It’s that time of year again- the kids are back in school and your schedule has gone back to normal (or at least what passes for normal with kids). It can be tricky getting them back into the swing of things but don’t worry, I’m here to help! Today I’m sharing some tips on how to get your kids back on a school schedule and help them succeed this year. I hope these tips help you create a loving family life at home!
I haven’t talked about it a whole lot, but my husband and I have had custody of my step-daughter’s children for the last year. It’s been tough year to say the least. We started out with all five of her kids last summer, but only have four now because of the oldest’s behavioral issues. All of the kids have had trauma and they each have challenging behavior issues but so far we’re hanging in there.
This year is the kids’ second year in public school – they were previously homeschooled. And while I homeschooled my own kids for 23 years, with all of the other challenges we’ve been dealing with, we decided that homeschooling wasn’t the best option at this point. The four kids are currently ages: 15, 12, 10, and 8. The oldest boy who is no longer with us is 16.
Jenna, the 15 year old, is going to a private church academy this year and we’re all excited for her to have this opportunity. The three youngest kids are Jessica, Jaala, and Jared and we have them in our local Independent School system.
Getting back into a school routine and helping kids transition back to a normal school schedule after having the summer off can be challenging. However, if there’s one thing I know how to do – it’s schedules.
Start by setting a firm bedtime. Kids need at least 10 hours of sleep at night. My kids are going to bed at 8:30 in the evening and they wake up at 6:30 in the morning to get ready for school. This gives them plenty of time to sleep and also get up and get ready for school.
I know it’s tempting to let them sleep in as long as possible but try to stick to a regular wake-up time. My kids are used to getting up early so this hasn’t been an issue for us. But I know for some families, getting up early is a challenge.
If your kids are used to sleeping in, start gradually a week or two before school starts. Set the alarm for 30 minutes earlier each day until you reach the desired wake-up time. This will help them (and you) adjust to the early mornings.
Create a Daily Routine for Your Kids
The next step is to create a schedule. This can be as simple as sitting down with your kids and writing out a daily schedule. I like to use charts that I put on the refrigerator so we can easily see what needs to be done and when.
When your days are predictable kids are calmer, feel safer, and have better behavior.
In our house, our back-to-school routine looks something like:
|6:30 am: kids wake up and get dressed|
7:00 am: breakfast
7:30 am: leave for school
3:30 pm: come home from school
4:00 pm: after school routine (see printable below)
6:00 pm: supper
7:00 pm: kids get their showers
8:15 pm: family worship
8:30 pm: bedtime
Consistency is key. It’s important for you to keep your days and kids’ routines consistent. As much as possible, try not to deviate from the schedule.
Of course, your schedule make not look just like mine – that’s okay! I’m just sharing what is working for us. You’ll need to adjust the schedule to fit your family’s needs.
Daily Chores for Kids
Your children should have daily chores that they are responsible for. This will help teach them responsibility and also help lighten your load. Each day, the children are responsible for checking off their assigned chores. This has been working great for us!
Some possible chores ideas for kids (depending on their ages) are:
- Make the bed
- Sweep floor
- Help with laundry
- Feed pets
- Wash dishes
- Set/clear the table
- Water plants, etc.
- Put away toys
You can read more about appropriate chores for kids here.
I’m a big believer in being consistent – especially when it comes to raising children. I’m also a big believer in the need for kids to go to bed early. These two things curb so many behavior issues!
After School Routine for Kids
Having a consistent routine when the kids get home from school helps your evenings run smoother. I limit my kids’ time on electronics and it’s important to make sure children are involved in other activities at home besides sitting in front of a screen.
Our after-school routine looks like this:
- unpack backpack and lunch box
- put away shoes and coats
- wash hands and change clothes
- complete homework
- play outside
- read for 30 minutes
- daily chores and responsibilities
- prep for tomorrow
Once they’ve done all those things, they can have their electronics for 30 minutes to an hour. They turn them back in at supper time. This has worked well for our family.
This free printable after school rules + afternoon routine for kids features a two page .pdf – choose which one you want to print. You can laminate the page if you want to actually have your child check off the list each day or just have them look at the list as they go. Either way works fine!
More Back to School Ideas
- How to Create a Successful Back to School Schedule
- How to Pack a Lunch for School Your Child Will Actually Eat + Free Printable Checklist
- Organization Tips for Simple School Mornings
Free Printable After School Rules | Afternoon Routine for Kids
An after-school routine can make things much easier for both parents and children. This free printable after-school routine will help your family get organized and help everyone know what to expect. With tasks for homework, chores, and fun activities, everything is covered! Print it out and get started today.
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Although it may take a little effort, getting your kids back on track for school doesn’t have to be difficult. With the routine, you can make this transition as smooth as possible for everyone involved. I hope you find this helpful as you get your kids ready for back to school!