complete the things we need to do before we go to bed as well.
- Have a designated homework spot. Ours is the kitchen table, yours could be in the office, in the backyard, wherever your child can focus and not be distracted by things around them. Picking out a spot before hand and using the same one every time they have homework takes the guess work out of where they will do their work and they know exactly where to go, how to get started and will have everything they need to finish their homework successfully.
- Set up a homework time. There are three times that are good for doing homework and which is best is different with each child. The best times are right after school, before dinner or after dinner. Everyone is different on what works for them. My daughter does best when she completes her homework right after she gets home so it doesn’t weigh on her for the rest of the night and she has a sense of freedom from it. That doesn’t work though on nights she has activities right after school so we have to change it up on those nights. Having your student know ahead of time when they will be completing their homework will help them be more successful. If one of the above times isn’t working try another, don’t be afraid to change it up.
- Plan out each week. Know when tests and quizzes are so you aren’t cramming last minute. In the digital age we live in we now have instant access to a lot of information including teachers websites. Many teachers put their upcoming calendars online so students know when their next assessment will be. Have your child check this on a weekly basis so they can write in their agenda when their next assessment will be. This way they can plan out and see the date approaching and make sure to study ahead of time and not cram everything in the night before.
- Use Sunday’s before bed to decompress and prepare for Monday. A good start on Monday makes for a good week. Sunday’s are family days for most and are a great time to get prepared for the school week ahead. Have your child use Sunday’s to look at the upcoming week see if there are assessments approaching or books that need to be read. Make sure they use Sunday to get to bed early so they can decompress from their weekend and have their mind prepare for the week ahead.
- Meal plan! Easier said then done! I use to be the worst at this and without a plan found myself ordering out for my family more times then not during the week. Taking a few minutes on Saturday or Sunday to look over some recipes and pick which ones you think your family will like will save you a ton of time during the week. Many people will take this an extra step and actually meal prep on Sunday. I admit I am not that good, but after finding the an app I like to store all my families favorite dinner recipes it has made it a lot easier during the week. Let yourself have a day for leftovers or eating out. I always plan a day or two when I know I will have a crap day and just need to pick my family up something fast and that is ok, but planning ahead for meals really saves my sanity in the evening.
- Pick outfits out the night before. So not one is fighting or rushing to find clothes in the morning. It could be you picking out the clothes or your child, but having that outfit laid out and ready the night before is a huge time saver in the morning. I personally have left this to my children to do and believe me they have come down with some interesting outfits, but I feel like I am winning because they are at least dressed and ready for the day. Starting the day by having someone searching for a item of clothing and coming down half dressed puts everyone in a bad mood. Give this task to your child and again save your sanity.
- Use the same spot everyday for backpacks and materials. This way everyone will always know where the school items are. Ideally this is located near the door in which you will leave out of in the morning. This way your kids are less likely to forget something in the morning that has you running up to the school to bring it to them.
- Pack bags the night before. Have everything ready to go and in their bag. I don’t know how many times my kids have left things (books, homework) on the counter and it never made it to school. Checking their bags and making sure when homework is done it goes right into the backpack. The last thing any mom or dad needs is a frantic phone call from school that your child left something very important at home.
- Have a planner. I am a huge paper planner girl myself, but many are moving to the digital planners. Make sure you write things down, add an alarm for things to make sure you stay on course.
So there you have it people. Some good old fashioned CONCRETE ideas to get your home in order so that life will hand you lemonade and not lemons as the kids go back to school. Did you feel like some of these ideas were specifically for you? Did you feel like I wrote this blog TOO YOU? Are you wondering if I can see you right now and have been watching you on a spy cam? I’m kidding of course, but seriously…what changes are you going to make TODAY to get your butt in gear? Comment below!!