Getting to the Back-to-School Rhythm
April 23, 2018
Given the long holiday break, often parents wonder how easy it will be for their child to get back to the school routine. This is especially true for parents of kindergarten and pre-school kids with one mother sharing “…what if she forgets about school or thinks it was a onetime thing?” The routine brought about by school opening is a huge shift form the laid back nature of the holiday periods. For this reason most children may be resentful or opposed to going back to school, especially during the first few days.
As a parent/guardian you can, however make this transition a little easier for your child by putting into action the below tips:
- Re-start the Routines
One to two weeks before schools open, put your child back on their school routine. Re-establish bed times, have them wake up in the morning when they normally would and even have breakfast and get them dressed for the day. Basically put them back into the school rhythm with meals times at the same schedule as if they were going to school, and for the toddlers try and getting them back into the habit of taking afternoon naps if they did during the holidays.
Lastly, if for some reason you might opt not to get your child into the bed time routine, be sure to let them get enough rest days before school opens to avoid them being overtired and groggy on open day. This might lead to a difficult first day of school for both you and your child.
- Exercise their Mind
Another common fear in parents is that their child will forget everything they learnt during the holiday period and hence struggle to catch up when schools open. You can help jog your child’s memory by planning some fun educative activities. Let it be something they will typically be doing in school like a fun math quiz with a prize or arts and crafts and rote counting for the younger kids. (You can get some more tips on this here).
The activities don’t have to take too long since you don’t want keep your child from enjoying the last few days of their holiday. An hour a day on average should be sufficient.
- New School Year?
If your child is transitioning to a new school or class, you can help reduce the anxiety which comes with this new experience by finding out if the school has an orientation and attending with your child. If not, then you could find out if the teacher will be present before the official open day and take your child to meet the new teacher in a calmer setting. This will also help them familiarise themselves with their new class and other school facilities.
This will also be a good opportunity for you to establish which items you’ll need to buy for the new school year. Any supplies not previously mentioned?
- Make School Shopping a Fun Family Affair
Buying schools supplies in advance helps avoid the last minute rush and also helps remind your child earlier on that schools are about to open. Let them pick out what they want (within reason and with guidance) to create a sense of ownership in the decision to go back to school.
Once you get back home, pack their bags in preparation for the new school term as you talk to them about school opening and what they will be using each item for.
This is probably the most important point to help prepare your child for the back-to-school rhythm; communication. Ask your child how they feel about going back to school. If they have any concerns, listen to them and see how you might help resolve them. This will also help you identify if your child’s current school is a right fit for them, so get in the habit of finding out how their day was on a regular basis even after schools open.
Also, take this opportunity to find out what they look forward to when school starts. Do they have anything they wish to accomplish? Any new goals or aspirations? Have them list this down and go over it together. Let them first come up with their own suggestions on how to accomplish each item and where necessary add onto or offer alternative suggestions of your own. This will teach them how to take charge of their life and not be afraid to go after what they believe in.
– A Personal Tip Shared by One of our Mama Mzazi Moms –
“One of our Mama Mzazi Moms shared how she gets her son into the back-to-school rhythm: “When school is about to open I usually start talking to him about going back to school and what he will be doing when school starts. I would take his bag and pack it pointing out that he will be using it next week for school or even pass by the school and mention in a by-the-way manner that he will be going there next week. This way he is able to mentally prepare for school opening and it reduces the shock of going to school during open day ”
Do you have any tips you’ll like to share on how you get your child into the back-to-school rhythm? Kindly write it on the comment section below and helps other mothers learn from the same.