Returning to school after winter break can be a slow adjustment for students, parents and teachers. The idea of returning to a routine is difficult especially for students, as focusing on classwork and homework while following school and classroom rules doesn’t come easy after some time off.
Here are some tips to help your family transition back into the school routine, or even into new school enrollment. Hopefully, this will be helpful as we all strive to regain focus after the fun and festivities of the winter break.
Return to the Bedtime Routine Several Days Before the End of Winter Break
Get your children back into their normal bedtime routine by having them start going to bed a little earlier several nights before they return to school. Have them go to bed 15 to 30 minutes earlier each night until they are back to their normal school year bedtime.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that children sleep 9–12 hours a day, depending on their age. Without enough sleep, children risk experiencing learning issues as well as attention and behavior issues. Tips for better sleep habits include turning off devices and using the bed for sleeping only.
Prepare for the Return to the Classroom
In an effort to prepare your children for their return to the classroom, talk about the time off from school and enjoy the extra family time with special activities.
Prepare children for the return to school by engaging them in activities such as a return to school countdown calendar or list. Talk about the plan the family will implement to make the return to school successful and discuss ways to get back to the normal routine.
Build Excitement for the Return to School
Talk to children about how exciting it will be to see their friends and teachers again. Ask what they look forward to, and discuss suggestions for making the return a fun experience. Maybe they have some ideas to share as well.
Prep for Mornings
No one knows better than parents how hectic mornings are on school days. Prepping helps students and parents experience less stress as they return to the morning routine.
Ask your children to pack their backpacks before they go to bed. Prepare breakfast and lunch the night before school. Consider letting older kids prepare their own breakfast or lunch.
Leave for school early
Plan to leave early, especially the first week back from winter break. Leave 10 minutes early to help reduce stress and anxiety for you and the children.
Talk to children about their school day
The first couple of weeks, it will be important to make sure that the kids know that you have a genuine interest in how their adjustment is going. Encourage kids to express their feelings and listen to them.
Do not ask the mundane, “How was school today?” as you will likely get a shoulder shrug or a one-word answer. Instead, use these questions to encourage your kids about their school day:
- Which teacher is the most fun?
- What teacher is the hardest? Why do you feel that way?
- What was the funniest thing that happened today?
We all struggle with returning to school after winter break, and our staff is prepared to make the transition back to the classroom successful and stress-free for everyone. At Sallie B. Howard School of Arts & Science, our goal is ensure children of all ages are equipped to lead successful, happy and healthy lives.