Returning to school after a holiday break can be tricky for some students to adjust. Families are a child’s safe and preferred space so some children might be reluctant to return to school. Here are some things you can try to help get back into the swing of things:
- Talk positively about school and staff – encourage GCC as a place that you think is safe for your child to be.
- Focus on something good in the day – perhaps that is break time playing with friends?
- Remind students how they will be picked up at the end of the day and when they will see you again.
- Chat about family events or things to look forward to perhaps coming up on the next weekend.
Some children find separation difficult. Making that separation as quick as possible, from my experience, works well for most students. A big hug and a kiss, pass your child to a staff member and with a big smile, turn and go. Sounds simple on paper but it is tough to be a strong, exemplary adult! 99.9% of the time once this separation has occurred students will settle within 5 to 10 minutes. But each time you come back to check the student’s brain sends hope that you are still here and that you might take them home.
One of the most important ways to help settle students quickly is to establish daily predictable routines. Children need their supportive adult to help manage time and model strategies that will help foster independence as they grow in life.
Each family will need to establish routines that work for them in their own situation. Here are some suggestions for bedtime routines:
- Screens off 1 hour before bedtime
- Readers or library books can be shared with siblings or family members – reading calms and settles the brain
- Listening to stories (if reading aloud is causing distress or arguments)
- Getting equipment or uniforms ready for the next day
Mornings can be busy with many family members moving around to get ready for their varying days. This visual poster of things that need to be done before we leave for school can help ease the ‘nag’ of getting ready and out the door.
Instead of saying instructions over and over again and feeling frustrated that children aren’t responding you can simply encourage independence by saying ‘Go and check the poster’ or ‘what job is next on the poster?’.
A poster with the days of the week listed with things that are needed for school.
This one might be useful on or near the door as you exit the house. A quick chat as you head out will ensure you have everything you need before you leave.
There are lots of events in Semester 2 as the year moves towards Christmas. You may have a digital calendar that sends you reminders or notifications of events or here is a blank term calendar to display on the fridge or bench to help manage all of the different events.
On Gateway, you will find the calendar tab along the green top menu or on the year level page is a summary of key events. My big tip here – as you see events come through via email write them down straight away.
For more information and other tips please see https://www.maggiedent.com/blog/3-rs-family-happiness-resilience-routine-relaxation/
Sarah Leary, Assistant Head of Primary – Lower Primary