7 Back-to-School Tips and Tweaks for Families
Trapper Keeper? Check.
New school clothes? Check.
Alarm set? Check.
Class is in session.
It doesn't matter if your kids are 6 or 16, going back to school is a big deal for them.
It's a big deal for you, too. Whether you're one of those parents jumping for joy or tend to be a bit more emotional, you're transitioning out of the summer groove and into a structured routine.
Whether your kids lament the new school year like it's some kind of plague or they're counting down the final days, intentionally take steps to help them celebrate the opportunities in front of them.
School is known for the three R's. Here are 7 more R's that you can spur on in your household.
7 Tips & Tweaks for Back to School
- Remember: Ask your kids to recall positive things that happened during the last school year, including any life lessons they learned. Perhaps recognize the new friends they made, special projects they nailed, or ways they overcame a personal hurdle. Add your thoughts to complement theirs, speaking into them about the growth you saw. Doing this helps them remember that the school year can have many positive moments, and that even the negative situations can be faced down.
- Rest: Tired kids and teens become cranky kids and teens. If you haven't yet transitioned them into a consistent sleep schedule, develop a plan for this together. Make it a goal to let each morning be less about running around at the last minute and more about enjoying some time together before the school day kicks in.
- Relate: Your kids may have lost touch over the summer with some friends they only see at school. Schedule times when these peers can come over, whether to study and do homework or hang out over pizza and games. Give your kids some freedom in how often they can extend this invitation, be it weekly, bi-weekly or otherwise.
- Routine: Create a weekly or monthly calendar that covers when homework, chores, playtime and activities are to take place. Be specific about what the ideals are and any discipline they might face if these aren't accomplished on time. Brainstorm when you can eat at least one meal together each day.
- Recreation: Build some play time into your schedule to keep things fun and light amidst all the seriousness. Maybe it's the same slot of "family time" every week, like a game or movie night. You can likewise revisit things you enjoyed doing over the summer or didn't get around to doing. The point is to spend time having fun and making memories together even when the schedule feels tight.
- Review: Catch your kids during the evening, taking the time to review highlights from each of your days. Affirm moments of success and help them think through what they may have missed. You may need to check in on any assignments or homework that they are falling behind on or could use your help finishing.
- Renew: Prioritize growing and thriving as a family, from your spiritual growth through a church community to trimming back on anything that has taken over your schedule. Make the school year less about surviving and more about living.
How do you help kids adjust from the relaxation of summer into the bustle and logistics of school?