“Keep it simple, Baby!”
With school back in session and families figuring out their new rhythms, I’m reminded of a conversation I had many years ago with a wise kindergarten teacher who told me that it takes about six weeks for young children to adapt to a new routine. Her advice, which I used with great success when my kids were little, was: "Keep it simple, baby!"
To bring ease, simplicity, and connection to the new school year, consider structuring your at-home routine around these four pillars:
Plenty of time for unstructured, free play after school. This gives kids a chance to debrief and process the busy day and helps them find their own natural rhythms.
Warm, nourishing snacks. While intentionally preparing snacks takes effort and planning on the part of the parent, it truly does support your child’s body, mind and soul.
Early bedtime. Children need deep rest throughout the year, but especially when they are adjusting to new routines.
Fewer after school activities if possible (at least for the first 6 weeks). Allow your child to settle into the pattern of school day and develop confidence in their routines before adding more new things to their schedule.
While these suggestions are most important for young children, even older kids benefit from a good pause after a long day of school...heck so do I!