3 Tips for a Seamless Transition Back to School
Back to school is always a hectic time, both for kids and parents.
Summer is full of fun activities and lax schedules for kids, and when September comes around they are loath to part from what little freedom they gained over the summer months.
It’s not an easy time for parents, either, who enjoyed a few months of not constantly nagging their children to wake up in time for school, or who enjoyed a few weeks of peace while their kids were away at summer camp.
The highs and lows of the COVID pandemic complicate the transition to back to school, as parents are more likely to work remotely, and not all schools have returned to in person teaching.
Whether at home or in the classroom, the transition back to the daily schedule of school can be difficult, especially for younger kids in their first few years of school. Some pushback is normal, so we’ve put together 3 tips to help make the transition smoother.
School’s been in session for a few weeks now, and if you’re feeling like things aren’t going well, read ahead. It’s never too late to get everyone back on track, and ready for success.
We’ve put together the top tips for a painless back-to-school transition for your whole household, along with some tips on how to utilize your nannies and other household staff during this transitional time.
1. Re-establish back to school routines
Routines are important for children of all ages, because it helps them always know what comes next, and plan their day accordingly.
Routines are just as important for parents, too. You need to know that your kids are out the door and on the way to school at a certain time, so that you can devote your day to work, or errands that you need to accomplish.
Most of our daily routines are set out of necessity. Breakfast is at 7am because everyone needs to be on their way by 8am. Dinner’s at 6pm because that’s when everyone’s home.
Remote work and school can throw a wrench in these routines, because you’re staying home instead of going to the office or school. It can be tempting to let go of routines, but they are essential to telling our brain when it’s “school” or “work” time and when it’s “home” time, so be sure to hold on to your routines. You and your children will feel less stressed, and more rested.
The ideal time to start reintroducing school-time routines is a few weeks before the year starts, so your children have time to adjust before the year starts, but it’s never too late to set up routines.
Be sure to tell your nanny what routines you’d like to implement, so that she can help reinforce routines, and get everyone adjusted.
2. Involve the whole family in the back to school transition
Kids push back against routines because they often think they’re the only ones who need to do “boring” things like school. They think they’re the only ones who have to follow a routine they don’t want.
Show your kids that they’re not the only ones who have to wake up every morning and do work. Be open with them about what your commitments are, and what you need to do to fulfill those commitments. You can be open with your kids about how waking up early can be a struggle, but that you need to get to work at a certain time in order to continue to provide for everyone.
Younger kids might not understand the concepts of commitments and responsibilities yet, but at least they’ll know they’re not the only ones for whom the fun times of summer are over.
With your teens and preteens, you can help get them involved in back to school by working together to come up with a game plan and goals for the upcoming year. Try to focus on goals that aren’t just “get good grades”. Does your child want to make more friends, or explore a new hobby? Brainstorm together how they can achieve those goals.
Another way to get everyone involved and focused on school time routines, is to create a shared family calendar. It can either be a large dry erase board displayed in your home, or a digital calendar if your kids are teens.
Family calendars ensure that everyone in the family knows what the other is doing, and when. This helps kids plan ahead, and know who is available to pick them up and drop them off at school and other activities.
Keep your nanny and other household staff in the loop regarding everyone’s schedules, and communicate expectations for what their tasks will be throughout the day.
3. Create dedicated spaces for work and school
Distractions are the number one enemy of success for children, so it’s important to lessen distractions by giving them a dedicated space to do their schoolwork.
With school and work being remote, it becomes even more important to cut out distractions by dedicating spaces as the office or classroom at home. When everyone has their own space, it reinforces the concept that when you’re working from home you’re still at work, and when they’re in class on zoom, they’re still in class.
Having dedicated spaces for work and school also lets your children know that when you’re working they don’t have the same access to you. If they were at school or you were in the office they wouldn’t be able to come up to you for every little problem they have, and at home work spaces should emulate that.
Even if you can’t dedicate a whole room to your children’s schoolwork, make sure to dedicate a desk that’s the “school zone”. Get them involved by letting them choose their own supplies and decorate their own space. Give them a tour of your work space ahead of time, so they don’t sneak in while you’re in a Zoom meeting to go “exploring”.
Instruct your children that during work time they should turn to the nanny for any questions they have, or needs they need met. Communicate with your nanny ahead of time and explain that you’re trying to keep everyone in the zone during work and school hours. Whatever wouldn’t warrant a phone call home if your children were at school, can probably be taken care of by the nanny.
Back to school transitions don’t have to be difficult. Children crave routines and like knowing what to expect on any given day. By maintaining routines, keeping the whole family involved, and carving out dedicated spaces for school and work, you can help make the transition back to school as painless as possible.
If you need a little extra support for your back to school transitions, connect with us here and we can see if any of our qualified VIP professionals can help!