This post is part 2 of a series of mini-posts about Back-to-School topics. Yesterday, we got started with ways to make the first day a little bit of a party for your children. Today, we're talking routines!
Back to school is almost unrecognizable this year. Shopping for new clothes & school supplies won't be quite the same for everyone. School bus routes & carpool lines will be different or non-existent.
But, whether it looks the same or not, school is starting again. And that means we have new opportunities to start new routines or refresh old ones.
Routines help kids by giving them some structure & set expectations. With all the changes they've been going through this year, routines are even more important!
Morning Back-to-School Routines
Mornings are not my favorite, but they are so important in setting your child up for a great day! Making lunches & getting everyone dressed is par for the course, but what other ways can we make our mornings profitable & life-giving for our kids?
- Morning Devotions - One gift that this time has given us is that my husband has been able to work from home. So, we get to have family devotions over the breakfast table. We usually read from one of our storybook Bibles (The Jesus Storybook Bible & The Gospel Storybook Bible are our favorites) or a kids devotional (How Great Is Our God & Indescribable by Louis Giglio have been fun to go through). We also have been working our way through the New City Catechism. The kids enjoy the songs that are part of the children's mode on the app.
- What's Ahead - Whatever method of instruction your child will be having this year, it's always a good idea to talk through the events of the day. This ends up being a good way to gauge any fears or nerves that your child might have about the day. Tests, appointments, who's driving them home - all good topics of discussion. This leads well into prayer over the day ahead!
Nightly Back-to-School Routines
You're all worn out from the long day, and you might not have much left in the tank. Outside of the typical routines, how can you make the most of each school night?
- Dinner Conversation - We've started doing some conversation starters at dinner to get our kids talking. "What did you learn?" is a great starting point, but think a little deeper than that, too. Here are some suggestions from thefamilydinnerproject.org:
- "If you could change one thing about school, what would it be?"
- "What makes your teacher such a great teacher?"
- "Tell me what lunch was like today."
- Screen-Free Stress Relief - You've all had a full day, and you might be tempted to give in to the easiest option - TV or iPad time. I'm not against those things - our kids get their fair share of screen time. But wouldn't it be great to find some easy, screen-free options to help your child decompress? (Bonus if it also gives them quality, one-on-one time with you!)
- coloring or drawing
- playing a board game
- doing a minute-to-win-it game
- building with Legos or blocks
- reading an extra book together
Whether your child will be attending in-person instruction or distance learning or homeschooling, the beginning of a new school year means new possibilities! Let's take advantage by setting up & refreshing routines to help our home run more smoothly.
(Check back tomorrow for a peek inside our homeschool!)
What do you do at night to help your child feel ready for rest & ready for the next day?