How to Make the Back to School Transition Easier for Your Kids (And Yourself!)

Kid standing by school supplies

The transition between lazy summer days and back to school can be a rough one for kids and grownups alike, but with Richmond schools reopening in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s sure to be some added stress and uncertainty. Fortunately, there are some simple ways you can ease the transition, and they’re even more important now that we’re all living through the pandemic. Keep reading to learn more, and good luck with the first day of school!

How to Make the Back to School Transition Easier for Kids (And Parents!)

Get in the back to school headspace.

According to experts, it’s best to switch back to “school year” bedtimes at least two weeks before school starts, but even a few days of early bedtimes will help ensure that the first day of school isn’t a rude awakening—literally. 

Talk to your kids about going back to school. What are they excited about? What are they worried about? For instance, if your child is graduating from middle to high school, they may be particularly nervous about getting around to all of their classes. Printing out a map of the school and helping them circle their classrooms and other important areas can help ease those first day jitters. 

You can also help your kids get back into the academic mindset by choosing activities like reading for a set period of time, instead of playing video games or scrolling on social media. Set an egg timer so they know when time is up. 

Make sure everyone knows the plan. 

If you haven’t already, now is the time to sit down with your kids and their school packets and go through all of the information together. Use a calendar or planner app to make sure you have everyone’s schedules straight, and come up with a plan for drop-offs, pick-ups, open houses, teacher meetings, etc. In fact, having a quick family meeting every week is a great habit to get into so that everyone’s on the same page and no one misses practice/carpool/etc.

With coronavirus in mind, it’s also important to go over health and safety information provided by your school or local health authority. Does everyone have a supply of clean masks? Do they know how to wear and remove them properly, and is there a set place in the household that you want them placed after use? 

Prepare your home.

Whether you’re one of the many families who will be trying totally online school this year or not, it’s important that kids have a place to put their school things and a place to focus and study. If each kid has their own room, this is easy—they just need a desk, chair, and lamp where they can get to work. However, even if it’s not feasible for each kid to have their own private study space, you can still streamline things by setting up a “classroom” area in your dining room or at the kitchen table. Hang hooks so everyone can store their backpacks easily, keep supplies like paper and pencils handy so they don’t have to come to you every time for help, and consider even assigning seats so that each of your kids has their own little area to call their own.  

For some smart, creative ideas, check out this Forbes article with tips from educators and interior designers. Good luck with your back to school transition! Remember, if you need to blow off some steam, connect with friends, and have fun while social distancing, we are open and ready to welcome you back safely to Richmond 40 Bowl.