Back to school time can be difficult for the whole family, as you all adjust back to the day to day routine. Bed time routines may have relaxed during the holidays, so the combination of overtired, anxious children, adjusting back to a schedule, can be stressful on any household. So if you’re child is starting school for the first time, or they are just returning to a new school year, here are 12 Useful Tips for Surviving The First Week of School.
#1. Be Strict About Bed Times
Bedtime routines tend to slide during the extended summer holidays, so you should start to move your kids bedtimes closer to their normal time at least a week before back to school.
The first week of back to school will be tiring as the family adjusts to the earlier mornings, and the kids adjust to the routine of the class day, so It will really help if everyone is well rested before they start back to school. And that means you parents too!
#2. Get Up Earlier
This may sound a bit contradictory to #1 above, but it will take everyone a bit longer to settle back into the morning rhythm, so make things a bit easier on yourself and set the alarm clock to get up earlier. And don’t repeatedly hit snooze – getting up earlier, even ahead of the kids, can help you get on top of your game before anyone else rises.
Do also get the kids up earlier than normal too – it will take them a bit longer to wake up and go about their morning rituals for the first week anyhow. Plus being up earlier gives you time to deal with any dramas like lost shoes, toothpaste dribbled on school jumper etc., and still get you out to school in time.
#3. Eat a Quick, but Healthy Breakfast
With breakfast being the most important meal of the day, start the day off right and ensure you and your kids have a healthy, nutritious breakfast before school/work. Skipping breakfast can make kids restless, tired and irritable, and affect their concentration.
And what kids eat matters too – choose breakfast foods that are rich in whole grains, fiber, and protein while low in added sugar to boost your kids attention span, concentration, and memory which is essential for school.
For the first week back to school, though, it takes everyone a bit longer to get out the door in the morning. So being organised and preparing as much as you can the night before can really help, including setting the table, making breakfast, lunchboxes etc.
You can have pancakes made in advance in freezer, ready to pop into toaster in the morning, or why not make some healthy breakfast muffins, homemade granola, or overnight no-cook oat pots. Smoothies are always a winner with kids too!
#4. Make Lunch Convenient
Things will probably be a bit hectic at break times initially in school, as the kids adjust to their new classrooms, teachers, and catching up with old pals, or indeed making new ones, so opt for lunch box fillers that you know they like and will eat! They can still be healthy fillers, just convenient ones!
Also consider making lunches the night before so that the mornings are not so hectic – store them in the fridge overnight, ready to pop into lunchboxes in the morning.
If your child is a bit anxious about back to school, or indeed starting school for the first time, why not do something special for their lunch box this week? You could bake their favourite muffins, or cut their sandwiches into cute shapes, or just pop in a little note saying you’re thinking of them!
#5. Expect The Exhaustion
And don’t be surprised if your kids are exhausted when they come home from school. Sitting in a classroom environment and concentrating for hours, can be a big change after the relaxed days of the holidays, and they will most likely be mentally and physically exhausted.
So don’t plan too much for the first week back, and when they come home let them relax and recharge.
#6. Go Easy On After School Activities
And to follow on from the point above, it might be best to not plan start any after school activities the first week of school term. They’re tired enough and they really need to just get back home, do any assigned homework and chill out on the sofa.
Time enough for after school activities in week 2 when everyone is more recharged and back into the swing of the school day routine.
#7. Be Ready To Feed Them Once They Arrive Home
With the excitement (or worry) of being back in school, many kids can often be too busy catching up with their friends to eat their lunch/snacks. So they will most likely be starving once they get home.
Have healthy snacks ready for them once they arrive home or maybe consider moving dinner to an earlier time for the first week back to school.
#8. Opt For Easy Dinners
And speaking of dinner, it’s going to be busy enough this first week back to school, without having to spend hours at the stove in the evening time! So get organised. You could prepare some meals in advance, and pop them in the freezer for use during the first week back.
Alternatively, cook some easy family dinners that you can rustle up quickly and conveniently to satisfy hungry mouths:
- 8 Quick & Easy Family Dinner for Busy Parents
- 10 Go To Family Dinners Every Parent Should Know
- 9 Super Quick Dinner Recipes for Back to School
- 31 More Quick & Easy Family Dinners for Back to School
- 50 Ideas for Easy Family Dinners
#9. Have a Morning Routine
Getting the kids into a routine will simplify and make school mornings easier, particularly in these first few weeks of school term.
You could create a morning checklist for tasks to be done as it can often be easier to get kids to follow the morning routine if they can visualise what tasks or jobs they must do.
Or check out these cute, printable flash cards from Amy at LivingLocurto.com that will help your child remember what they need to do.
#10. Resist Technology
It’s best to avoid technology on school mornings – your kids may have gotten into the habit of TV before breakfast during the school holidays, so start to limit that in the week before back to school.
And resisting technology applies to you parents too! On school mornings, listen to the radio, but don’t be tempted to turn on TVs or laptops, or check your emails/messages or social media – it’s just too distracting.
#11. Be Organised At Home
It can really help everyone get ready in time if you are organised at home. Ensuring that all items required for school have a dedicated space and are convenient, will help avoid any unforeseen delays like missing school shoe/bag/tie etc.
Make a space for storing school bags, lunchboxes, gym bags and uniforms at home, and make sure your kids use them correctly. Check school bags for notes that come home from school each day, and pack schoolbags and lay uniforms/clothes out the night before, to avoid any delays in the mornings.
#12. And Breathe!
Relax. Well done – you have successfully survived the extended school holidays, and gotten everyone back to school in one piece!
It’s okay to take some time for yourself this week if you can. Read a book, meet some pals for coffee, or get back to your regular exercise classes.
Over to you! Have you any tips to help survive the chaotic first week back to school? Let us know in the comments below.