Top 5 Tips for Creating a Back to School Routine

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The school bells are ringing and kids are back in the classroom! While this comes as a relief to some parents, it also ushers in a new set of issues, including getting back into a daily routine.

We know that waiting too long to set a back-to-school routine can be problematic, so we took some advice from blogger and author Christine Coppa and Pam Myers, BSEd. Here are some ways to beat the morning rush and get a good back-to-school routine going:

1. Make a family schedule

With family members coming and going at different times, it can be difficult to keep track of everyone and make sure they get to where they need to be on time. Having a set schedule can help your day flow smoothly. Myers encourages parents to think about all of the places they have to be (music lessons, play dates, soccer matches) and write it down to create a family schedule. “Sit down and look at your calendar…make a list, prioritize, and then post it where you can find it in the morning.”

2. Set a reasonable wake up time

It may be best to wake children up a little earlier at the start of the school year until they become more accustomed to their new schedule. “Most experts agree that children need between nine and ten hours of sleep each night to be at their best, while eight hours is the absolute minimum,” says Myers. “For example, if you know that your child must be up by 6 a.m. in order to be ready for school by 7:30 a.m., your children should be getting ready for bed around 7:30 p.m.” 

3. Create a nighttime routine

According to Myers, it’s not uncommon for parents to allow their children to stay up a little later than usual during the summer. She encourages parents start having their children go to bed at a regular time, which includes getting into a bath or shower routine. “Expect your children to complain and try to stay up later, but the earlier they get to bed, the better prepared they’ll be for school,” says Myers. 

4. Have a healthy breakfast

Eating breakfast as a family may not seem important, but research proves that having meals together has positive effects on a child’s development. You can even prep the food and set the table the night before. Even if there’s no time to sit down and eat, preparing a healthy breakfast for your children to take with them on the go can save you precious time in the morning. For more healthy eating tips, check out top 5 tips on creating healthy eating habits.

5. Get organized the night before

Make your morning easier by preparing for school the night before. Have all clothes, socks and shoes laid out and ready to go. If you pack a lunch for your child, place it in an easy to grab spot in the fridge or the kitchen counter. Make sure all homework and important papers are signed and in your child’s backpack before bedtime, and put the backpack in a place it won’t be forgotten, such as by the front door. “Having everything near the front door is like gravity pulling (my son) to the bus stop,” says Coppa. “There is nothing worse than searching for a sneaker or fearing that the dog ate his homework.”

For more information on getting back into a seamless routine, check out Coppa’s article 5 Tricks For Getting Back Into Your School Morning Routine and Myers’ article Back to School: How to Get a Good Routine Going.

Sources:, Child Development Institute

Photo credit: Freepik

Posted 8/28/17


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Topics: First Day Of School, Behavior