5 Tips For a Smooth Transition Back to School

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Christmas, New Year, long summer days and late nights…

How do we get back into the swing of school mornings after all the freedom and flexibility of the summer holiday season?

Here we have 5 tips for a smooth transition back to school

1. Use Visuals

Using a visual schedule can help kids plan their day and see the tasks they need to complete in order to get out the door in the morning. At small TALK we have created the “Calm Home Visual Schedule” (available in ready made or in printable form) and Weekly Visuals Schedule. Using a weekly schedule can be a great way for kids to keep track of the days of the week and see what activities they have on each day e.g. swimming, speech therapy, OOSH, Library Day.

5 Tips For a Smooth Transition Back to School » back to school

2. Prepare in advance

Practise dressing in the school uniform so you have a chance to problem solve any sensory issues that your child may have. Sometimes new uniforms require extra washes or tags removed to make them more comfortable.

Use the school lunchbox at home to practise opening and closing the box and packets.

Practise the school morning routine a couple of times, like a dress rehearsal and see if you can get out the door on time. Using timers and to do lists can help increase your child independence with the morning routine.

5 Tips For a Smooth Transition Back to School » back to school

3. Talk about the Positives

Remind your child of all the things they may like about school:

Spending time with their friends and teachers, learning new things, using the school library, and engaging in sport, music, art, dance, drama, and games. The sumer break can feel long for kids so it can be great to talk about their favourite parts of school and help them become excited about seeing their friends again.

5 Tips For a Smooth Transition Back to School » back to school

4. Ask about their worries

It is important to validate and address any concerns your child may have about returning to school. Perhaps they are worried about what their new teacher will be like or which friends will be in their class this year. Talking through some of the scenarios and giving your child some information and reassurance means they will feel supported by you, and hopefully alleviate any anxiety about the new school year.

5 Tips For a Smooth Transition Back to School » back to school

5. Reduce commitments

Reduce after-school commitments to allow for adjustment time and plenty of downtime. Returning to a full day at school can be tiring and sometimes kids have meltdowns/shutdowns when they get home from school especially in the first few weeks as they adjust. Planning some afternoon activities that help regulate your child can be really helpful such as book reading, colouring, or screen time (such as gaming or watching TV).

5 Tips For a Smooth Transition Back to School » back to school

Want More Support?

Talk to your speech pathologist about how we can help with challenges that may come up, such as difficulties with friendships, following instructions, completing morning routine tasks, or speaking up to get needs met at school.

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