Everyone has something they love about summer — whether it’s the family vacations, lack of schedule, sleeping in, or endless pool days. Everyone can find something that makes them smile when the kids are out of school! For me, I enjoy it all, and for some reason, this summer is passing by at the speed of light. I blinked and it was July. One more blink and it will be August.
With summer break in full swing, I am savoring the moments with my two littles, but there is already the lingering thought that it’s almost over. As a teacher and a mom, I’m already thinking ahead on how to prepare myself and my kids for back to school. (Don’t worry, those July back-to-school flyers for Target and Walmart make me want to cry, too!) As I write this, I’m doing it as a reminder to myself as well. When I say we ALL need the reminders, I whole-heartedly include myself in this group. Here are a few things to keep in mind as the transition from summer break to the first day of school approaches.
Bedtime Schedules & Routines
I, too, am guilty of those later bedtimes and sleeping in, but having that stop abruptly and moving into the early bedtimes and early wake times is a hard adjustment for everyone! Don’t wait until the day before school starts to get back on a good night time and morning routine. Make it a gradual adjustment. Start adjusting your bedtimes and wake times a week or two before school starts. This will make for a much smoother transition for the beginning of school. I saw this chart a few years ago, and I use it as a guide when adjusting for back to school.
Having a consistent schedule and routine can help everyone thrive and is helpful for all parties involved, both parents and children. When a child knows what to expect on a day-to-day basis and has a good, structured routine it makes everything easier. Consistent bedtimes and wake-up times, as well as a consistent morning routine, is crucial for these babies to have a good start to their day. It is also really helpful for the mamas, too. Don’t get me wrong, I also find myself saying the typical, “Hurry up, hurry up, eat your breakfast, where are your shoes??” How it can take 30 minutes to eat a bowl of cereal and another 10 minutes to find shoes leaves me flabbergasted and frustrated, but I also try to have a good consistent plan in place to make sure we can all be ready and out the door by 7:30 a.m.!
Find the Balance
Once school starts, we have to find the balance. I think we can all use a few reminders on how to be proactive and make the crazy days of school and work and soccer and baseball and dance class as smooth as possible. Finding the balance for meeting your kids’ needs as well as your own is such a challenging yet important thing to keep in mind throughout the school year. As a teacher and a mom, it can be very challenging to keep on schedule with all of the demands of having a full-time job as well as making sure my own child gets in their I-Ready lessons and finishes their homework packet for the week. When you add in baseball practice or dance class it just makes things even harder. One thing that worked for me was getting homework done on the weekends. Our weekdays were just too full, and if I want my kids to have consistency and a decent bedtime, I had to adjust our schedule to work for us — which included finding a homework timeline that fits our family schedule.
I hope these back-to-school reminders can help you find some balance as the first day of school approaches. Good luck, mamas. We can do it!
Our “Dear Parent, From a Teacher” series helps parents obtain the tools and insight to ensure a successful school year for their children. If you are a teacher who wishes to write a guest blog for this series, please email your topic to [email protected]
About the Author
Kristen Edwards lives in Jacksonville Beach with her husband and two kids, Cason (7) and Ella (3). After earning a degree in Elementary Education from UNF, she began her career as a teacher. She has been fortunate to teach for 12 years at Atlantic Beach Elementary, which happens to be the elementary school she attended as a child. She and her husband both grew up in Jacksonville Beach and are Fletcher High School Alumni. Kristen loves to cook, read and enjoys spending time with her family and friends.