The transition from easy summer living to homework over the kitchen table, reasonable bedtimes, and packed lunches can feel like endless punishment when you’re a kid. Whether or not your children are beyond excited to get back to all of the learning, or they just literally cannot fathom the idea of spending their days behind a desk again, four Vegatopians share their best strategies and practices for making that change as easy as possible, for both parents and kids.
Set them Up for a Good Year
Mary Praught, Regional Sales Manager, has a seven-year-old daughter going into second grade. “Summer loves school, she’s an avid reader. On nights and weekends during the school year when I’m not traveling we make sure to spend quality time as a family. We have a lot of open communication and it helps with her confidence.
“We get her a new backpack, binder, and lunch box before school starts. It’s something I did when I was little and helps to set up the school year and make it feel really official. We also spend time talking about the friends and teachers she gets to see again to help prepare her.”
The prospect of extracurricular activities is another tactic to get kids excited about the upcoming school year. “Summer’s in swimming classes right now and when school starts she can take yoga or jewelry-making classes through school. She’s definitely an artist-type.”
Wind Down Summer Gradually
For Jose Gonzalez, Director of Digital Marketing, the end of summer means one last vacation. “The weekend prior to school starting we always go on a big trip—it’s a mark to the end of the summer and gives the kids the idea that it’s the last hurrah and summer is winding down.”
Trying to get them back into a routine the week before school starts helps to ease his five and seven-year-old sons Cruz and Diego back into a routine. “Getting them back into the routine of reading and doing homework by cutting down on the media time because they get lax in the summer and watch TV on the weekdays helps to make it feel like you’re not ripping a bandage off and easing into school mode.”
End Summer on a High Note
Andrew Weiss, Regional Sales Manager, has a daughter going into kindergarten. “It’s going to be a little more difficult because she’s transitioning from pre-kindergarten and she’s just now learning how to go to real school.”
A fail-safe plan? “I can’t say it out loud because she’s in the room with me, but we’re taking her to D-I-S-N-E-Y.”
Ease Back into Routine
Laura Menektos, Credit and Collections Specialist, makes lots of small changes to her kids’ schedules to help them ease back into structuring their days like school days. “We start off with a bedtime change to help them get back into routine.
“We go grocery shopping and start buying the things they want to take for lunch and get them eating them before the school year starts at a consistent time instead of helping themselves. We also start them back on smoothies for breakfast instead of sitting down with a bowl of cereal so they can just grab them and go in the mornings.”
“As we get closer to the first day of school I start waking them up earlier so that they’re not sleeping in as much and can start getting back into the habit.
“At the end of the summer, we do one big vacation and a big shop to get their inside shoes, gym clothes, supplies, and a couple of new outfits, including a special one for picture day.”
Whether it’s one last trip to help summer sign off gracefully, an epic shopping trip to help equip your kids with everything they need to tackle the school year, or small routine changes to help ease your kids back into a routine, these tips should come in handy as September rolls in.
What are your best tips for helping your kids survive the transition back into school?