Vacations invariably mean changes in your daily routine. Eating habits change, schedules change… and because children are still practicing skills like resilience and flexibility, they may not be ready to go back to school without a little help from the adult’s side. Here’s how you can support your child as they return to school after a vacation.

Routines are Helpful
While your child may not need to wake up at quite the same time over the vacations, it can still be helpful maintaining their regular sleep schedule. Can they also eat at roughly the same time? Or help with certain chores? Adding a structure to their day will help them reintegrate into the school day’s structure faster.

Use the Break
Use the vacation to catch up on sleep and connect with each other, so that your child has a chance to rest and replenish their energy. Try music, art and quick games to unwind together.

Prep for School Together
Children can and should participate in getting ready for school. Involve your child in getting their clothes for the first week cleaned, ironed, and ready in their closet. Remind them to choose clothes which are school-appropriate, and which will help them move independently. Make a list of snacks and lunches they would like to take to school, and grocery shop for the ingredients together. Label anything that hasn’t yet been tagged with your child’s name – water bottles, shoes, spare clothes.

Talk About It
Have family conversations about school, asking what aspects of going back create excitement. Sing your child’s favourite school songs with them. Sit with them and look through photos we’ve shared on Transparent Classroom or Facebook. Let them point out and talk about materials that they enjoyed, or friends that they made. Remind them of the schedule and what time you come back to pick them up. If necessary, practice or role play the school routine. Convey a sense of confidence in the school, so that your child can pick up on it.

Plan for Reopening Day
Keep the day before school reopens stress-free. Plan the next day’s breakfast and snack boxes in advance, and ask your child to lay out two outfits they can choose from on the first day of school. Pack and keep your child’s bag ready (with their help!).  Ensure your child goes to bed on time, well-rested. They may want to pack their own snack on the first day of school as well, so make sure you factor in the time for this.

Create a Positive Send-Off
Plan on reaching school before 9am, to avoid traffic as well as stress. Please say your goodbye at the gate and leave. Don’t try to sneak out or dawdle, because your child will pick up on your hesitation. Role play and practice at home if necessary, but know that an established goodbye routine will help your child confidently separate from you and enter school, where they will be in good hands.

We’re excited about having the children back at school soon! We look forward to hearing about their adventures from the vacation, and anticipate another term of growth and learning. We’ll see you soon.

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