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29Aug 13

Easing Your Child’s Transition Back to School

It’s back to school time already – and it has come round so quickly!  The summer holidays seemed eternal, but Tom and Mary will be on that school bus again next week.

Are they looking forward to the new term?  Tom is slightly apprehensive as he starts a busy year of school exams, while Mary cannot wait to see her friends and participate in extra-curricular activities like tap dancing!

But as a family, we do not find it easy to get back into the swing of things, so I have developed some tips to ease the transition back to school.

Easing the Transition Back to School

Easing Children’s Transition Back to School

Motivation for School

After the lazy, hazy days of summer, it is hard to re-adapt to the strictly regulated days of classes, homework and sports practice. But this process can be less traumatic if you keep children motivated for school and keep their brains active during the holidays. For the last two years I have signed Tom and Mary up for a summer reading course at the local library.

Another good idea is to gradually adjust the lax summer sleep schedule to a school night bedtime by getting your children to bed ten minutes earlier each night for a week or so before school starts. I find this system works well and that the switch from a 9.30pm lights out to 8pm does not come as such a shock!

Another way to make the back to school routine more enticing is to take time during the holidays to talk with your children about their aspirations and goals for the next year. I do this separately with 10-year-old Tom and 8-year-old Mary, once at the beginning of their summer holiday and again during the last week. I know they benefit from these chats.

Back to School Checklist

So it’s the first day back at school, and there are a million and one things to take care of!  Here is my brief checklist:

• Put your children’s timetable somewhere you can see it. I find that I am guaranteed a better response if I ask “What did Mr Martin teach you in guitar class today? ” than “How was school?”

• Set aside “family” time every evening after school and work. Before getting on with chores or homework, take 15 to 30 minutes to play a game together, go for a walk or just sit and catch up!

• Get involved in your children’s school. I am on the fund-raising committee and our first activity for the new term will be a sponsored 10-kilometre walk by the school mums!

What are your tips for making back to school a success?

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