As our fun summer days begin to wind down, it is time to start thinking about the school year and making plans to ensure that the transition from lazy summer days to full fall schedules goes as smoothly as possible.

Establishing healthy routines is crucial for the overall well-being and success of younger children as they embark on a new school year and daily routines. These routines not only set the tone for academic success, but also contribute to physical and emotional health. They can also help enhance family bonds and dynamics by providing stress-free transitions for all.

Here are some helpful things your family can do to help the back-to-school transition flow smoothly:

Prioritize Consistent Bedtimes

Young boy in a blue shirt holds a blue toothbrush in his mouth

A good night’s sleep can do wonders! As the school year approaches, gradually adjust your child’s sleep schedule to align with school hours. Aim for 9-11 hours of sleep for children ages 5-12. 

Create a calming bedtime routine that incorporates activities like reading or gentle stretching. 

Consistency is key, so try to maintain these sleep patterns on the weekends, too.

Keep a Balanced Diet

Healthy eating fuels the mind and body! Plan nutritious breakfasts that include whole grains, filling proteins, and fruit. Pack a mix of proteins, whole grains, veggies and fruits for their lunches to help ensure sustained energy throughout the day. And don’t forget to pack their water bottle! It’s important to stay hydrated – especially in the warmer fall months.

Morning Routines

Mornings can often be rushed and stressful. Start the day out right by waking up a bit earlier to avoid last-minute chaos. Plan a calm morning routine that includes a healthy breakfast and moments of mindfulness. This will help get their minds in the right space and improve their focus and concentration.

Planned Homework and Study Times

Create a special space that is dedicated for after school work and studying. Establish a routine where your child works on their assignments at a consistent time each day. Study areas should remain quiet and organized to free young learners from distractions. Encourage and promote independent work.

Two young boys sit at a kitchen table to work on school work

Manage Screen Time

In today’s digital age it is often hard to escape screen time overload, but managing the amount of time your child is in front of one is crucial. Make a plan to set limits on recreation screen time to provide a balance between online and offline activities – they will be on screens at school, too. Consider creating house rules that include “screen-free” meal times and turn electronics off before bedtime to promote a good nights sleep.

Find Time to Bond as a Family

Summer time provides a lot of extra family bonding time. The back-to-school change has a huge effect on this special time. Prioritize quality family time. Dedicate some evenings and the weekend to engage in activities that strengthen family bonds. Board games, cooking together, hiking, bowling – these shared experiences promote emotional well-being and communication.

Early Preparation

Eliminate morning stressors by preparing for the next day the night before. Help your young student organize their backpack, pick out their outfit, and pack their lunch. This will help everyone avoid the morning rush and stress.

Back to school time is a grand time – new teachers, new friends, new school supplies are all exciting. But all things new can also create fear and stress. As the school bell rings and backpacks are filled, creating healthy back-to-school routines becomes crucial for younger children and families. Routines provide structure, stability, and a strong academic foundation, not to mention, they set the stage for a successful and joyful school year. Help your child have the best school year yet!

A group of small children in hats and carrying backpacks walk into their school

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