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My son is finishing kindergarten soon and will have the summer off. How can I avoid breaking his routine and sleep cycle this summer while he’s out of school?

June 6, 2014

By YOU Program Facilitator

A young boy sucks his thumb as he sleeps.

Question: My son is finishing kindergarten soon and will have the summer off. We established a good routine for him throughout the school year that included set times for sleeping and eating. How can I avoid breaking his routine and sleep cycle this summer while he’s out of school?

Answer: It’s wonderful that you were able to establish a routine with your son that works both for him and your family. Children and adults respond well to consistency, and that routine likely helped him focus more while he was in school.

You can still keep a similar routine this summer, but you may need to make a few adjustments. Depending on how flexible your family can be, you might try some of these tips:

  • Allow a slightly later bed and wake-up time. If it works for your family, allow your son a little extra time and fun on summer nights, as long as you can allow him at least eight hours of sleep each night.
  • Keep the same meal times. Serve breakfast within the same amount of time from waking up as you did while your son was in school. Do the same for lunch, snacks, and dinner.
  • Schedule learning and activity times. Just as your son would spend time learning in school, schedule time for him to practice what he learned in workbooks or other fun but academic lessons. Let him play and be physical around the same time he would have recess at school.

Even though your son isn’t in school this summer, you can still create a routine that mimics his school schedule by incorporating set mealtimes, learning and activity times, and bedtimes. If you are not home with him to implement these routines, make sure the daycare or babysitter can follow them.

For more information on establishing routines for your child, see the YOU: Your Child’s First Teacher 3-book set.

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