The Cure for Back to School Blues
- Published Date: September 2, 2019
There’s an epidemic sweeping the country – the back to school blues. After a long summer of holidays, beaches, clubs and pools, the reality of another term – another year! – at school starts to sink in.
And it doesn’t just afflict children.
Parents have been feeling the pressure of buying new stationary, replacing outgrown, ripped or otherwise destroyed uniforms, triangulating schedules, and so on. It seems like every shop you go into has that unavoidable ‘Back to School’ section.
Even teachers suffer from it!
Often it’s only in hindsight as an adult that you realise how lucky you were as a child to have so much free time, but then children often have a different perspective on time.
For an 8-year-old, for example, a year is one-eighth of their life. The summer feels like it never ends; on the flipside, next summer feels like an eternity away. Similarly, at school, a difficult day can feel like it never ends.
Fortunately, there are ways to ease back into the school environment and shake those back to school blues away!
Talk to your children
How does your child feel about returning to school?
- Or anxious?
- What did they like and what didn’t they like about their experiences last year?
Walk them through any problems they might have or anticipate having. Don’t forget to talk about the positives of last school year and how they might be incorporated into this year. Remember, as adults we can very easily project our feelings onto children, so be mindful of not talking over their experiences!
Set a pattern of regular communication now before school starts, so they know you’re on their side and they can come to you with any issues they might have on those crucial first few days.
(Re-)establish a routine
In the days (or week, if you’re feeling ambitious!) before school starts, reintroduce the school routine. If you got into bad habits by the end of the last school year, now’s the time to start fresh. Enforce regular bed times and mornings, organise folders, bags, travel routes, and so on. Anything you can do now will help that first day be less of a shock to the system!
Include them in the back to school shopping
Create shopping lists of necessary back to school items and involve them in setting and following a budget (a sneaky way to introduce some maths). As long as it’s nothing too extreme (or against school rules), allow them to express themselves through their choices of stationary, pencil cases, bags, and so on. After weeks of shorts and T-shirts, this can take some of the sting out of being forced back into uniform!
Last but not least: keep having fun!
And then, of course, all fun doesn’t have to end as soon as the calendar turns to September.
One of the challenges and joys of being a parent is keeping them engaged, active, and trying new experiences. This isn’t confined – it can’t be confined – to the summer months. Similarly, learning new things about the world, discovering new skills, making new friends – these don’t have to stop at the boundaries of the classroom.
Try creating a calendar of upcoming outings, activities and special meals you can do together. This creates something special to look forward to, getting those minds away from thinking about the end of summer and start of school.
Have a look at our top 10 Autumn activities for some inspiration:
Keep the joy and excitement of summer alive year-round, and the back to school blues might be a thing of the past…
Jigsaw Performing Arts is dedicated to developing performance skills, promoting self-expression and building confidence. We offer performing arts classes for children aged between 3 – 18. Find your nearest school by entering your postcode into the search on our home page.