Returning to school and work in the new year and the transition that this requires can be a difficult task, especially when managing the transition of multiple family members.
The challenges of returning to school and work can include adjusting sleep schedules, organising and purchasing school equipment and uniforms and returning to a structured routine.
To help you with your transition back to school and work, try to implement one or all of the following strategies:
- Transition to school/work sleep routine a week before school/work starts back
Speak to your children about the fact that they may need to adjust to going to sleep and waking up earlier than they were accustomed to during the holiday period. Implement this routine at least a week before school starts so that by the first day of term waking up for school/work on time is easier.
- Create a morning and afternoon routine
Work together as a family to create a realistic morning and afternoon routine for the school term or workdays. You can create checklists for important tasks that need to be completed (for example: brushing teeth and getting dressed in the mornings).
- Keep a calendar with important dates
Using a monthly or yearly wall calendar with important dates can help keep everyone organised and prepared for upcoming events. Make sure that the calendar is in a location that makes it easy for everyone in the family to refer to. Making events colour coded to represent each member of the family may also be useful.
- Talk to your children about the transition back to school/work
Communicate as a family about the upcoming change in routine. You could also use this time to identify any worries they may have about returning to school/work and problem solve these challenges together. On the flip side, talk about what excites them about returning to school/work and focus on the positives.
- Create a checklist for necessary school supplies
Create a checklist and a budget for necessary school supplies and any uniform supplies that are needed. Try to buy these supplies a few weeks before the return to school so that you have time to identify anything that you may have forgotten.
- Get equipment ready
It may be a good idea to iron uniforms, pack bags, clean shoes and laminate books in the weeks leading up to school/work returning. This will save time each night/morning in the first week back where getting into the swing of things is a bit more difficult!
- Review some key school skills in the weeks leading up to start of term
Identify some key school skills that children can practice and retrain themselves in before returning to the pressures of the classroom (for example: handwriting skills).