Back-to-School Routines

Laura Mitchell's picture
By Laura Mitchell on August 5, 2019

The new school year is upon us. Are your kids ready? We talked with Carilion Clinic providers to see how they help their kids make the transition from the lazy days of summer to the structure and routine of the academic calendar.

Make getting enough sleep a family priority, not just something your kids have to do.

They say that for kids of every age, the right supplies and the right routines are necessary building blocks to school success. Specifically:

  • Shop for school supplies together
  • Adjust sleep schedules a week or two before school starts, especially for younger children
  • Get back into regular dinner and nighttime routines
infographic showing recommended sleep guidelines for children from the AAP

Guidelines from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine show that teens need more sleep than many families realize.

Some families take a less-structured approach to back-to-school planning.

“We really don't have any back-to-school rituals,” said one Carilion Children's pediatrician. “We focus on school supply shopping a couple weeks before school goes back and otherwise just try to plan for the adjustments in schedules once school is in session.”

These back-to-school strategies can help kids:

  • Adjust bedtimes and wake-up times in advance of the start of school
  • Organize clothes and sort out what still fits and what needs to be replaced
  • Clear out a quiet, dedicated space for homework and stock it with school supplies

Like all parents, Carilion Clinic providers are busy this time of year stocking up on school supplies, thinking of new breakfast and lunchbox ideas and trying to get their kids to fall asleep before it’s entirely dark outside.

By following these tips, their kids and yours will have a great start to a successful school year.

Find more sleep advice at, the American Academy of Pediatrics' family information site.