Well, it's the final week of our Get Ready for K Through Play series and I am sad to see it end. Regular readers might recall that a group of kid bloggers (including myself) have been sharing ideas, tips and activities to prepare your child for Kindergarten. For 8 weeks, we have been focusing on a different Kindergarten readiness skill. The topic this week is Ready to Learn where I will be sharing some ideas for setting up a bedtime routine for kids so they will be ready to learn at school.
Do you need a schedule? We have had sleep schedules since our children were infants. Our family operates best on a schedule. Yours may not, but if your child is starting school, then you will need to be there at a certain time, and setting up a bedtime routine makes the process a lot easier.Before you can establish your bedtime routine, you need to determine how long it takes your child to get ready in the morning. Think about the kinds of things that need to be done before you take your child to school - eat, put on clothes, wash up, fix hair (allow extra time for this if you have a girl with longer hair), pack snacks, lunches and backpacks. I leave backpacks along with sweaters near the garage door so we can just grab them on our way out.
We pick out clothes the night before school as well. Once kids start having an opinion about what they will wear, choosing clothes becomes a lot more time consuming. Check the weather forecast before putting your kids to bed and pick clothes the night before.
Once you discover how long it takes your kids to get ready, work backwards from there. It takes me an hour to get my three girls ready and we currently need to leave the house at 8:30. I wake them up at 7:30 AM and they are in bed by 8:30 PM and usually asleep at 9. Your child might need more or less sleep. You know what is typical for them.We have a fixed dinner time of 7 PM every night. It works for us because my husband is usually home by then so we can eat as a family. By 7:30-7:45, we are starting our nighttime routine which usually wraps up by 8:30. At that point the kids are tucked in bed. Since our twins share a room, they are allowed to talk until 9:00.
We bought a digital clock for them and when they see 9:00 PM on the clock they stop talking. We were shocked this worked. I realize this won't work for all kids, but it has been successful in our household with the bonus being our kids can now read a digital clock. We hung up a sign in their room that says 7:30 so the kids know they can get out of bed when they see that on the clock. They naturally wake up between 7:15 and 7:30, so it was a good wake up time for us and gives me enough time to get everyone ready for school in the morning.
The last thing you want to do is be frenzied and harried running out the door. Not only is this stressful for you, but your kids will pick up on the stress as well. Anytime I have been in a rush my kids are always more prone to meltdowns and frankly, so am I. So give yourself and them the gift of time which comes from have a predictable sleep and waking schedule. It will make your mornings run smoother and get your kids ready to learn.
To enjoy the entire Get Ready for K Through Play series at Mess For Less click on the following links.