How to Ease the Transition from Summer to School

  • 01 of 06

    From Summer Break to Back-to-School

    Transition to school

    Some years it seems that just as you’ve settled into a summer routine, it’s suddenly time to start shopping for backpacks and trying on school clothes. Transitioning from summer to school takes time, so it’s best start thinking about it while you are still enjoying your summer vacation.

    In fact, begin your summer with a plan for the end. This means making sure the summer homework or reading gets worked on all along, not just at the end. Plan out the activities on your summer bucket list so that...MORE you can actually do them, not just wish you had.

    But no matter how well planned your summer is, it will end, and this transition will likely cause some stress in the household. To minimize the stress keep these five tips in mind as those lazy summer days begin to wane:

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  • 02 of 06

    Play Up the Positive

    Back to School

    For some kids school will offer precious little to feel positive about. Others will hardly be able to contain their excitement as the school year grows closer. Most are somewhere in between.

    There is usually something that kids are happy about returning along with school. Find what it is for your children. Maybe it’s seeing friends they have missed during the summer. Perhaps, they will try a new sport. Some kids just love the shopping that goes with back to school. Whatever it is for your child,...MORE start talking about it early and often.

    Just be sure what you think is a positive is is what they think is a positive. This can be tricky when you have multiple children all with different attitudes about school.


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  • 03 of 06

    Acknowledge the Negative

    School starts

    On the flip side, don’t ignore what stresses your child about school. Your effort at creating some positive energy around the upcoming changes should not keep your child from talking about his or her worries.

    Getting used to different teachers with different homework policies and teaching styles is always part of the challenge. But your child could also have changes like a new school. 

    Be sure to create an open dialogue about potential challenges in the upcoming school year. But this dialogue...MORE should be a starting point for strategies deal with challenges not just an opportunity for complaining.

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  • 04 of 06

    Plan for a New Year

    After School Activities

    No school year is ever just like the last. Whatever you did last school year for child care may or may not work again this year. Kids get older; have different activities; your work may change. Likely some elements of the previous year’s plan will work again but others may have to be rethought before school starts.

    Figure out if you need after-school care. Ar your kids trying new sports or activities this year? Will you need to carpool? Many activities won’t be nailed down until school actually...MORE starts but get the broad strokes in place as soon as you can.

    But don’t make this plan on your own. Let kids participate as much as is reasonable.

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  • 05 of 06

    Ease Yourself into the School Routine

    Kid Sleeping With Dog in the Morning

    The changes from year to year might be large--like a new school--but many are small. For instance, kids who couldn’t tie their shoes or make their school lunches last year can now. It’s still worthwhile to practice these things before school starts.

    Regardless of the magnitude of the upcoming change in routine, thinking out some of those upcoming changes before school starts can help you and your children prepare for school more efficiently.

    Sleep routines are perhaps one of the most important...MORE routines to ease into because they affect not only your school morning routine but all of the day. Waking your child up earlier and put them to bed a little sooner. Perhaps, try 10 minutes a day for 1-2 weeks before school starts. This strategy works better with younger children. Teens and tweens need to be responsible for changing their own routines. You can urge them to this but if they don’t they adjust soon enough after a few days of school. 

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  • 06 of 06

    Enjoy Summer’s Last Blast!

    Summer's end

    Don’t forget to enjoy the last weeks of summer while all this transitioning is happening. Carve out some time for summertime family activities. While the run-up to school seems busy, it’s nothing like how busy it gets once school is under way!

    This could be a weekend away, or a day trip to a nearby destination. But it doesn't have to be so elaborate. You could enjoy a picnic on the last day before school starts or a trip to the pool. Whatever it is, celebrate your time together.