Summer is on its way out and oftentimes, the lazy days of summer allow for more freedoms such as staying up late, increased screen time, and enjoying snacks throughout the day. It can be quite the shock (for both parents and children) when it’s time to head back to school.

Our team has pulled together favorite tips for getting back to a school friendly schedule:

Establish a Bedtime: To determine the best bedtime, determine what wake-up time will be and consider how much time your child needs in the morning. Consider moving your child’s bedtime a half hour earlier each night until you reach your desired bedtime. The amount of sleep your child needs each night will change as they age,

Establish a Wake-Up Time: The obvious counterpart to a set bedtime is a wake-up time! Using a similar process, start implementing a wake-up time corresponding to the bedtimes already set up. For older children, you can encourage responsibility by asking them to set an alarm clock and using it to wake up every day.

Take a Practice Run on Routines: Plan your new routines ahead of time. Some tasks you may wish to assign include:

  • Pick out clothes the night before
  • Pack lunch and water bottle in the morning
  • Make sure backpack is ready (morning or evening)
  • Brush teeth (morning and evening)
  • Clean up room before bed
  • Make a list of morning and evening tasks for your child. For younger children, you can include images or pictures so that they know what each task involves.

Include a few Back-To-School-Tasks: Before the summer comes to an end, add activities to help you prepare:

  • Pack up summer clothes and freshen up their school clothes
  • Create a homework space or re-decorate an already designated space to help them keep organized
  • Create a routine chart for both AM and PM, and hang them up where your child can see them

Back-to-School Worries: It’s understandable that it’s an emotional time for both children and parents. For those who are convinced it will be the worst day ever, consider:

  • Visit the School – seeing the room and walking the halls can do wonders for nervous little ones
  • Act out the day – use stuffed animals or dolls to act out what the day may be like
  • Share stories – share your experience about your first days back to school, what you loved, what you didn’t love
  • Acknowledge their feelings – let them know it is OK to be nervous and that their feelings are normal
  • Reconnect with Friends – schedule a play date or outing to catch up before school to ease their mind

At Pediatric Partners, we are often asked the question from parents, regarding the need for medical outpatient therapy services when their child will be receiving school-based therapy services once school is back in session. While all services are important, oftentimes it is beneficial to include medical-based therapies to provide your child with an increase in frequency and consistency of services.

To best understand how the therapies can benefit your child, we encourage you to have a conversation with your child’s therapist and ask your questions specifically as to what is best for your child as you transition back into the fall season, filled with new routines, busy schedules, homework demands and social situations.