As summer winds down and the start of the new school year approaches, it is important to consider new rhythms and routines that promote predictable, smooth, and healthy transitions for the whole family.

Children crave boundaries and routines that are predictable and easy; this is especially important as schedules fill up with back-to-school activities. When children know what to expect each day, they feel safe and cared for.


Getting out the door in time to catch a bus or get to work on time can be challenging after summer days that may have been less regimented. If mornings feel hectic, consider visual cues for your children so they can work to keep themselves on task while you keep the ship afloat. A check list posted on the front door can be used to remind your kiddo about what they should have before walking out the door each day. Find some great suggestions for the morning transition, including printable morning checklists, here:

A little boy with red backpack walking down a gravel road

Meal Planning

Taking some time each week to plan meals can be a great way to save time during busy school and work days. Being intentional about planning meals can often lend to both healthier eating and financial habits. A simple notebook can do the job, but if you want something specific to lay out your meal plans each week, there are tons of great and inexpensive methods available, in paper or digital form. Check out this link for some suggestions for meal planning apps:


A good solid bedtime routine can certainly help to reduce struggles related to the return to the school year schedule. Bedtime rituals like reading together, snuggling and quiet talks about the day can be a wonderful time to slow down and connect with your child after busy school days. Additionally, ensuring that young children receive adequate amounts of sleep is important when considering rapidly developing brains and better prepared bodies for learning each day. Young children often need more sleep than we might think.

Preparing for the Transitions

Conversations about the upcoming changes to routines and schedules can be really helpful for children. Making time to talk about what each day might look like as your kiddos head back to school can be a comfort and offer some foresight. You might have a period of adjustment that feels difficult, but thankfully nothing is permanent.