We had a whirlwind week at our county fair last week, all work and routines were thrown out the window! Now we’re home, getting all of the laundry done and SO READY to get back into a routine as we prep to head back to school. We still have a month before my daughter’s first day, but it’s never to early to start easing into those daily rituals that are part of the school year. If you’re teaching, helping a group of preschoolers ease into the school year, or preparing your own children for this schedule shift, here are some tips to make this transition a little easier!
- Start slow – begin with the most important basics, such as earlier bed times. This makes it easier to start getting up a little earlier too.
- Focus on the pieces that make the most sense – morning routines that will set you up for a great day and feel really natural are an excellent place to start.
- Plan ahead – even if you aren’t a natural planner, taking time to plan meals or write down to-do’s for the first couple of weeks of school can help make sure that things feel a bit less stressful or aren’t forgotten entirely.
- Explain the changes and why they’re happening – Young children don’t have the life experience to understand routine changes or why they need to make them. Talking through these is an opportunity for learning and will help as you continue to remind children of key pieces of their new routines.
- Use a written or picture schedule – children have very short-term memories, so visual reminders are key! Knowing what will come next helps us all feel a little more in control of the day. I have a picture schedule set in my TPT store that you can customize for your own classroom routine.
- Give everyone some grace! This is a stressful time of year for everyone involved for so many different reasons. Taking it easy on each other and yourself will eliminate a little frustration.
We’re personally starting by refocusing on our summer routine. After taking a week to get back into that, we’ll add in a few more educational activities, and begin focusing on personal care types of chores (picking out clothes the night before, putting things away when we get home from an outing, regular shower schedules, etc.). We’ll also spend some time talking about the way things work at school – what she remembers from last year and what she’s looking forward to as she goes back. For the two weeks before school starts we’ll really focus on those wake-up and bed times too! Whew, it’s a lot to think about, but every year we get through it and this year won’t be any different. That reminder always helps in the heat of the struggle.