How to Successfully Transition Back to School

Whether you yourself have come to terms with it or not, the harsh truth is that summer is winding down. Maybe you’re celebrating, or maybe this sentence sent you into a tailspin, but either way, it’s time for all of us to start looking forward and preparing for the inevitable: back to school season!

Back to school season is not only a huge time of transition for your kiddos, but for you, too! While some changes will certainly take some getting used to, we also have a couple tips for making this foray back to an everyday schedule as smooth as possible.


1. Over communicate

That’s right – talk, talk, talk everything out! Maybe it seems silly to sit down with your kids and explain stuff they may already know, but bringing a bit of structure to this change will benefit everyone. You can talk about: when they will go back to school, new teachers they will have, things they are excited/nervous about… the list goes on.

2. Establish a ritual

Rituals make everything else run smoothly. Once your kids go to sleep, grab a glass of wine, and get to planning. Sit down and think of what a typical school day will look like. What time will everyone wake up? Who is responsible for lunches? What about pickup? If you plan ahead for these things, you’ll be able to better prepare both yourself and your kids when the time comes.

3. Ease into busy mornings

Ahhh summer. Where many days don’t have a strict agenda.  Usually school means early rising and rushing out the door….sometimes accompanied by quite a bit of chaos. But, if you ease into this new schedule, the chaos can be minimized a bit.

Here’s some ideas to help with the transition. Lay clothes out the night before and give two outfit options to make them feel some ownership. Use a morning routine chart to help little ones visualize each days. (We found lots of printable and interaction options on Etsy)

Figure out what time you’ll need everyone out the door, and get the kids (and yourself!) in the habit of your new sleep changes a couple weeks before school starts. This way, when it’s time to head back to the classroom, your kiddos aren’t exhausted and you’ve already got things down.

4. Prep them for socializing

This might sound like a strange one, but to kids, sometimes heading back into a very social environment after being away for so long can feel a bit like going to a crowded party after months spent alone at home (if you know, you know). Having conversations about this ahead of time can really help ease any social anxiety that your kids may have.

Do your best to empower them with tools they can use if they begin to feel overwhelmed. Things like deep breaths, counting to ten, and taking breaks can be very useful.

5. Check in with yourself

Look, we know that the back-to-school rush is mostly focused on your kiddos, but it’s a lot for you to manage, too. Not only is it a lot practically, with schedule changes and such, but it can be a lot emotionally. Waking up before kiddos will help and try playing music in the mornings so you can greet them with energy and  a smile instead of groggily pushing them out the door. Even if you are feeling great about your kids heading back to school, take some time to check in with yourself to acknowledge any emotions that might come up around spending less time with your kids or sending them into a different environment. You’re doing great!

Want more tips about heading back to school? Check out our blog!