Some teens can’t wait to get back to school, while others are shocked when they discover the holidays are about to end! Wherever your teen is, these tips will help them transition back into the school routine.
Talk it up
Your teen will find the end of the holidays easier if they’re feeling positive about going back to school. Help them remember the things they enjoyed last year, and find some things that will excite them about this year. Some will be looking forward to being a ‘big kid’ (whatever their year). For others it will be the chance to make new friends, or to start a special program, or to learn a new skill.
If your teen seems worried, find out what’s on their mind and help them think of some strategies. If they are worried about who their teacher will be, or who will be in their class, you might be able to find out by contacting the school in the last week of the holidays.
Catch up with friends
If your teen hasn’t seen their friends much over the holidays, or is feeling a little nervous about being with other kids again, see if you can organise a playdate or two. This will remind them of the fun they have with their friends at school, and help them to feel more confident.
Get the gear
Do a stocktake with your teen to check if they have everything they will need for school. Do their uniform, hat and shoes still fit? Do they need any stationery or equipment? Is it time to refresh their school bag, pencil case, lunchbox or water bottle? Do your stocktake early, so there’s plenty of time to shop – if you leave it too late, you may not have as much choice. Remember to label everything, especially hats, jumpers, lunch boxes and water bottles, or they’re likely to end up in lost property.
Get back to healthy eating
During the holidays we often indulge in a few more treats than normal. If your teen is out of the habit of eating healthy meals and snacks, start reintroducing them so that they get back into eating foods that will give them the physical and mental energy they need through a school day.
Ease back in to the school routine
School holidays are a great time to take a break from the routine and just relax – stay up later, sleep in and do nothing for a while! But it can take a bit of time for kids to get back into the school routine at the end of the holidays. In the week before school starts, help your teen adjust by encouraging them to bed a little earlier each night, and up a little earlier each morning. When the alarm goes off on the first day of term, it won’t be as much of a shock to the system – for them or for you!
Set some goals
You may want to encourage your teen to set some goals for the year or term ahead. Perhaps they want to improve their essay writing skills, or achieve a higher grade in a subject they have been struggling with. You could also encourage your teen to write down some steps they will take to try to achieve that goal – perhaps being more consistent with their homework, or taking the time to ask questions of the teacher at the end of class. For some ideas on how to do this, see our article Recharge, reflect, reset, restart – for teens!