Likely summer has been full of fun, relaxation, and loose structure for you and the kids. But, as fall creeps closer we all think about getting back into a more structured routine to help everything that we need to include in our day run a little smoother.
There are certain areas that we definitely have to reign in and regain control of- Bedtime, schooling, chores, and healthy eating habits. With that in mind I have gathered my list of things we will be working on here in my house to help you do the same.
Getting Kids Back Into a Routine
The key to a successful and happy daily routine is making sure that everyone gets plenty of rest the night before. While it’s hard from mom to get as much rest as she needs it can help everything else run smoother. Several weeks before the summer ends you want to start easing the kids to bed earlier and then make wake up times earlier until you are where you want them to be. This gentle transition will make life much easier than just suddenly announcing “Starting tonight bedtime is 3 hours earlier!”
- Begin making bedtime and wake time earlier and earlier each day.
- Make bath time, a book, and cuddling part of the bedtime routine.
- Get plenty of rest yourself!
Build up excitement for the upcoming homeschool year, let the children help pick their curriculum, make a big production of unboxing it with them when it comes in. Create a routine for each school day, consider letting them help choose the order they will do each subject. Get everything organized, this is important whether you have a dedicated schoolroom or just a comfy spot on the couch. Make a visual schedule for younger children so they know what to expect with the new routine.
- Talk to kids about homeschool routine.
- Consider making a visual schedule to give kids an idea of the structure.
- Set up or reorganize your homework/homeschool space.
Also build up excitement for the new school year!
- Use a back to school countdown
- Plan a lunch menu together
- Do back to school shopping together
Chores are a great part of a child’s routine year round but of course during summer we often become more relaxed with chore lists. Reassess your children’s chores, are they ready for more responsibility? Rewrite the chore lists to reflect your child’s abilities, and also chores may change depending on the season as well. Whatever system your family uses for chores make an effort to keep kids accountable to spread the responsibility across the household and also teach them valuable life skills.
- Make a list of chores for each child according to their ability.
- Reassess as needed to add more responsibility as your child grows.
- Begin to add chores to your child’s list before summer ends to get them in a routine.
Have you slacked off on allowing snacking between meals? Are you relying on takeout and delivery more than you would like? For us, summer is grazing season but once school is in session we have to get back to regular meal routines. Dust off that slow cooker, pressure cooker, and your favorite recipes…get back into the habit of simple healthy meals. Keep fresh fruit on hand for kids to snack out throughout the day, letting sweets be an occasional treat rather than the norm. Create a space in the fridge and pantry that have single serve healthy snacks for the kids (and yourself) to grab. Planning ahead of time will save you a lot of headache and rumbling stomachs later on, especially during that all too common witching hour!
- Make plenty of healthy choices available to kids.
- Make a meal plan if you are not already doing so.
- Reorganize pantry and fridge for meal times and snacks.
What area has been especially challenging for you to keep as a routine this summer?