It's amazing how fast the Christmas and New Year period comes and goes. Before you know it, you are buying larger uniforms, new school bags and completing purchases on the ever dreaded booklist. If your children are anything like mine, they are itching to get back to school to relieve the boredom that six weeks of holidays seems to bring, after all, there is only so much reading, movies and play dates one can handle before the words 'I am bored' come out. But what happens when the holidays are coming to an end and your children are still staying up late then sleeping in the next day? How do we break this cycle gently so that our children don't go into shock from having to wake up at 6:30 am instead of 8:30 am?
The answer is to plan a routine. I call this the 'Back To School Routine' and I start my children on it the week before school resumes. Some might ask 'but how do you get your kids to go to bed early when they are accustomed to playing their iPads and xboxes until late at night'? I ban technology for the week leading up to school. It might sound a bit daunting to get into this battle with your children however I sit my children down and explain that they have to get their bodies and brains used to learning again so although they had a great time playing with technology over the holidays, now it is time to put the technology away for a month until they get back into a routine. I also offer incentives such as pocket money or a reward such as seeing a movie on their own with myself or my husband (their choice) if they can meet this challenge I have set them. Once my children know why I have taken away their iPads and that they will actually get them back plus they have the chance to get a reward for doing so, there are not so many arguments.
On the topic of arguments, if your find that your child is not liking the technology ban, a suggestion to combat this may be to only allow them to use technology for a specified time frame each day (i.e. a time that they would normally have free time during the school term). This can help to let your child feel as though they are not completely missing out however be sure to stay strict with this and only allow your child to use technology during the allocated times you have set, otherwise your routine will not work.
I have included an outline of the routine I use with my children below. It has times that my children have to wake up, eat their breakfast and do their daily chores, as well as an afternoon routine to ensure they complete their homework. I also like to include free time in my routine as it is very important for children to have some down time after learning all day at school. Please feel free to use my routine or change it to suit your needs.
6:30am- Wake Up
7:00-7:45am- Morning Chores
7:45-8:15am- Watch TV (Only If All Chores Are Completed)
8:15am- Leave For School
3:00-3:30pm- Arrive Home From School
3:30pm- Afternoon Snacks
3:40pm- Free Time
6:00pm- Dinner Clean Up
6:30pm- Free Time
For hands on help with getting your child organised, the tutors at Pathways Tuition have extensive experience with organising children to with their busy schedule; from homework to assessment to sporting commitments, let one of the qualified teachers from an affordable tutoring business on the Gold Coast help your child get into a routine that will benefit the whole family.