Going back to school means getting back into a routine.
Routines may not involve vacations, spontaneous water fights, or the freedom to grab a good book and lay on the lawn chair all day, but they offer different kinds of benefits.
A routine can:
- help keep your life simple and organized, and we all know how crazy the school year can get.
- provide your children a structure to learn important skills like how to set priorities, meet deadlines, become more independent, and develop habits of self-care.
Each new school year comes with different challenges and needs so it’s important to get into the routine that works best for your kids.
Soon enough you’ll be swamped with a vast number of important dates and deadlines. These might include school events, homework assignments, doctor appointments, or church activities.
A calendar is a great way to stay organized and keep everything in one centralized place. It will serve as an important reference point each day to help you stay on top of things.
You might also want to consider color coding, using stickers, or highlighting to keep your calendar even more organized and easy to use. Whether it’s a traditional paper calendar or a digital calendar, choose whatever method works best for you.
If you like digital calendars (on your phone, for instance), you may want to consider adding smart speakers to your home.
Alexa, the Amazon Echo voice-activated smart speaker personality, can help you easily add items to a calendar – or check your schedule – all with the sound of your voice. It’s a great way to help simplify your routine.
RELATED POST: How Smart Speakers Improve Your Home Experience
Your family’s back to school morning routine can set the tone for the rest of the day. Mornings have the potential to be the most productive time of day.
Of course, it’s not guaranteed every morning will run smoothly and perfectly, which is why it’s important to know your kids.
- Do they have a hard time waking up so more time should be dedicated to this part of the morning?
- Does breakfast require certain limitations or preparations?
- Do you have a little girl who likes you to spend time styling her hair before school?
It might be beneficial to create a rough schedule and adjust as the first months of school go by. Here’s an example schedule to help get you started on how your own routine should play out:
|7:00||Wake up and make bed|
|7:45||Brush hair and teeth|
|8:00||Leave for school|
You’ve been there before. The kids walk through the front door after a long day of school, throw their backpacks and books on the ground, leave their shoes in the entry hall then rush off to some other part of the house to play.
Kids are so excited to get home that it might be difficult to get them to stay focused and organized. This is where establishing zones in your home plays an important role in your back to school routine.
For example, choose an area in your house known as the homework station. Also establish sections where:
- backpacks and school supplies are stored
- important papers are organized
- art projects and keepsakes are kept
- sports equipment is stowed away.
These established zones will help keep your house and life more organized and efficient.
Preparing meals for your family throughout the week will be a lot less stressful if you plan in advance. Find somewhere to write down the meals you plan to make for each week day. This could be on a chalkboard or whiteboard hung in the kitchen or even on your iPhone or iPad.
Also include a grocery list of items you’ll need to buy in preparation for each week day meal. One trip to the grocery store is much more efficient than last-minute meal prep each day.
This is another area where a smart speaker like the Echo can come in handy.
As soon as a grocery item comes to mind, you can tell Alexa to add it to your grocery list on your smart phone and she’ll do it right away. When you get to the store, your list is available in the app. Meal planning just got a whole lot easier.
Nothing makes for a productive day like a good night’s sleep. We all know how cranky kids (and parents) can be without a solid night of rest. Getting your kids to bed on time is a vital part of your school routine.
A report by the National Sleep Foundation details the recommended amount of sleep for children based on their age:
The amount of sleep needed for every child may differ, so it’s important to know your kids and their personal needs.
Like meal planning is less stressful when planned out in advance, the same holds true for mornings.
As soon as your kids go to sleep, this is the time to start preparing for the morning ahead.
Here are some tips on what you can do at night to make your back to school morning routine even more efficient.
- Lay out clothes for the next day
- Get backpacks ready
- Prepare lunches
- Set out breakfast plates
Starting a new school year isn’t just an adjustment for your kids, but for you too. Your own personal routine will most likely change. One of the best things to do is simplify any tasks that can be simplified.
A smart home can help take care of the little details for you, freeing you up to make sure the kids are able to do what they need to do. A smart home learns your habits and patterns and works with you to simplify your life. For instance:
- You can program your smart home to have “good night mode” which can do multiple things to prepare your home for bed, like turn off lights, close the garage, lower or raise temperature for more comfortable sleeping, and lock your doors.
- Smart thermostats can automatically adjust to a desired temperature when leaving for school, or coming home from school, or going to bed. This helps save energy (and money) and keep your home comfortable.
- Indoor cameras can help you monitor when kids come home from school, and with the two-way voice commands you can easily remind them to use their established zones.
Learn more about how home automation can simplify your routine.
Adjusting to the new school year can be challenging for both kids and parents, but with the right back to school routine, it can be a much smoother transition for everyone. Back to school is an exciting time for your kids so be sure to enjoy the moments and memories that come with each new school year!