5 Tricks to Beat Back-to-School Blues

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back to school strategies

Be strategic about going back to school this year to reduce stress and improve the end-of-summer experience.

Make these changes to get back to school with ease

Summer time often brings the surprise wistfulness to be back at school amongst friends, sports teams and extracurriculars. But as that week draws near, the thought of waking up early and coming home to homework isn’t putting smiles on anyone’s faces.

Getting in the “back-to-school” groove can be a challenge for students and parents alike as schedules quickly adjust and new routines are implemented. Lazy mornings are suddenly rushed starts to pour some cereal and pack a PB&J while making sure teeth are brushed and shoes are tied. Evenings become hectic with cleaning off cleats and clearing the dinner table.

As summer comes to a close, use some of these tricks to making getting back to school easier than ever.

Ease into a New Schedule

Students inevitably relax into a summer sleep schedule where late nights turn into late mornings. For most students, waking up at 9 a.m. during the school year simply won’t work. However, suddenly arising two hours earlier probably won’t make for a smooth transition.

The week before school starts, set a sleep schedule where lights are out a little earlier each night, and your kids are out of bed a little earlier each morning. Consider setting an alarm 15 minutes earlier each day until students are at or near the time they’ll be getting up for school. This way, by the time school rolls around, it’ll feel at least a little familiar, even if not altogether popular.

Plan Ahead

Minimize morning stress by planning ahead, either the weekend or night before. Consider getting these items ready in advance:

  • Lunches or lunch money
  • Outfits
  • Homework folders
  • Gym bags
  • Breakfast

Taking care of routine, predictable needs in advance is a great way to gain some extra time and move more efficiently. While breakfasts and lunches may need to be made the night before, gym clothes, outfits and even homework can be organized and prepped well in advance. You’ll be less likely to leave out important details with more time to check and double check homework, and unexpected situations will be less likely to throw your morning off track.

If you’re looking for a few extra ideas, check out our tips for more efficient mornings.

Plan a First Week Treat

The first week will often be the biggest hurdle, but giving your kids something to look forward to can at least make any discomfort a little more rewarding. Whether it’s pizza for dinner or ice-cream after school, plan an easy and economical treat that your kids can look forward to. Let them know in advance that it’s a plan set in stone, and they’ll have something that makes the adjustments seem a little more worthwhile.

Talk with Your Children

As parents, it can be tempting to impose a schedule or routine you think works best. However, it’s important to include your child in the decision making process while letting them know that you still make the rules. Ask for feedback about how they like their schedule and at what points of the day, if any, they feel most stressed out. You might be surprised that they find mornings relatively easy, while getting focused on homework proves to be a real challenge.

Plan for Afternoons

Speaking of homework, afternoons seem to get neglected when implementing a back to school routine. By the end of a busy day, everyone’s ready to relax. Consider that structure can actually assist in creating a more relaxed evening by helping ensure the important stuff—like homework, permission slips, and chores—get taken care of first before recreational activities and socialization. Plus, getting essentials out of the way will ensure that dinnertime is quality time.

With a little planning and a bit of grace, these strategies might just beat the back to school blues in time for the first chilly breezes of fall…and fundraising season!

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