Routine is Key as Kids Return to School and Football

By Jon Buzby | Posted 9/8/2020

It’s never easy getting back into the routine of returning to school after summer vacation. Enjoying three months off filled with carefree fun, no alarms or bedtimes, and time spent with family and friends at favorite vacation destinations makes the week after Labor Day perhaps one of the hardest post-holiday times to endure.

This year, it’s even harder because kids haven’t been in a normal school routine for more than five months thanks to Covid-19.

No matter what state you live in, everyone is heading back to school now in some way or another. And while how kids are returning to school isn’t consistent across the country, one thing they all have in common is that they’ve been out of a normal school routine for almost half a year.

That all changes this week. Even kids attending school 100% virtually will have a much more rigorous schedule than they did in the spring when schools were unexpectedly thrust into a situation they had never experienced before, and teachers made a valiant effort salvaging the school year instructing from their dining rooms.

For kids going into the school buildings, it’s back to normal in terms of a routine at home. But for kids who are at home learning virtually, it’s important to implement a daily routine that fits this new educational atmosphere.

Routines are important from the time the alarm goes off. And the alarm should go off in enough time for kids to go through whatever routine they normally would if they had to get on a bus, including getting dressed and fed. Not only will they look better, but they will also feel better about themselves. Their minds and bodies will be more ready to learn if they don’t roll out of bed and directly into their desk chair.

Speaking of which, kids should be sitting at a table or desk while on their live sessions. There’s a reason why our bosses at work make us sit at desks and don’t provide us couches to lounge on as we prepare documents, send emails, and do other work-related tasks. Adults work better sitting (or standing) straight up with both feet on the floor. So do our kids.

Lastly, the re-establishment of a homework and study routine has to happen from the start. The bus or car ride home often provided a chance to complete homework or if not, still gave kids a much-needed mental break from school. Now, without that period of time, it’s important to give your kids a break after they get offline and before they start their homework.

Now, you might ask yourself, “What does all this have to do with football?”

Just like being in the classroom, it has probably been a while since your child was on the football field with a real goal-driven purpose. Returning to a team practice regimen preparing for games is far different than gathering in the summer for informal workouts, which were probably voluntary. The best way for kids to be in the right frame of mind when they attend practice in the evening and play games on the weekends is to feel good about themselves as students during the day.

There is light at the end of this unprecedented pandemic tunnel, but as we approach it, we need to do so by establishing and sticking to a routine that is similar to if we weren’t still in the dark.

Doing so will make the transition this fall easier, and your household happier.

Stay safe and healthy.

Jon Buzby has been involved in and writing about youth sports for the past 30 years with perspectives as a parent, coach and board member. Jon is an award-winning writer and his latest book, “Coaching Kids Made Easier,” is available on Amazon. Send comments or future blog topics you'd like to see to and follow him @YouthSportsBuzz on Twitter.


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