Welcome back to school, and welcome to a new calendar year!
Hopefully the holidays are full of celebration, excitement and time with family, but sometimes going back to school after the holiday season can be difficult since children, parents, and even educators, have had their routines disrupted. So, what is the quickest and easiest way to get back into the swing of things? Here are a few tips for helping your child readjust to the routines and schedules of school when returning in January!
1. Sleep Schedule
Most sources will tell you that bedtime is the place to start! Usually over the holidays due to family events and parents being home, children’s bedtimes can tend to get later, so when you go to wake them up on that first day back, they are poorly rested and not very eager to get out of bed. The best solution to this problem is to bring their bedtime earlier again a few days preceding the return to school, however if it is too late for that try adjusting their body clock slowly, make bedtime 15-20 minutes early every night until you are back to the desired sleep schedule, instead of trying to do a jump of an hour or more all at once.
2. Eating Habits
The holidays are full of not only an increased amount of unhealthy foods but also eating at irregular times. Make sure to get back into healthy eating habits as soon as possible. Cut the sweets/treats and have your meals at scheduled times of day. Routine is important for children, and scheduling your meals together is a good opportunity for quality family time.
3. Get Organized
Review your school’s calendar or newsletter for upcoming events. In January, these events can sneak up on you quite easily! Mark them on the calendar and talk to children about important days in the month, especially if these days will interrupt their expected routine.
4. Set Goals
New Year Resolutions are not just for adults! You can talk to your child about their experiences in school so far and what they are proud of having done, and/or what they would like to do better. Then, decide how you as a family will help to meet those goals.
Remind children of routines and expectations in school. It is easy to forget, and repetition is key to solid routines. Routines are important for children because they remove the anxiety associated with unpredictability from their day. Prepare them in advance for what to expect at school so that they can start their back to school days with a positive energy and knowledge of what is to come.
6. Continue to Spend Quality Time
Transitioning from the holidays to back to school can be difficult on many kids because they become used to spending most of their day with parents and begin to miss them when back in the school setting (sometimes parents miss their kids too, and that’s okay!). One way to address this is to make sure to set aside time outside of school hours to do something fun with the kids! This is will help them feel more comfortable being separated from you during the day, and in general, is just good for the whole family.
Wishing everyone the best for a smooth transition back to school and a wonderful 2019!