For many working parents, sending their children back to school after the holidays or summer vacation is both anticipated and feared. Finding ways for children to stay busy while you are at work can be a big task, but so can adjusting to a new school year. Getting up earlier, more traffic than usual, and still trying to make it to work on time can be a challenge. Here are some tips to help your family develop a helpful back- to -school routine.
During summer, bedtime routines usually go out the window. Kids stay up later than usual and they sleep in the next day. By the time school starts again, the daily rhythm that works best for a family needs to be reestablished again. Homework time, dinnertime and bedtime should ideally happen at the same hour each day. Children thrive on routines, since that gives them a sense of control over their lives.
Pack Lunches the Night Before
A huge time saver in the morning is to pack lunches the night before. Doing that can save you around 15 minutes of your morning routine, which helps reduce common stress.
Teach Children to Help With Chores
A working parent already wears so many different hats throughout each day. Who says you have to do everything around the house too? Expecting children to do chores teaches them responsibility at a young age. Even a four-year old is capable of putting dirty clothes in the hamper. Besides, taking some of the chores off of your hands makes life easier on you. You are not doing your children a favor by doing everything for them. Less cleaning time means more family time.
It’s important to know well ahead of time where your child is going to be after school dismisses. Find a babysitter or nanny, or sign up for the after school program that most schools offer. It’s also good to have a sitter ready for sick days or snow days. No working parent wants to get a call at work to be reminded to pick up his or her child at school.
Create an Area for Homework
Have a designated area for your child’s homework. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. If your child likes doing homework at the kitchen table, that’s fine. Just make sure the area is free of clutter. Provide enough supplies, but also some peace and quiet for better concentration.