Returning to school after the winter break

As school time was approaching last fall, you prepared your child by establishing a consistent bed time, focusing on healthy eating, creating routines for self-care, and setting aside time for learning. After the long winter break, these routines need to be re-established, and quickly.

Like most American children, your child probably spent too much time with his videogames or TV. His sleep patterns were disrupted as he stayed up to visit with guests. Maybe he attended “sleepovers” with cousins or good friends. He ate too many sweets as he begged grandma, “Just one more cookie, please”. He may have spent longer days in child care. All “big” changes for a growing body.

School is back in session and it’s time to return to your family’s normal schedule. Put on your boots, mom and dad. You will meet resistance. You may even be in for a real battle. Your child will be tired after this first week back to school. Here are some tips that may help:

  • Limit his weekend activities for a time as you all get back to your everyday routines; breakfast, self-care, school, time for play, a healthy meal, and homework or reading before bed.
  • Plan and limit your child’s time with videogames. Let him know when and how long he can play each day. Be consistent.
  • Establish or re-establish homework time. It’s not enough to just ask “Do you have any homework?” You must sit with him as he pulls out the papers from his backpack. Help with homework but never do the homework for your child.
  • Read together. Offer your child the opportunity to read withyou or to  Parents have been known to listen to their first grader read “Fox in Sox” while doing the dishes. When the dishes are done, you can read “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” or other favorites together.

Routines give children the predictability they need to set their minds on learning. Your child’s teacher is working very hard to give him the tools to learn that he needs each school day. Your support of his learning through consistent routines will show him how much you value his school success.

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