6 Strategies for Getting Back into Routine after Holiday Break
The Holiday break is coming to a close and you are probably beginning to feel the dread of returning back to the normal routine of school and work. Transitioning back to school does not have to be miserable, and we at Sprout School Supplies are excited to share with you our top 6 strategies for a seamless transition. We recommend you begin working on these as early as one week before they return.
1. Get back into a routine as soon as you can
We know that with the holiday excitement and traveling, routines easily get jostled up. The idea of waking up early on a day where you could sleep in may sound silly, but in the long run, you will be glad you did because it will allow for you to come back without hitting that snooze button. This routine may look like instead of waking up and being ready by 7:00 AM to go to school, being up and ready by 7:00 for extra time doing an activity your child loves to do. This will help motivate them to wake up on time, even if that means missing a few extra minutes of sleep. Sit down and let them plan these morning activities with you so they know what they are looking forward to.
In our last blog post, we talked about what a potential routine could look like for your child over break. This includes maintaining their morning routine as much as possible. The hardest part of getting back into the school routine is often waking up and getting ready for the day, so if this piece stays consistent over the break, it will be essential to having an easy transition.
We also recommend that in this schedule, you find ways to incorporate daily learning to help your child prepare for school and refresh their memory going into the new year. Think about your child’s performance before the break, and review concepts that may have been areas of concern. Encourage your child to participate in a daily reading hour, or challenge their math skills by having them help you in the kitchen.
2. Talk about it
It is important that children know well what is coming. Do not let the return to school catch them off guard, and talk about going back to school like an exciting thing! Many teachers will have opportunities for classmates to share about their holiday break experiences, so perhaps plan an activity with your child that gets them excited to go back and share what they did such as writing a book about their break, drawing a picture, acting out a skit, or writing a song. Give them time each day to work on this project, and encourage them to present it to the family before heading back to school.
Some students may feel anxious about going back into school, so by talking about it you also help them prepare mentally for the change. Remind them of the friends they will get to see when they return, or of the fun activities your child’s school may have planned for the spring semester. Validate their feelings, and give them a safe space to talk about the upcoming semester.
3. Plan for the week back
Even with all of the above tips, your child may still have a difficult time keeping up with their schedule coming back to school. Spend the last weekend helping your child prepare for the week ahead. This can include setting out clothes for the week, packing lunches for the week, and getting their school supplies ready. By having these items prepared in advance, it allows for those hiccups to happen without causing a huge delay in your morning flow! By limiting the pieces of their routine that they have to remember for the first week back, you allow yourself more time to make sure your child is up and ready to head back to school.
In addition to this, by having your child assist in the back to school prep, they will feel they have ownership of the first week of school. They may begin to look forward to the outfit they will be wearing the first day back, or the lunch they packed for the end of the week. Perhaps consider having their friends over the weekend of the first week back for a back to school hang out to give them something to look forward to at the end of the week. Preparation is key to having a successful week back.
4. Get Rested
With all of their free time over their extended break, your child may spend many hours on TV or video games well into the evening. As back to school approaches, consider tapering off the time they spend on technology to ensure they get quality rest for the days ahead. Limit their time leading up back to school, and make sure they are off at least one hour before the intended bed time. This hour is a great time to encourage their nightly reading time. Make sure your child understands that this is not a punishment, but a piece of the puzzle to be ready for school.
In addition to sleep, find blocks of time throughout the day to disconnect with technology and complete an activity that calms and quiets your child. This time of reflection is an important part of refreshing and resetting. This could look like time to paint, draw, complete a puzzle, write, or go for a quiet walk.
5. Restock on School Supplies
Use some time over the break to go through your child’s backpack and make sure they have everything they need. Take them shopping with you to replace the needed supplies, and let them pick out something that will excite them about going back into school. Consider letting them pick a new outfit for the first day back or some new fun shaped erasers that will get them looking forward to using them the first day back.
6. Get them Moving
Contrary to our tip on quality rest, your child will also need time to be active and burn energy over the break. Encourage them to play outside, play sports with siblings or friends, or take them to the park.
Consider playing a game of charades or heads up, that will get them active and exercising their creative muscles. This will also help getting them to bed early easier as they will be tired and ready to close out the day. Plan a treasure hunt with clues around the house to keep them entertained and playing for hours.
We hope you find these strategies helpful as you get ready to go back to school after the holiday break. Feel free to contact us and let us know what strategies work for you, or what other tips and tricks you utilize for a seamless transition.
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