How To Prep Kids To Go Back To School

By Danielle Wirsansky on August 25, 2021

It has been a volatile past couple of years what with COVID-19 rocking the planet. Children have been some of those most affected, with their schooling, social lives, and enrichment turned upside down. Adults are often better equipped to handle wearing a mask for long periods of time, staying at home during quarantine, and moving most aspects of daily life to a virtual platform.

Kids have had the summer off from school and now the time to go back is creeping closer, whether it will be in person or virtual. The transition back into school can be difficult for children even when the world is not in the midst of a global pandemic, so it is especially important this year that you help prepare your children and get them in the correct mindset to return. Read on for tips on how to prep kids to go back to school!

Photo via Pexels

Restore Structure

During the summertime, without the structure of school, it can be really easy to slip out of your routine and be really relaxed about your child’s daily schedule. Your child is relaxing, you can relax, and everything is great.

While it is good to have a chill summer, it can be hard to go from all chill and no rules to no chill and all the rules. Your child might not want to return to rules and routine, so they might resist going back to school, even if it is something that they enjoy. You want their transition back to school to be smooth, with your children even looking forward to returning to school. You do not want to have to drag them back kicking and screaming.

By restoring structure ahead of time, before the summer ends and before your kids return to school, you will help get them in the correct mindset to return. You can transition slowly if that would help your kids more time to subtly adjust. If you do, just make sure that you give yourself and your kids enough time to make that adjustment.

The importance of structure for children cannot be understated. The University at Albany did a study that linked family stability with time management and attention skills. To elaborate, the study found that individuals who grow up with predictable, daily routines are less likely to have time management or attention problems as adults.

Eliminate Surprises

Another way to help your child adjust back to the school year is to help them eliminate surprises. It is a tumultuous time. Policies are changing all the time, classes go into quarantine, and everything is on a day-by-day basis. Despite this, find the things you do know and that are pretty concrete and introduce them to your child. Introduce them to their teacher, whether that is virtually or in person. Show them their school books and their classrooms, even if it is just a picture or PDF. Make sure they know their class schedule. Give them a taste of what they should be learning this school year.

If they are going to school in person, what school are they going to and where will their classes be? If they are doing virtual school, what space will they be working in and what will their schedule look like? As much as you can do for them and show them, do it. Eliminate any surprises that could trip up their day or give them anxiety, at least as much as you can in uncertain times. Do not give them certainties—things might change, and being prepared for that change can help them get through it too.

Do Not Pretend That Everything is Okay

Part of restoring structure and eliminating surprises is being open and honest about the uncertain times we live in. You should not pretend that everything is okay when it very clearly is not. By ignoring the gravity of the times we live in for your children’s sake only does them more harm than good.

Parents might think that leaving their child in the dark and pretending that everything is okay even when it is not might keep anxieties away from their children. However, the global pandemic is not something you or your child can ignore—the effects of it are all around us and impact our daily lives. To pretend it is not happening will only erode your child’s trust and faith in you to guide them through this situation.

Photo via Pexels

While transitioning kids back into a school mindset can be tough, following the strategies listed above will help your prep your kids to go back to school and make the shift that much smoother and easier for all. You, your kids, and even your kid’s teachers will all thank you.

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