We are all different, and going back to school after a long break can be one of those things that can create a wide range of feelings and responses for children.

As I approach the start of the school term I find myself thinking about how my child will adjust to school life again after a wonderful, relaxing holiday together.

So, I asked my daughter and several other children (8-14 years of age) over the last week what would help them transition from holiday mode to school mode calmly.

Here’s what they had to say:

  1. “Be prepared with all the equipment you need at least a week before you go back to school. Feeling organised and prepared really helps me”
  2. “Don’t leave buying school uniform and shoes to the last minute. I always worry that if we don’t buy clothes and shoes early, I will have little to choose from or they won’t have my size!”
  3. “Have all your school clothing, shoes and equipment labelled. I worry about losing things on my first day especially my shoes, as everyone has the same!”
  4. “Meet up with some friends in your class before you go back. I always like to meet with friends before the start of term. This helps me to join in more easily on the first day back”
  5. “Setting achievable goals and talking about how school and home life is going to work together.  This helps me feel more motivated and excited about a new term and a new year”
  6. “I like to have my own quiet study space organised and a homework timetable with lots of down time written in as well. This helps me to see that I can work and play too!”
  7. “I don’t like busy mornings and not knowing what’s for lunch until the last minute. I have a packed lunch every day and I think it would be helpful if we had a packed lunch list for the week, we could then prepare the night before and avoid rushing in the mornings!”
  8. “I always go to bed later and sleep in late in the holidays, so going to bed on time a week before you go back to school could help because your body clock can get back into school mode again before you start”
  9. “Getting back into a good sleep routine, helps you to get up on time and not skip breakfast because you are too tired or in a rush”
  10. “Get into a routine of showering in the morning- this can wake you up and leave you feeling ready go!”

Now, let’s not forget that the start of a school term can also be stressful for us parents. Therefore, asking our little ones about their thoughts and worries can really help smooth the transition for us all. As parents, we are constantly thinking of our children’s happiness. Knowledge of the things that matter to them can help us to prepare and support them.

What I have learnt as a parent is that by asking children from my close family and friends, how they feel about going back to school, you can identify any worries or concerns and address them in advance. Addressing things in advance can have a positive start to the term. Therefore, my tip to myself and my fellow parents would be:

Start a conversation with children about how they are feeling about going back to school. Ask if there is anything you can do to help.

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