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Getting routine right before the back-to-school rush

Most parents swear by a ‘school routine’ of some description. But after almost six weeks of changes in location, mealtimes, and surrounding company over Christmas and New Year, it’s an easily forgotten concept.


To avoid a rude awakening (literally) for your kids the first day back, a gradual phase-in of the school routine is a must. In the last week of the school holidays, encourage your kids to wake up at a regular (also read: earlier) time. Mornings should start to look more and more like school mornings, in terms of the time usually available for breakfast, cleaning teeth etc. Even though school hasn’t started yet, being busy with other things in the lead up to first day back will ensure that there is a legitimate need to be up and out the door, and not just because you say so. 

Whilst rehearsal of the school routine does ease kids into being physically back at school, it won’t necessarily resolve back-to-school concerns and burgeoning questions. 

Your child may begin to worry about the logistics of the year ahead. For example, “Who will be in my class? And will I like the teacher?” are fairly reasonable questions for a student to ask, and yet most students won’t be privy to the answers until school starts. As a parent, it is impossible to “fix” this. The uncertainty is going to remain, and, frankly, it will only continue as life beyond school unfolds. The best thing you can do is to help your children be okay with the unknown.

To do this, you might like to ask your child some or all of these questions.

What is the worst thing that could happen? And how would you/we deal with it if it did?
When have you had to deal with tough things at school before? How did you feel at the time? Do you feel different now?
What are things you enjoy outside of school? Are they going to remain constant regardless of goings on at school?

With appropriate planning and preparation, it is possible for students to be physically and mentally ready for another school year. Good luck!

Written by Sarah Carman, Director of Sponge Education | one-on-one tutoring in Sydney
Sponge Education is a tuition initiative aimed at improving the high school experience for NSW students, both academically and mentally. Sponge is a tailored tuition service for students in K-12.

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