Asked & Answered: Back to School

All responses taken from our Facebook groups: Foster Parenting Toolbox and Kinship Parenting Group.

The new school year is here! We asked current foster, kinship and adoptive parents how they help their children adjust back to a school routine at the end of summer. Here’s what they had to say: 

“We do a soft start of routines. It’s possible you do this already, as many kids thrive in environments where they know what to expect. But we have a morning routine – breakfast, reading time, get dressed. Then we do an activity – go outside, pool, park. Then have an afternoon routine – lunch, quiet time, chores. Just having a bit of structure so they know we accomplish these things before lunch, or I know I have to have quiet time before screens can help them transition to more structure.”

“We try to stay on a schedule all year. We may go to bed 30 minutes later if we have movie night or sleep in a little, but we don’t stray too far from the routine. It works best for us.”

“We do 10 minutes earlier for bed & wake up each day, so after a week we’re set 70 minutes back. It’s more gentle than switching straight back. And we do this a couple weeks before school starts so everyone is adjusted for both wake up & bedtimes.”

“As an educator, something I highly recommend is ‘bladder scheduling.’ Remember, kids will not have easy access to bathrooms. We start about 3 weeks with taking scheduled bathroom breaks at home and having to ask to use the restroom.”

“I start with the regular school bedtime a week before school, getting up earlier so the school day won’t be such a shock. I also start limiting screen time on video games, and encourage more outside time.”

“Begin with earlier bedtime and rise times…even with just a 15-minute to half-hour difference to start. Pick out clothes the night before (even play clothes), and make lunch the night before if needed.”

“We are going into kindergarten so we have to start removing naps to get our little ready. We will work on this the week before as well as start removing sugars/carbs to help him adjust when going back (ADHD).”

“We slowly move our bedtimes back over the course of 2 weeks before school starts.”

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