EDUCATION

How to prepare children for going back to school

school writing

With the summer holidays drawing to a close here in the UK, the return to school can generate anxiety for both children and parents. The holidays often provide such a wonderful break from the regime that the school routine brings; bedtimes can slide a little later, the morning rush can be replaced with a slow start, there is no school admin to keep up with or homework to manage and without lunchboxes to be made and uniform to be prepped there is just a little more ‘time’ to dedicate to other areas of family life.

I remember when I was teaching full time just how exhausted the children in my class were during the first few weeks back at school. It was a real shock to them to suddenly be back to early starts and undertaking school work again as well as acclimatising to being surrounded by their peers too.

The last week of the summer holidays is the perfect time to start implementing small changes at home that can help with the transition back to school and help things run as smoothly as possible and so here are some of my top tips –

  • Start to bring bedtimes forward by five to ten minutes each day or if your children are relaxing in bed reading, just ensure they start this a little earlier and then finish and get to sleep sooner than normal. Often parents focus on the night before school for having an early night but nerves and excitement make getting off to sleep quite challenging for children. By starting on altering bedtimes up to a week before the school start this allows children to slide into a new routine naturally and without too many worries.
  • Introduce a little structured work time at home. This does not need to be anything too demanding but it will just get children in the mode of putting pen to paper again. You could do a little maths quiz, write a diary entry on a favourite day from the summer holidays or start a new book.
  • Build in some time for a new form of relaxation together. This could be yoga, guided relaxation, a massage before bed or something that you both enjoy. These new little routines can then be utilised once school commences to spend quality time together and to inject a dose of calm into the busyness of the school week.
  • Spend some time in nature, whatever the weather, by giving children the opportunity to be outside they can explore and blow off some steam before they are back to school. Time spent outside is also perfect for being mindful and connecting together.
  • Plan something special to do together for a few weeks time. This will provide a focus for when tiredness sets in and everyone needs something lovely to look forward to. This may be a day spent outside or a visit to the theatre or it could be a special meal at home together.

I hope these tips are useful in the lead up to school starting again, but they can also be implemented at any time when you want to slow things down a little, or when you sense that your children need a little reset.

Good luck!

Emma


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