1. Move bedtime back to its rightful place. If your little one doesn’t yet tell time, this can be as simple as doing your bedtime routine a bit earlier every night in the week or two before school starts. If he resists, explain that he’ll soon be waking up earlier and his body will need extra energy for all the learning and fun of school. A regular routine that involves reading a book or taking a bath can help relax him and teach his brain that it’s time for sleep. It might also help to turn off devices an hour before bed.
2. Gradually speed the morning transition. Having ample time to wake up is a summer luxury many families have to forego during the school year. In the week before school starts, explain to your little one what the new routine will look like. You might even draw pictures of each step so she can use them as a guide. Help her get used to getting dressed and having breakfast in a timely way. You could even set a timer and make it a game.
3. Make a time and place for homework. Establish guidelines for when and where your kids will do their homework. Find them a place where they can work without distraction, and help them establish a pattern of getting it done every day at a time that works for you.
4. Channel your inner Zen master. Adjusting to a new, more demanding routine may be hard for your little one. Try not to get frustrated when she needs reminding. If you find her building a Lego masterpiece when she should be brushing her teeth, say, “I see you got dressed. Well done. What should you do next?” Waking up a bit early to get yourself ready first can help reduce the stress.
5. Send ‘em off with a smile. Do what you can to make the morning routine a happy one. If your babe manages to get ready before it’s time to go, take a minute to snuggle or read a story together. Play some music he likes during breakfast or tell a few jokes as you make lunch. Sending him off with a smile will help start the day off right for both of you.