The winter break is over for many schools, and it’s time to set the alarm clocks, pack school bags and clear the homework desk. So how can parents help make this transition a painless one for their children? Here are a few tips for beating the back to school blues.
Set a bedtime and wake-up routine
… And stick to it! Even if your rules are met with whines and sighs, ensuring that your children go to bed and wake up at set times helps get them back into school routine. Even better is to start this routine a week or so before the school term starts.
Keep them nourished
When children are hungry or malnourished, they’re not able to concentrate fully on their learning. In fact, studies have shown that that children who eat healthy, balanced breakfasts and lunches do better in school. This is why it’s vitally important to make sure they not only have enough food, but also eat the right foods with adequate protein, carbohydrate, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. This will give them the energy and brainpower to make it through their school day.
Create a learning zone in your home
Have an area in your home conducive to homework and learning – ideally, a desk in a quiet, well-lit area. This will be a special place to do homework. Getting your kids involved in kitting out the area with stationary, decor and accessories will help them feel excited about having their own space dedicated to learning.
Set goals for the new term
Speak to your children about what they would like to achieve this term, and what they would like to do differently from the previous term. Be careful not to impose goals on your children – you can give them ideas and subtle prompts, but it’s important that their goals are their own. Help them figure out the steps they need to take to achieve these goals, and offer your help and encouragement where necessary.
What are they worried about?
Along with goal-setting, ask your children if they have any concerns about the term ahead. Even if your child seems excited, he or she may well have some anxieties that are bugging them. Ask them what they are looking forward to, and what may be worrying them. By giving them a forum to express their concerns, you can help them work through any concerns in advance and help them have a smooth start to the term.
Starting a new term should be exciting for your children, so make sure they are equipped with the nourishment, tools and encouragement to help them achieve their goals and spend a happy day at school.