Ah, the holidays are over and the kids have to go back to school after Winter break. No more late mornings, snowball fights, or hot cocoa by the fireplace—just textbooks, tests, and homework again (sigh).
It’s a unique kind of challenge we parents face at the end of each holiday break. How to get our kids back into their normal routine following weeks of sleeping in, playing games, and eating way more cookies than usual?
Undoubtedly, it’s hard for us too after that extended vacation from work. Nonetheless, getting the kids settled into their regular school-time habits without any major meltdowns can feel like an even bigger task.
But don’t worry – with a few simple tips and tricks up your sleeve, you can help make this transition easier (and less dreaded) for both you and them!
Why is it so hard to transition back to school after the holidays?
Going back to school after a holiday break can be difficult for kids as they have to leave the relaxed and carefree winter break behind. It's often hard to switch off from spending time with friends, family and favorite activities.
One of the biggest challenges children face is having to adjust their daily routine once again. Readjusting to an earlier bedtime, getting up in the morning on time, managing learning tasks and homework require readjustment which is often easier said than done.
In the same way, they may feel overwhelmed by all the new information, assignments, and expectations that come along with going back to school after such a long break.
In fact, research has suggested that this shift back to the structured environment of school sets off “back-to-school anxiety” in kids. In consequence, they may express reluctance through lack of motivation or difficulty concentrating in class.
Fortunately, parents can make going back to school much less painful by helping students adjust back into their routines in a flexible and supportive way. Furthermore, it can be done through creative activities that promote engagement or planning a few days ahead to ease the transition.
How to get back to school after a long break? 5 Tips
Winter break has been a time of rest, fun, and relaxation, but the days are winding down, and it's time to get back into a school routine. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to this transition, but here are five tips to make it smoother:
1. Talk about their expectations and goals for the year
Starting the new year right is essential to ensuring academic success and a positive outlook for the whole year. In this sense, talking to kids about their goals and expectations before they begin school can be an important step in launching them into a successful semester.
Giving them an opportunity to reflect on what they want to achieve, both inside and outside the classroom, gives them moments of clarity. In the same way, it allows parents, guardians, and teachers to provide resources or additional support where necessary.
Taking time out at the start of a new year to create achievable goals sets children up for a better 2023—one that keeps their individual interests in mind.
2. Create a countdown
Counting down the days until classes start can provide an extra layer of excitement and engagement in the idea of school coming up again. In fact, you can make it even more fun by choosing to count down through special activities, like baking cookies or building a snowman.
The countdowns themselves can be creative, too. For example, instead of just crossing off numbers, you can put up colorful notes or expanding circles in order to encourage kids to look forward to school with enthusiasm and excitement.
Setting up milestones along the way gives kids goals to work towards during that time off, fostering stronger feelings of anticipation and accomplishment.
Moreover, all this leads to an easier entry into school once the break has ended; with resolutions made and a cheerful attitude firmly in place, kids are much better prepared!
3. Re-establish all school routines
The importance of reinstating a regular routine prior to starting school again cannot be underestimated—it significantly helps kids adjust and transition from a relaxing holiday back into the rigors of study.
Having pre-education activities set up such as reading, regular bedtimes, and tech-free playtime is extremely beneficial in helping your child settle into the school year with ease.
Returning to a routine is always beneficial as it reduces stress by providing stability and predictability, which keeps everyone focused on learning.
4. Get organized
Starting school after the Winter Break can be a daunting experience, but it doesn't have to be that way if you get organized beforehand. The key to getting settled back into the swing of things is preparation; making sure everything is in its right place, and you have all the tools you need for success.
You can do this by organizing your kiddo’s clothes and books, making meal prep, re-visiting last year’s notes, practicing with them what they already learned, etc.
Getting organized is the perfect way to ensure that they’re ready to hit the books as soon as classes begin after the holiday break.
5. Have a positive attitude
A positive attitude in parents before the Winter break is crucial in helping children make a smooth transition back to the classroom. Even though, it can be difficult for kids to get back into their study routines, having a positive parent offers an encouraging environment that sets the tone.
A smile and friendly words of encouragement from an understanding parent helps kids re-engage with school and view it as something enjoyable. Also, it shows that school is important because their parents are actively involved in helping them excel.
With such support, students will become better equipped with the skills needed to succeed both academically and outside of school activities.
Welcome back to school after Winter Break
As the Winter chill begins to fizzle away and the days become warmer, it’s time for students around the country to welcome back their books and pencils as classes start again!
After a long Winter break full of hot cocoa, snowball fights, and delicious holiday foods, it’s now time to refocus and get ready for what is sure to be an interesting semester.
There will be new teachers, lots of new things to learn, fascinating opinions to consider, and outdoor adventures to take part in.
While it may not always be easy getting back into the school mindset after such a long break, we’re sure these tips on how to help kids transition back to school after Winter break will help you a lot. So welcome back everyone–let’s enjoy this next semester together!