Getting Back Into The School Routine
While getting back to school can be stressful, there are ways to help reduce the ‘back to school stress’.
Many parents find it hard to keep their child focused and motivated throughout the whole school term but this can change. The first couple of weeks are actually the best times to set up your goals and routines, reduce distractions, and improve on things that matter most. These tips will help you approach your child’s school term with a positive, more productive end in sight.
Set Up Routines and Goals
Bedtime is still the most challenging part of transitioning from vacation to school mode. Since kids are often accustomed to staying up late while on vacation, their biological clocks need re-tuning.
According to National Sleep Foundation, school-aged children (6-13 years old) should get 9 to 11 hours of sleep, while teenagers (14-17 years old) should have 8 to 10 hours of sleep each day. You can help your child achieve this by setting up a bedtime routine.
A restful environment and the activities leading up to sleep time are the key factors. Make sure that your child sleeps in a quiet, cool, and dark room. Keep the room clutter-free. Untidiness tends to increase stress and discourage sleep. Aim to shut off all screens (TV, phones, Ipads etc) at least one hour before sleeping. Sleep-encouraging activities include listening to soft music, reading, breathing exercises and meditation.
Morning routines can make or break your child’s school day. Preparations the night before (clothes, bags, breakfast, lunch prep) can reduce morning stress for you and your child.
Checklists for morning routines are great for older children. This will give them a sense of responsibility as they do their part for smooth-running mornings. Use pictures instead of written instructions for younger kids.
A study area is an important part of your house to be set up in the first weeks of school. The homework area should have enough supplies, conducive lighting, and away from distractions (noise, TV, computer). This personal space will help keep your child focused.
Goal-setting for academic and overall improvement of your child should be done even before the school term starts. If you haven’t, start spending time with your child and writing down specific goals for the school year. Encourage your child to list SMART or MTO goals. Here are some tips to get started setting goals.
Gadgets, including television, computers, and gaming technologies, can compete with your child’s focus, energy and time for study. While these technologies may sometimes be needed for academic-related activities, limiting the time your child exposes themselves to these things will have greater dividends at the end, academically and holistically.
Improve On the Essentials
Communication Make sure you spend quality time with your kids while letting them share the good and not so good parts of their school days. Make weekends are special and set family time after school. Talk about the previous school term’s achievements.
Encouragement is what every student needs from their parents. From young students right through to teenagers, positive words can help relieve stress, overcome difficulties, provide a better understanding, and inspire success.
Parental encouragement is incomparable to other motivations students get from peers or even from teachers. How well do you encourage your child? Simple gestures (smile, nod, pat on the back), compliments, rewards and incentives, and even your mere presence will go a long way in establishing your child’s confidence and self-esteem.
These proactive approaches can help you and your child get back into a positive back-to-school routine and a meaningful and successful school term.
In-home tutoring is a fantastic way to keep students, on track motivated and accountable. If you’re considering getting your child one-on-one support this term. Why not request your no-obligation in-home consultation and assessment, it’s absolutely free. Book online here or call 1300 4200 79.