Getting Kids Back into Routine After the Holidays

Tips routine back to school winter holiday break

Easy tips to help the whole family get back into routine after the winter break.

Between family gatherings, opening presents and tobogganing this holiday season, it’s likely that school has been a distant memory for kids!  The holidays go by so quickly, don’t they? A new year is upon us and our kiddos will be getting back into the routine of school.Here are some suggestions for easing that transition.

Back to school for preschoolers

For the youngest of children, this may be the first time they have returned to school after a break.  Parents need to make sure they understand that school will continue after the holidays.  Trying counting the days down on a calendar or drive by the school two or three days before they start back to remind them that they’ll be back in the classroom again.

If their sleep schedule has been disrupted, think about getting them back into their usual bedtime routine a few days before school begins, so they go back fresh and ready to go.

You’ve likely read lots of bedtime stories over the break and this is a good way to keep developing their emerging reading skills, even though they are away from their classroom.  Winter-themed books are perfect this time of year and continuing with reading practice will ease the transition back into preschool or kindergarten.

Routine for elementary school children

Kids in Kindergarten or Grade One may need to be reminded that they will be going back to school as well as getting back into a normal sleep routine.  It’s also an opportunity for parents to begin to scaling back their access to electronics as the return to school approaches. If they have received video games, iPads or new phones for gifts over the holidays, they may have had more access to screen time than is usual.  Cutting back on screen time before they go back allows them to already be back into routine by the time school starts, making for a smoother transition.

It’s also a good time to make sure that any homework assigned over the holidays has been completed.  Depending on the child’s level of independence, they may need us to help them break down days and times to complete the work, and to confirm that it is ready to hand in.  Other children may just need to be reminded to ensure work is done for their first day back.

Return to middle school or high school

Getting back into a regular sleep routine is important.  Some students will need parents to check that work has been completed and turned in online or printed and placed in their binder ready to be handed in. If there has not been much homework assigned, they could also be reminded that the break is a good time to start reviewing their materials for exams which will begin soon after the break concludes. This age group may also need their screen time curbed as the holidays draw to a close.

For teens in grades eleven and twelve, they may also need to let their employers know they are about to head back to school and any changes in their availability. If they’ve been working more than usual, they may have to cut back to normal hours.

For all students, the holiday break is also good time to restock school supplies and to clean out backpacks and lunch bags. A fresh start to the year can help everyone make the grade!

 

Jennifer Anstiss

Jennifer Anstiss holds a Masters of Education in Literacy from Mount Saint Vincent University, specializing in the Early Intervention and Prevention of Learning Disabilites. She is also an active member of the Ontario College of Teachers. She has been trained in the delivery of Direct Instruction Programs and is a Certified Fast ForWord Practitioner. Jennifer's field experiences include over 15 years of private clinical practice and 10 years of Special Education Teaching for both the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board and Peel District School Board. She specializes in the design and implementation of remedial programs for students with Learning Disabilities and Attentional Issues within both public and private settings. Jennifer gives presentations to parents, professionals and community groups.

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