While it’s easy to think that a return to normal will be easy enough, it’s important to remember that our kids can’t just pick up where they left off. There’s been a tremendous amount of upheaval in all of our lives. Unlike previous years, this return may not be filled with excited anticipation and the usual promise that a new year holds. Children may be feeling apprehensive, tired, scared, and yearning for the predictability they once knew. Educators and parents need to be especially mindful as the new school year begins.
Ahead we take a look at how this school year will likely be different for everyone, the importance of establishing routines to keep stress and anxiety in check, and we also share how parents can use the Moshi app to get their kids back into the swing of things.
Stability is Crucial in Times of Change
From the perspective of our students, the school year will still not look like the normal they’re craving. In addition to seeing new faces and meeting new peers, they will likely be spaced out, there will be a sea of people in masks, and there will be a heightened emphasis on health and hygiene. They may enter the school year with misgivings about their health and wellbeing that set the stage for a new school year that’s marked by stress and anxiety.
It’s no surprise that researchers, scientists, educators, and parents elevated the importance of routines for our children during the pandemic when almost every major life routine was interrupted. In January 2021, National Geographic published an article called The science behind all that ‘create a routine’ advice. In this article, they highlight three key reasons why routines are so important: “Repetition signals importance, routines allow the brain to do work elsewhere, and stability equals a sense of purpose.” These are three areas that parents and educators can focus on as they create and finalize the key routines for the home and classroom. In particular, taking extra care to make sure that the beginning, middle, and end of the day routines, the times when the big transitions happen, are clearly communicated and practiced to optimize success.
So how does Moshi connect to all of this? In this same National Geographic article, the author called out the importance of starting small and sleeping. Moshi offers short meditations – about 5-6 minutes – that lend themselves well to a beginning-of-the-day routine to get the brain and body ready for learning. Moshi also offers bedtime stories and music that are backed by research to help significantly with sleep routines (Moshi gets children to sleep 28 minutes faster, for 22 minutes longer, and with a 50% decrease in night wakeups*). Successful bedtime routines and quality sleep will help children more constructively engage in routines throughout the school day.
A Closer Look at Routines
Routines establish normalcy and offer a sense of security to children. While certain routines are unique to individual families, they tend to share some common characteristics and outcomes.
Routines often center around:
- Morning time (getting ready for the day, having breakfast, and getting out the door)
- Afterschool (free play, homework, extracurricular activities)
- Evening time (dinner preparation, mealtime, and bedtime)
Routines can be helpful because they:
- Help your child get on a schedule
- Establish expectations and set boundaries
- Keep chaos to a minimum
- Give kids a sense of confidence and independence
- Establish good habits
- Offer stability in stressful times
While Moshi is the #1 sleep and mindfulness app for kids, there are plenty of resources within its content that can help your child get through routines and transitions of the day, both at home and at school. Let’s take a closer look at how Moshi can help.
Morning Routines with Moshi
Before the morning rush begins (and maybe even before your little one gets out of bed), Moshi Moments and Meditations can help them start the day off on a positive note. These short meditative audibles, like No More Nerves with Ivy and Mr. Snoodle’s Moshi Moodlifter, can help your child power up as they set the tone for the day and encourage a bit of calm.
After-School Routines with Moshi
After an exciting day at school, Moshi Meditations can help kids calm their minds and bodies and help them unwind. For older kids, Moshi Music — a soothing collection of instrumental music –– might be a good bet to soothe and relax them as they study. You’d be surprised what SleepyPaws’ Fantastic Focus Beats, Squiggle’s Soothing Study Beats, or Goldie’s 5-Minute Brain Break can do to boost kids’ focus as they tackle a little math, history, and science.
Bedtime Routines with Moshi
When the evening rolls around and it’s time to put the day to rest, Moshi Stories, Music, and Sounds can be helpful additions to your child’s bedtime routine. While Moshi Music and Sounds promotes relaxation, Moshi Stories will help your child rest, unwind, and drift off to sleep quickly. For calming music, our current little listeners love Sweet Moshi Jazz. And if you’re looking for some magical sounds to fill their dreams, try Below Bubblefish Bay. Our library of bedtime stories is always growing – SleepyPaws’ Pebbly Beach Walk and Fluttercup’s School for Unicorns will forever be fan-favorites, though!
For many of us, there is little more we can do than roll with the punches as we help our kids navigate some truly unprecedented circumstances. Our job, in the end, is to raise strong, resilient young people who will always thrive in the face of adversity. It is up to us to create a stable foundation and a home where they feel safe and heard. So this school year, before you rejoice on the upcoming first day of school, check in with your kids and make sure they know what to expect.