Preparing for a Smooth Back-to-School Transition
Tips for Parents and Kids
As the summer holidays slowly move towards their end, the weather changes aren’t the only thing families have to prepare for. The switch from a long and relaxing summer vacation, back to a strict routine with waking up early, can be challenging, especially for kids. To navigate this transition with ease, explore the following strategies and ideas:
Gradual adjustment back to the routines
Good sleep is really important for us to feel energized enough to master our days in the best way possible. Starting to slowly readjust the sleeping schedule helps to accustom the nervous system and reset “the inner clock”. Early sun-gazing expedites the release of melatonin, the sleep hormone, helping us fall asleep earlier and recalibrate our sleep patterns . However, it's not just about waking up earlier, it's also about reinstating comforting rituals like a wholesome breakfast followed by activities linked to education, such as revisiting subjects covered in the previous school year. As it can be very hectic once school starts again, this phase is also ideal for tackling non-academic responsibilities like medical check-ups and other appointments. By proactively addressing these tasks before school begins anew, there is nothing else taking up headspace during the resettling period.
Before school starts it is a good time to do a stocktake. What supplies are there, which might need to be renewed and which new ones might be necessary this school year? How is the working/studying space organized? Is it well-lit, quiet distraction free? Do the kids have sufficient clothes for the changing seasons? Are there any extracurricular activities or new hobbies planned for this year? Is there anything needed for that? Best to do it before school starts and together as a family! A checklist that you can work on together is a beautiful way to include the kids and give them a feeling of structure.
Family time / safe spaces
Unfortunately school is not always just exciting but can make kids feel very anxious too. Make space for open communication about expectations for the new school year, changes that might happen, concerns or fears the children might have and encourage them to express their feelings through meeting them with compassion and an open ear. Take their concerns seriously and teach them early to talk about their feelings. While the schedule isn’t as full yet, spend some quality time with the whole family and try to create an environment in which the children feel safe and happy to come home too.
If all of these factors are considered there’s not much left to worry about. However, transitions like these aren’t always easy for children. Practice patience and ensure they enjoy the last days of their holidays!
Author: Devin Bayer