As soon as the summer vacation ends backpacks replace beach bags..
and the routine of your family changes as your kids go back to school. Since everything changes so quickly, making the switch from summer to school can often be difficult for both children and parents.
So if you can already feel a headache building up thanks to all the change you must deal with, take a deep breath and let us walk you step-by-step to a smooth transition.
6 Tips to Make the Switch from Summer to School
By using these tips, both you and your child will have a much easier time adapting to the changes.
1. End the Vacation With a Family Field Trip
Before returning to school, plan one last fact-packed trip to make up for the months of recreation. This field trip will help your child get into learning mode.
2. Reset Routines
Kids need time to adjust, so you better give them a head start. About two weeks before school starts, set up a practical chart of getting ready that includes:
- What does your child need from you to get ready?
- What needs to be done each day for school like getting up, eating breakfast, and dressing?
- What time does your child have to leave for school and you for work?
Every member of your family should take part in creating the chart. That way, you can rest assured that the routine will work for everyone.
Besides creating the chart, the next most important step is to keep healthy habits going, such as exercising, eating healthy foods, going to bed on time, and getting 8 hours of sleep every day.
Once you’ve created the chart and set up a routine for school, start following it.
We recommend following the routine two weeks before the first day of school to give yourself and your child enough time to be mentally prepared.
3. Talk About Going Back to School
Many children experience stress and anxiety at the very thought of going back to school. Since they’re the only ones who have insight into their school experiences, find out what worries them by asking them directly.
Once they open up, try to normalize their experiences.
By reassuring your child that their feelings are common and that they will overcome those feelings once they have settled in at school, you can take away their worries. The anxiety they’re feeling is only temporary.
If that doesn’t work, you can try the following to help:
- For pre-school years: Ask your child to describe his experience using a social story about going to school.
- For elementary years: Set up a peer-buddy system where a friend of your child meets them at the school gate.
- For junior high years: Create healthy routines as a family. Support each other on everything, including technology use, schoolwork, and homework.
4. Go Over Ground Rules
Kids forget rules faster than anything else.
You may need to re-establish ground rules. Here are some topics to cover with them:
- When and where they will do their homework
- At what time they should turn off all electronics
- How long friends can stay on school nights
Establishing ground rules and going over them together will ensure you’re on the same page.
5. Set Some Goals for the Year
Setting long-term goals and short-term objectives is the best way to make the most out of your year.
So think about what you want to accomplish this year and then establish how you will take the steps necessary to achieve those goals.
As with everything, start with smaller daily objectives that will serve as stepping stones towards your main goals.
Once you’ve set goals and daily objectives, you will have something to work towards which will prevent a feeling of aimlessness that can often set in after a vacation.
You can do the same for your child as well.
6. Create a Balance Between Work and Personal Life
Balancing your work and personal life not only keeps you happy, healthy, and satisfied, but it also helps you perform better at your work.
So don’t forget to free up some space in your routine for things you enjoy like afternoon snacks, watching television, or going out for fresh air and encourage your kids to do the same.
Creating a work-life balance is the best way to feel refreshed and ready to start the madness all over again on Monday morning.
Going back after vacation doesn’t have to be a nightmare. If you get yourself in the right mindset and prepare for the changes to come, you can actually enjoy the fresh new start.
One last thing we want to discuss is that if you’re worried about your child’s ability to communicate as they go back to school, you should call the school’s office for help.
Speech Therapy for Children at School
According to the American Social Health Association (ASHA), all children have a legal right to a free education that includes therapy for communication disorders.
So when you call your school for help, they will assign one of their speech-language pathologists to start by evaluating your child’s condition.
Once the evaluation is finished, a team will decide whether your child qualifies for services using these 3 questions:
- Does the child have a communication disorder?
- If so, does it affect the child’s ability to make progress in school activities?
- Does the child need special education services in order to make progress in those activities?
Whether your child receives therapy at school depends on many factors, such as the school’s resources and how many kids have applied for support.
So if your child does not qualify for some reason, despite their need for support, take matters in your own hands and find a licensed SLP nearby.
At Therapy Tree, we aim to maximize your child’s potential, increase his confidence in his own abilities, and nurture his social, emotional, and communication skills.
So if you’re concerned about your child’s speech development, our team of speech-language pathologists (SLPs) can answer any question you may have. Reach out today!