Sleep During the summer, sleep schedules shift. Plan to start transitioning your kids back to an earlier bedtime 1-2 weeks prior to the start of school. Even 15 min adjustments towards that earlier bedtime/wakeup time can make a big difference. Talk with your child about when they need to get up for school and then figure out a bedtime that helps them get adequate sleep (usually 8-12 hours per night) depending on their age.
Media Use Media use tends to increase during the summer months when kids have more freetime. Most pediatricians recommend 2 hours or less per day. Talk with your kids about what that looks like at your house. Do you allow screentime in bedrooms? What needs to be finished before watching a show (homework, practice, chores)? ...Netflix on their phone counts, too! If kids are up late on their phones, consider a central charging place and a time that phones need to be there.
Mornings Younger kids tend to have morning meltdowns when they feel rushed. Consider laying out clothes, making lunches, or checking if homework is in their backpack the night before. No one likes to find out its "crazy hair day" 5 mins before the bus arrives!
Homework We encourage older kids to manage their own homework and assignments but everybody could use a weekly check-in. Pick one night per week (Sunday works well at our house) to eat a meal together, get online and check their assignments/grades/test scores/homework.
Study Station et up a homework station in your home that has fun supplies and space to spread out. Talk with your child about the best time to do homework with their fall activity schedule in mind. Are you okay with older kids having their phone nearby while they study? If texting and facetiming are a distraction, consider a compromise of 30-45 mins of studying followed by a 10 minute break on their phone.
School Lunchs In general, kids who bring their lunch to school, tend to eat a healthier meal but no parent likes to find 3/4 of it coming home untouched. Take your kids on a shopping trip for lunch and snack supplies so they can help select foods they will eat. Talk about eating a rainbow with your younger kids, add more protein/healthy fats for your athletic child, or invest in a bento box and a small water bottle that fits in their lunch box to decrease waste. If sandwiches are boring, try pita and hummus, yogurt, granola, and fruit, or whole grain pasta and sauce as alternatives.
School Anxiety If your child is feeling anxious about school starting, try to setup a playdate or get-together with one or two friends that will be in their class or grade in the few weeks left before school starts. Younger kids might like to visit the playground at their new preschool or elementary school. Older kids can look online to see what clubs or afterschool activities are offered at their school in the fall and talk to a friend about signing up together.