GraduateI’ll admit. We don’t follow a schedule during the summer months. We spend nine months of the year adhering to a pretty tight and busy schedule with the kids. During our summer off, we all want to relax. I pretty much let the kids go to bed at any time. Sometimes I fall asleep before they do. (Old lady, I know). But for the most part, an 11:30 p.m. bedtime is not so unusual for my kiddos. This late-night routine means they wake up pretty late most mornings, which actually works out great for this work-from-home mom. I can usually get a few hours of work in before the first peep for breakfast by one of my night owls.

So how do we transition from long lazy days and late nights to up and out by 7:30 a.m.? Here are my tips:

1. Reintroduce the daily routine slowly. I start by waking my kids up 30 minutes earlier every few days in the weeks before school starts. This will help their natural clocks feel tired earlier at night and get us back to bed at 9:00 p.m. Soon we’ll be back on track.

2. Get the excitement going with a back-to-school shopping trip. When I was a child, nothing softened the blow for going back to school better than a new book bag, school supplies, and a few new pairs of jeans. This is a great way to get the kids mentally excited about school. To save on cash, check competitor price match policies, use coupons, and take advantage of the tax-free weekend if your state/county offers it.

3. Crack open the skills books. My kids spend the day playing and exploring. But research shows that kids who don’t practice core math, reading, and writing skills over the summer will lose a percentage of those skills learned in the previous grade. While we take a short break after the school year ends, within a few weeks we do review books on each subject. It takes us only an hour each weekday to go over these skills. I purchased one book with all subjects. Keeping the learning going helps children more easily transition into the first few weeks of school, especially when those weeks are usually devoted to reviewing the skills learned the previous year.

What are your tips for transitioning your children back into the school routine?

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