With a month of summer holidays left, that means it won’t be long until school is back in session and parents, children, and teachers have to get back into the routine: waking up early, going to class, and doing homework.
Some kids are happy that school is starting soon because it keeps them busy, they like to learn, and they get to see their friends again. It’s very common to feel sad that summer is ending. Especially when switching schools, that can bring on the back to school blues. Your child might feel nervous, sad, or stressed. Here are some ways to help manage the back to school blues.
1. Get back into a routine.
Summer is a time for leisure, taking it easy, relaxing, and doing what you want. It can be difficult to transition back into school mode after a couple of months of the summer routine. This is also true for holidays.
It’s good for your health, both physically and mentally to get back into routine. It keeps energy levels up. With some weeks left of summer, one can little by little transition into the usual school routine.
To adjust to school schedules, parents and children should go to sleep at the usual time and wake up at the usual time, early. Even on Friday and Saturday nights, make sure to not change up the routine too much by staying up too late. Set alarms every night. Eat nutritious meals. Take time to walk outside, read a book, or practise skills learned at school.
2. Remember the fun times during the summer.
Back to school sadness has a lot in common with post-holiday blues. Because the summer break is relatively long, it can be a sad feeling going back to school, feeling like it’s monotonous compared to the summer.
One way to overcome the post holiday blues is to share memories. Write a journal about what you did. Print out photos and put together a photo album or scrapbook. Put pictures on the wall and souvenirs on the shelf. If your kid has a phone, they can put a picture of a good memory from the summer as the wallpaper.
A lot of conversations at the beginning of the school year are about what you did over the summer. Take some time to reflect about the summer.
3. If switching schools, get to know the new school and your neighbours.
Switching schools is difficult. It’s starting at square one. All new classmates, all new teachers, a new building. It’s different and a lot to get used to. The good thing about switching schools over the summer is that your child will likely not be alone.
As much as your child may dread going to the new school, include them in the transition process. Visit the school together and talk to teachers and staff. Get to know your neighbours. Make sure your child keeps in contact with their friends from their old school. When the school year starts, ask them how their day was.
4. Have your child go back to school shopping with you.
Back to school shopping can be a chore, but it’s possible to make it fun. Have your child pick their supplies: notebooks, pencils, pens, folders, backpacks, pencil bags, etc. Having school supplies that look fun can brighten up your kid’s day. Your kid can decorate their folders and notebooks. If your budget allows, buy your kid a treat.
5. Plan something for the family to look forward to.
It’s important to look to the future. Plan stuff to do throughout the school year to break up the routine. Little trips, events, and outings are nice things to think about when feeling down about the school year. These can be as simple as a meal at your favourite restaurant or going to the cinema, or planning a holiday.
6. Stay positive and keep an open mind
With a new school year, it’s important to keep an open mind. The school year hasn’t started yet, so your child doesn’t know what it will be like. Stay open-minded about teachers, subjects, and classmates.
Positive thinking is powerful. Be a good example for your children and encourage them to think positively about the school year and visualise it going well. If they are worried, ask them what exactly is worrying them and encourage them that they can make it. In short, be supportive.
Going back to school is a daunting thought, but getting back into routine and into a positive mindset can help ease the nervous feelings. It’s okay to be nervous about the new school year, but it is doable.