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Published on August 08, 2013

Back to Class

Dean Pediatrician Anne Arbet, MD, shares how to master the new school year

Going from the slow pace of summer vacation to a strict school year schedule can be rough on you and the kids. But with a little preparation, you can get fall off to a great start.

  • Do It Gradually: Two weeks before school starts, begin to enforce earlier wakeups and bedtimes. After a summer of flexible schedules, kids need some time to get back to a more structured routine. It will be easier on their systems if you can work up to those early wakeup calls.
  • Visualize: Buy or make a large calendar or whiteboard to note after-school activities, practices and other commitments. Visualizing the family’s fall schedule can help everyone get into the right frame of mind well before the first class bell rings.
  • Master Lunch: If the kids are finally old enough to make their own lunches, go with it! Start practicing the art of making a perfect sack lunch with them before school begins. When the time comes, have them prepare their lunch the night before to minimize hectic mornings.
  • Prepare Early: In addition to making lunch the night before, you can bring sanity to the school year just by avoiding the morning family rush hour. Have the kids choose their outfit before bedtime, and load backpacks well before hitting the sheets. Soccer practice or play date after class? Help them get their gear together so it’s ready to go in the morning.
  • Do a Dry Run: If you’re starting at a new school, gauge morning drive time with a dry run. Be sure to pick a weekday at the actual time you’ll be driving so you get the most realistic estimate. Then grab a special breakfast out and talk about how great the new school year will be!

What are your best tips for getting back into the fall groove? Share them with us below!

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