Whether starting at a new school or moving up a grade, the transition from Summer to School can be difficult and stressful. Some of our kids may feel anxious about peers and new teachers. You may feel anxious about getting everything organised and running smoothly.
And then there’s the transition from holiday hours – kids up late playing or watching the telly – to an early bedtime. Returning to school can present an exciting feat of new beginnings and life affirming moments as children progress onto the next stage of their education.
Here are three major causes of Back To School stress and how to take the sting out of them:
It’s all about Homework, Sleep and Organization!
Getting homework done without whinging or excuses or an all out battle is something that families have been dealing with for years! But it seems that every new term, our very bright children come up with some very creative reasons why they just can’t complete it. Some stall, others leave it at school, while even other kids just say NO. What to do?
1. Give them a bit of a break right after school… but not TOO long. Be wary of the “I’ll do it later Mum” crowd.
2. Make learning in the home environment fun. Sit with them even if you’re not actively helping. Read a book if they don’t need your help. Show them that quiet time spent learning is a wonderful activity. They take their cues from you after all…
3. Create a specific work area for homework. Provide good quality pens/pencils and other supplies. No screens. No noise. Some kids function better by themselves. Some like others around. Find out what works best for your child.
4. No more naps! Sleeping after school will bring headaches at bed time.
5. Try to keep them in the same sleep routine all week long… yes even on the weekends. Routine is key.
6. Skip the Starbucks. Ease away from the energy drinks. These drinks will give a quick burst of energy then make your child crash.
7. Screens OFF. Telly watching, texting, video games, Instagram group chatting et cetera, will leave your child stimulated. A good rule is No Screens in Bed. It’s hard… I know.
Ever have that morning where your kids are running around like crazy? “MUM! I can’t find my homework… or my lunch… or my school bag! Where are my socks???” Yes, we’ve all been there. Preparation is the key to smooth serene mornings. The one thing we DO NOT want to do is send our young ones off while they are upset or frazzled. No one should start the day that way.
8. Batch as much food prep together as possible for school lunches. Create each day’s portion as one task and then you only have to grab a bag later.
9. Create a Back To School Space, where all the next day’s needed items are gathered such as school bags, coats, shoes, and uniforms.
10. Write out a morning “to do list” for everyone. This not only puts the responsibility on them but they’ll remember what is still needed without you repeating yourself 50 times.
BONUS TIP! Get a BIG calendar for the entire family. Include lunch menus, class assignment sheets, practice schedules. When the room mother calls for field trip volunteers, you’ll know at a glance whether you’re free to join the group on the bus that day.
Have any other tips for all the transitioning parents and children out there? Is there something you do that really works well? I’d love to hear your thoughts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Let’s talk about it!