Going back to school after the freedom of the school holidays has never been easy. Getting back into routines and going to bed early when the days are still long is difficult at the best of times. But after nearly 6 months at home, going back to school is challenging even for the keenest of little ones. Here are a few tips on how to make sure the transition is as smooth as possible.
Getting back into routine
Covid-19 or not, children need to start going back to bed early so that they can get up all refreshed for school. It will take a while and experts advise to acclimatise the children around 2 weeks before going back to school. Habits are also soothing for the more anxious of our little ones, so having set times for meals, getting up and bedtime is ideal to calm nerves.
Look at photos of their school and teachers
Most children in Bath schools will not have met their new teacher or seen their new classroom. Make sure you familiarise them with new faces and settings by showing them photos from the school’s website. A lot of Bath and surrounding areas’ schools have done transition videos, so it’s a great idea to revisit them. If the school has specific arrangements for drop off and pick up, which may be different from what your child is used to, go through them with them so they don’t feel strange and scary. Children are a lot more resilient than we often give them credit for. If we explain all of the rules to them, they will feel very confident when they have to follow them.
Acknowledge their worries
Children are very perceptive, and they often pick up on our own nerves. Make sure you talk to them about their return to school and acknowledge any worry they may have about being back. Answer their questions about Coronavirus and make sure they know it’s normal to feel nervous. There are many things children miss about going to school, so try and focus on the positives of being back. Talk about their favourite activities, their friends. It’s an exciting time after all.
Get them involved
Get them to help you sorting out PE kit, uniform, sticking labels and preparing pencil cases. Getting children involved always make them feel important and will also create an opportunity to talk about anything that may worry them.
Make sure you have plenty of time
Drop off will be very different. Arrivals may be staggered in bigger school. There may not be time to hang about on the playground before the doors open. Make sure everything is ready the night before so your morning is as calm and relaxed as possible.
Give them something to look forward to
Whether it’s a trip to the local coffee shop or a playdate with someone they haven’t seen in a while, make sure you plan something very exciting for after school or the first week end of going back. When my girls are nervous about something at school, I always tuck a little note in their lunchbox or their pencil cases. They absolutely love it!