**Many thanks to Connecticut Children’s for sponsoring this post. As always, the thoughts and opinions expressed below are entirely my own.
The summer seems to have flown by in the blink of an eye, and we’ve tried to jam every last ounce of fun into it that we could. Now, with the beginning of school only weeks away, I’m finally starting to think about getting back into our regular routines. And I’m a little nervous! I’m sure my kids aren’t the only ones who tend to have later bedtimes, meals eaten at all hours, travel that throws off the family rhythm, and just an overall lack of structure during the summer. I’ve always felt that part of the charm of summertime is the kind of “anything goes” policy. Plus, who doesn’t need an adorable video of their three kids chasing fireflies in the backyard after dark?! But now that we have to start getting our act together, I’m noticing that we’re going to need to work to get back into some semblance of a routine so that mornings aren’t a total nightmare. The last thing we need heading into the school year is stress every morning getting out the door! Today I’m super excited to share the tips I learned from Connecticut Children’s article about back-to-school routines. It has such awesome information in it and really inspired me to integrate some changes into our routine!
U.S. News & World Report has ranked Connecticut Children’s a top children’s hospital in the nation for 2021-22 – a testament to their pediatric expertise and exceptional, kid-friendly care. In fact, one of the cornerstones of Connecticut Children’s is its dedication to creating a positive experience for all families in its care.
I’ve mentioned this on the blog before, but I love Connecticut Children’s website! I’ve never been somebody before who regularly checks out hospital websites for tips, tricks, or to read up on topics, but I truly love the Connecticut Children’s blog portion of their website, and I always learn something when I browse around. It has great articles and a menu of common topics on the side that can help guide your research. I find that browsing it can really spark more thoughtfulness surrounding parenting for me, and that’s always a good thing! Today I’m sharing some of the back-to-school routine tips that I’ve worked into our routine with the kids to prepare us for the school year ahead. They’re super simple, but I’ve already noticed them making a big difference. I highly recommend starting these now, so you’re not rushing to start better habits right before school starts! If you want even more tips, check out the full article HERE.
Set A Daily Bedtime And Wakeup Time
It’s so helpful to have kids waking up at the same time every day to prepare them for a school routine. Yes, even on weekends! If you have older kids who like to sleep in, you can ease into it by moving the time a little earlier by 15 minutes every day. My kids have a toddler alarm clock in their room that is set for 7 am every day. Mateo goes to bed at 7 pm nightly, and the big kids go to bed by 7:30 pm.
Pack School Snack & Lunches The Night Before
This has been such a game-changer for us! We actually started doing this at the end of last school year, and I am definitely reinstating it for this year. I’ve noticed that involving my kids in what they’ll have for snack and lunch the next day helps to make sure that they’ll eat it. Plus, it is such a relief to just take the lunch bag out of the fridge, put an ice pack in it, and stick it in their backpacks. Mornings are really hard with three small kiddos, and I find that if their food is already dealt with, it makes the whole situation less stressful. I sometimes even set out bowls for cereal or oatmeal the night before for breakfast, too!
Post Their Routine
This year, I’m working on making the big kids more independent in the mornings, so that my morning isn’t as overwhelming. I loved the tip from Connecticut Children’s about posting a list of the kids’ routines so that they can guide themselves through it daily. I put ours up in the kids’ bathroom so they can read it while they’re brushing their teeth. Making their beds is a new part of their daily chores this year, too, and this sign helps remind them. Plus, it’s a nice way to encourage reading first thing in the morning!
Decide On Outfits The Night Before
Major has a uniform this year, thank goodness, but Marlowe is quite opinionated when it comes to her daily clothes for school. We are streamlining our mornings now by having her select her clothes for the next day at bedtime, and folding them on a bench in her room. This way, there’s no guesswork when she’s getting dressed for school AND we avoid the room having clothes strewn everywhere like a pigsty. Major will be setting his clothes out nightly as well, just so that we know where everything is.
Designate A Special Place For Each Child’s Backpack & Supplies
Marlowe and Major each have their own hooks now in our mudroom, and their backpacks always hang there when they get home. That way, we can find what has to be sent to school, and we aren’t running around the house looking for everything. We make sure to put all the work that needs to be returned to school, and any library books, in the backpacks before bed and have everything set up for the morning.
Wake Up Before Your Kids!
This trick has been such a game-changer for me. Plan on waking up 30-60 minutes before your kids get up in the morning on school days. This allows you to start your day in silence and to have some “me” time to get yourself ready before the wave of school prep is underway. I always feel so much more even-keeled when I take this time for myself at the start of the day! Plus, it’s really nice to have coffee and just sit with my own thoughts for a little bit before the kids come downstairs.
Don’t forget to check out Connecticut Children’s article about back-to-school tips for all of their suggestions, and browse around www.connecticutchildrens.org/blog for more great topics centered around this time of year with kiddos!