Published: September 21, 2021
Going back to school this year may look different for your kids. Many haven’t been inside a
school for a year or more depending on where you live which means your kids might be a little
out of practice when it comes to tackling a traditional school day structure. As schools start to
open, both parents and kids may be feeling uncertain and anxious.
To help ease the stress here’s what we suggest:
Reestablish a Routine
Schedules tend to go by the wayside during the summer. Later bedtimes, even later wake up
times, and meals eaten whenever, wherever, it happens to the best of us. Getting into the swing
of a new schedule doesn’t happen overnight and may actually take a few weeks for everyone to
adjust. To help make the transition easier, make the change to earlier bedtimes incrementally
and establish a regular eating schedule to get them, and you, back on track.
Create a Morning Checklist
Back to school means back to routine. If your kid(s) have been learning from home over the
past year, forgetting a calculator or pen simply meant running to another room to grab it. Now
it’s essential to ensure their backpacks have all the essentials for the entire school day. Make
the morning rush a little less stressful by creating a list on a whiteboard or notepad that they
check off when each item is completed. To make it even less stressful, have them pack their
backpacks the night before.
Set Easy/Fun Mini-Goals For The First Week
For the first week, put the academics aside and make it all about getting back into the routine.
Your kids may be a bit rusty at having to change classes and interact with peers and teachers in
person. Mini-goals like learning the teachers’ names and class routines, reconnecting with
friends, and even your own home morning routines will help reduce anxiety.
Let Your Kids Know They Aren’t Alone
If your children are feeling anxious, reassure them that many kids are also feeling the same
way, as are many parents and it’s okay to feel how they are feeling. Ask them specifically what
they are worried about (what if I lose my mask?) and role play what they can do. But also focus
on the fun things that are going to happen this year (they get to see their friends again and take
part in activities).
Consider Getting a Tutor
The beginning of this academic year will be about getting kids back on track and all at the same
learning level. Despite the herculean effort of parents who became at home teachers, many
while still working full-time, online learning wasn’t a good fit for all kids. A tutor at the start of the
school year can help your child catch up. But it’s not just about the grades, unlike a teacher who
is trying to engage 20+ students, a tutor can develop personal learning strategies that build off
your child’s strengths and help them work through course material in their own way and at their
Last but not least, be patient with your kids AND with yourself – setting up a new routine and
getting into the swing of things will take some time but together you can do it.