I’m the first to admit that my family’s sleep routine gets a little scattered over the summer break. Bedtimes get later and mornings seem made for sleeping in. But with three kids heading into elementary school and summer vacation coming to an end, it’s time to think about re-establishing those routines to give our kids the best start possible as they head back into the classroom. Here are three tips for making the transition from summer to school as easy as possible on everyone:
Routine is key
Your child should be going to bed and getting up at the same times they will need to for school in the weeks leading up to the big day. If they’ve been sleeping until 9am all summer but have to get up at 6:30am in order to make it to the school bus, move morning wakeup gradually over the course of a week. You don’t want the first morning of early wakeups to be the first day of school when emotions are running high. If your child is just starting kindergarten, be prepared that they may need an earlier bedtime than usual once school starts as the transition to full day school without naps can be exhausting. Make sure the routine extends to the weekend as well – and try not to schedule too much for the first few weekends after school begins as kids may need the time to decompress.
Be your family’s sleep role model
Unfortunately, getting back to your own usual sleep routine isn’t a walk in the park for parents either. During the summer, parents’ personal sleep schedules get neglected too, so it’s important that you also make changes to get back on sleep track. When your children witness you making those changes they’ll be more willing to follow suit.
Turn off tech
Technology is wonderful, but the stimulation can keep kids (and grownups) awake. About an hour before bedtime, turn off the tech – television, computers, tablets, and phones – and put them in a family docking station away from the bedrooms. Encourage older kids to finish homework as soon as possible so they aren’t using tech right up until bedtime to finish a project.
By following these tips, you can help your kids go back to school well-rested and ready to learn!
Written by: Alanna McGinn, YMC.ca