LCCC put together a little back-to-school guide to help getting back into a school year schedule to buying school supplies and more!
Sleeping - Morning and Night Routine:
Transition from sleeping in during the summer break can tough. It’s because your body has natural circadian rhythms that get disrupted when your schedule changes.
However your body's "clock" can be reset, along with your alarm. So start sleeping earlier to get into the routine and waking up earlier as well , days even weeks ahead leading up to school. That way you fully adjust and can arrive to school on time and well-rested.
While every child varies, the rule of thumb is: •those between 5-9 years old need 10-11 hours of sleep per night
•those between 10-18 years old need 8½-9½ hours of sleep per night.
Use reward for consistently waking up early. This can also be a great motivator for getting up on time.
Set the alarm for 15 minutes earlier so you can wake up but get used to it for a while without being late.
Set more than one alarm, so if you don't get up when the first alarm rings you'll have another one set minutes later.
Draw the curtain or blinds open to bring in light to wake up and brighten your day.
Take a shower or have your breakfast to pick you up and awaken you. Make sure to set aside enough time to do either or both.
Go to sleep the same time each night, even if you don’t fall asleep immediately , the calmness and relaxing your body eventually will put you to sleep.
Dim the lights during those 30-45 minutes before bedtime. It will cue the brain to remind you to rest and relax. The darker, the better.
Turn off the TV, and put away cell phones, laptops and tablets once you're in bed. Too often it distracts by clicking, scrolling, typing, chatting and playing and prevent you from winding down.
Prep for the next day.
Kids often dread waking up the next day because often they feel rushed or hurried to get ready and out the door.
Here are some ways to help avoid that:
Select and lay out your clothes the night before (shoes, clothes, accessories etc)
Prepare your lunch so it’s an easy grab and go!
Pack your backpack -ensure your homework, books , gym/spare clothes, instruments and any important forms are in your bag.
Prepare your breakfast if it’s a quick and easy one. An easy breakfast set up can be your bowl with quick oats on the table . You may want to cut up some fruit in advance that is set aside in the fridge. Or make overnight oats or chia seed pudding in jars! Breakfast bars or muffins that are wrapped up and easy for an easy grab and go!
Healthy Meal Habits
Eat your breakfast early.
breakfast helps wake you up and provide you with energy to jumpstart the day.
Eat dinner at the right time. Over the summer, your eating schedule may have been off track, less nutritious and probably consumed a lot of fast food or not so balanced meals. Probably because summer break was about taking it easy and indulging. If you've been consuming a lot of fast food try your best to get back to eating nutritious, well-balanced meals. Healthy foods aren't just better for your body. They also boost brain power.
To determine what time you will be eating dinner, and figure out your evening schedule, looking at things like a) after-school activities, b) how much homework you think you'll have, c) how much time you'll spend preparing for bed, d) how much free time you'd like, e) what time you need to go to bed and f) what the rest of your household's schedule looks like.
wind down before the end of the day.
You may want to stretch, do yoga, go for a quick peaceful walk, take shower or bath, do self-care hygiene routines , read , do a quiet activity like sudoku or puzzles. Whatever it may be so long as it will relax you and allow you to have a good nights sleep. It will also prepare you to take on the next day!
Use a Family Planner/ Reminders
Whether it’s on a calendar, cork board, chalkboard or magnet board to post-its , keep track of assignments, projects, tests, chores and extra curricular activities. Cross it off, check mark like a to do list. Why not reward if tasks are complete with stickers, treats or end of the week family outing. It will definitely motivate and teach the kids to be organized, orderly, achieve goals and to stay on track.
Be supportive and mindful with your guidance
Starting school can be stressful and tough for your child. The idea of having a new teacher, making new friends, going to a new school or classroom setting can be overwhelming. To top it off, the stress or worry of homework. Try your best to be aware of your child’s emotions and be supportive of this new back to school change. Lets do our best to get involved and keep up with communication with our kids. It’s a great way to see where your child is at in school, whether it’s academically, or emotionally. Let’s also normalize that a well-educated mind will have more questions than answers. Let’s also normalize that it is okay to mistakes/ fail , as we learn so much more that way. Rewards are great but let’s remember to reward effort rather than outcome.