We’ve been doing a weekly summer fun blog series that is, sadly, winding down. Those back-to-school ads are running and stores are putting all their fun, summer clothes on clearance – sure signs that school will soon be back in session. Summer isn’t over, yet, however, and we’re determined to squeeze in more fun with trips to the pool and parks in the last couple of weeks of our summer.
That being said, it is time for us to start migrating back into our school schedule. My husband and I work full-time, year-round, so my son has maintained the “get up, get ready, be somewhere” routine of the school year, but the timing is way off during the summer. When school starts, he’ll need to be in my car, awake, dressed, fed, and ready to learn at the time he’s usually rolling out of bed this summer, which is 7AM. While I think 7:30AM is far too early for a five-year-old to have to be functioning for school, it’s our schedule. We did it last year, so I know it can be done, but I’m starting early on easing the family into the routine.
Here are some things I’m doing. Feel free to add your “easing into school routine” suggestions in the comments, too.
1. Go to bed.
Summer time means we get lax on the sleep schedule. I see my kid for a total of about 2 hours a day on workdays. To compensate, I let him stay up an extra hour or so a lot during the summer. In reality, it makes our mornings harder, but I miss him and try to squeeze in a little more time. That’s not okay during the school year, when he really needs all of the sleep he can get. So, beginning this week, bedtime gets real again.
2. Wake up.
Does anyone else have a kid that you’re afraid to wake up? I don’t mean I’m actually scared of my son, just that mornings are so very much smoother when he wakes up when he’s ready. Alas, school bells wait for no one. The change will be that I actually get up with my alarm (the first time, for real this time) and then go into my son’s room – gently, calmly – and let him know it’s time to start waking up. I envision this happening a total of three times, on the third time actually picking him up from his bed. I’m open to some flexibility here, but what’s important is the routine of it. No one can act surprised if we’re doing it the same way every day, right?
3. Prepare the night before.
This should probably be “number one” on the list. Like many parents, I’m exhausted at the end of my work day. Sometimes, surviving one day seems like enough and adding “prepping for tomorrow” to the list just exhausts me further. But I know, I know, that it always helps the next day to go smoothly if I lay out clothes and pack lunches the night before.
4. Be patient.
My suggestions to “hurry up” each morning have never worked. Not even once. Instead, it causes my kid to panic, get frustrated, and inevitably slow down. This in turn makes me frustrated, anxious, and less nice. I want to be a nice mommy. I want my kid’s memory journal to be thicker than his therapy journal. If I’m better at planning the night before, there’s going to be less rush in the morning anyway, so here’s to my “number 3” supporting my “number 4.”
What are your School Year Resolutions this year?