Although we have been experiencing some of the hottest days we’ve had all summer, I know our summer break is coming to a close: we have two weeks until the official start date of our 2015 – 2016 academic year. As I nail down lesson plans and schedules, I realized that getting up early enough to work out and have breakfast on the table by 7 AM seems…um…aweful! We definitely have been taking advantage of the our time off by staying up late and sleeping in. I know it is going to be hard for me to adjust my summer sleeping habits, so I imagine my kids may have some trouble adjusting, too.
Here are some ideas to help wean your children (and you!) off of summer break. Starting one or two weeks before school starts…
- Start going to bed 5-10 minutes early each day. Make a schedule (I love schedules!) or just remember to start your kids’ bedtime routine early, so they slowly get adjusted to going to bed earlier. Realizing they are probably not as tired now, since they’ve been used to staying up later, we let ours have about 20 minutes of book time in bed to help them wind down. This goes for us adults, too!
- Set an ‘All Electronics Off’ time. At our house, we can sometimes get caught up in a show or games on our phones/iPad, etc. and not realize how late it is getting. We try to have all electronics turned off at least 30 minutes before ‘lights out.’
- Start setting your alarm 5-10 minutes earlier each day. Slowly get use to waking up earlier. This is the hard part for me: I’m not a morning person.
- Make a summer bucket list. Have your kids make a list of things they want to do before the school year begins i.e. go to the zoo, go to the beach, make popsicles, etc. and try to do at least some of them.
- Build some anticipation for school. We have a ‘countdown to school’ display. ZooKid’s current interest is Jurassic World/Dinosaurs (No, we didn’t let him watch it!), so we have a raptor overlooking a plate of chicken legs, numbered for how many days left until school starts. Each day, the raptor ‘eats’ a chicken leg, taking us one day closer to the first day of school.
- Throw a back-to-school party. The night before school starts, have a little party. This could be a game night with cupcakes or a family bike ride, possibly with decorated helmets. Ideas are endless.
Come the first day of school, it won’t be so difficult to get up and get into routine. Maybe I won’t need a whole pot of coffee….
Happy last weeks of summer!’