5 to THRIVE: Switching Gears from Summer to School!
Summer was weird, and the school year is starting out even weirder. Nevertheless, families have to get back into the swing of things. Follow these five tips on how to make it to school before the bell rings!
Hopefully, you made the best of your summer with plenty of relaxation and maybe even some spontaneity! But with the school year starting back up, regardless if your child is continuing with virtual learning or heading back to a classroom, schedules and alarms are once again going to be the norm.
Five ways to ease into the school year:
- Sleep Schedules
- Meal Preparation
- Update your Calendar
- Family Meetings
- Share Responsibility
How many times have you read about the importance of sleep?
Every health magazine and parenting guru harps on the almighty sleep schedule. We’re sorry to say it, but they’re right (this time). SLEEP is absolutely the most beneficial routine and gift you can give to yourself and your children.
According to the American Sleep Association (and probably every doctor you’ve ever talked to) sleep is vital for your entire well-being. From your brain to your heart and even your immune system, your body and mind need to have plenty of sleep, no matter what age you are.
Before the school year is in full swing, start improving your child’s sleep schedule. Initiate the dreaded bedtime by having them go to bed a little earlier every other night. Do this until they are getting the right amount of sleep. School-aged children need about 10 hours of sleep a night to be at their best.
Keep in mind what time they need to wake up in the morning for school as well. Letting them sleep 10 p.m. to 8 a.m. is great for the summer, but it’s not going to work well with catching the bus, or making morning virtual attendance if they’re remote this year. Bueller, anyone?
As you scale back what time the kiddos are going to bed each night, make sure they are getting up a little earlier each morning.
Fuel their bodies so they can grow their brains
Another topic that is thrown around a lot is meal prepping. Some people partake in extreme-meal-prepping, spending every Sunday in the kitchen, cooking and freezing dinner for the week.
This is where you have to know yourself.
Is this realistic for you, and would you actually keep up with that sort of thing? If so, you get a gold star and lots of organized meals!
For the rest of us, meal prepping is going to look a bit more relaxed. Like a dedicated day of the week to go food shopping and preparing lunches the night before.
If you need help organizing your meals, check out The Henry. He has a no-nonsense design that includes a to-do whiteboard, corkboard, and a weekly blackboard – perfect to plan the kids’ weekly lunches. Parents everywhere are finding out that the best plan of action for your meals is to actually have a plan!
Speaking of organization, let’s talk calendars
Your schedule is about to get a lot busier. Afterschool sports and activities (if they are happening), due dates for assignments, the occasional sleepover, and wine night because parents need to decompress after a busy day! If you don’t have all this organized (especially the part about the wine), you’ll be pulling your hair out before Halloween, and nobody wants that. Unless it’s a part of your costume, but even then, we don’t recommend.
Set up a system now, 1THRIVE has amazing wall organizers to help organize the chaos. Depending on the size of your tribe, you may need a Family Pack. The point is, figure out a system that works now before you get overwhelmed.
Talk shop with your family
Everyone hates those pointless meetings their supervisors insist on having once a month but hear us out: family meetings. Take time to talk with your spouse and children about what’s going on in everyone’s lives.
It sounds pretty boring, but since we can’t just look at each other’s Instagram, the answer is to talk with your family face-to-face.
A weekly family dinner is a great place to connect with your family. You can find out:
- What’s going on with everyone?
- What’s stressing you out?
- How are your friends/work/school?
This one hour will make a huge impact on everyone and will keep you all connected as a family. As parents, it’s always nice to know any concerns your kids have. With how hectic the world is right now, it’s a good idea to have your first meeting before school starts. It’s a real possibility your kids are concerned about what’s going on and how school will be different this year.
Lastly, lighten the load
All parents are superheroes, we know this. We have the power to fix almost anything and also the knowledge of where everything is located in the house (gym shorts, keys, favorite toy, etc.). But we need to stop trying to do it all.
Your kids are getting older, and if you have a partner, they’re old enough to take some responsibility. Just having someone to take out the trash or teach your high schooler to do his own laundry will save you a bit of sanity.
Before school starts, begin dividing up job duties. Use your new command center to plan and assign chores for your family as another way to improve communication among everyone. Now the kids can’t pretend they didn’t know they were supposed to do the dishes.
The school year is a time of excitement and anxiety. Lessen the latter by deciding that your family is going to work together as a team.Organization is a key ingredient in a smoothly run home. At 1THRIVE, we want you to succeed. Trust us, your 1THRIVE Center is going to improve the day-to-day for your whole family throughout the year!