Preparing for back to school after the winter break

Students working together

Being out of school for a couple of weeks during the holidays is plenty of time to get keiki of all ages completely off schedule. With shopping, family get-togethers, traveling, or the late night popping fire crackers on New Year’s Eve, your family may have forgotten what it means to get up on time and go to school ready to learn.  The good news is that getting your children back on track is not as stressful as doing the same after the much longer summer break. Here are some ideas that can help smooth the transition from school to home and back to school over the holiday break.

Wake Up Early: Start waking up at their normal school time several days before it’s time to go back, even if they stayed up late the night before. They will likely have no trouble going to bed on time on days when they woke up early.

Talk About School: Keep school at the forefront of everyone’s minds by talking about it each day of the holiday break. Ask them which friends they are looking forward to seeing when they go back and which classes are their favorites. Read books off your child’s reading lists then ask them questions about the books.

Purchase school supplies that might be needed for the second semester.

Keep the Brain Working: There’s an awesome series of books called Summer Fit Learning which is intended to help students maintain over the summer what they learned during the year. The Web site offers lots of games for a “fit brain,” along with reading lists, book reports, and entertaining activities. Even though it’s not summer, you will still find lots of things to keep your keiki engaged.

Summer Fit Learning
http://summerfitlearning.com/

Entertaining Activities
http://www.mamiverse.com/entertain-and-engage-your-kids-during-the-holidays-3848/

Set Goals: As part of New Year’s resolutions, encourage children of all ages to set some school-related goals, such as raising a math grade by five points or making one new friend each month, or joining a school club, sport, or extracurricular activity. Set your own goals as well—maybe getting up a few minutes earlier each morning to have lunches packed.  Schedule walking to school with the children or to give yourself time to exercise or meditate.

Getting back to school after the extended holiday break doesn’t have to be as stressful. No matter what age, remember to stick as close as you can to the normal wake-up and bedtime routine during the break, but don’t worry about the times when the holiday keeps you out late—just get back on schedule the next day. Routinely engage in positive conversations about the return to school while they’re still enjoying their break.

Nene Award Booklists
http://nene.k12.hi.us/booklist.html

NEA Read Across America - Resources & Materials for Parents
http://www.nea.org/grants/13026.htm

Scholastic:  Book lists for all ages
http://www.scholastic.com/parents/books-and-reading/book-lists/

Oprah’s Kids’ Reading List
http://www.oprah.com/packages/kid-reading-list.html

Florida Teens Book Nominations
http://www.floridamedia.org/?page=flo_teen_nominations