Therapist Thursday…..Getting Back in the School Routine

by: Amy Bumgarner, OTR/L

Get Excited


Going back to school is full of many emotions.  For some kids, it is scary and sad. So, make it fun!  Have a special day of picking out new pencils and shoes for school.  And, plan a special treat for the first day after school.

Provide a visual schedule


We spend so much time talking about what is going to happen, but some kiddos need to see it.  Make a calendar with a countdown to the first day of school.  Color code school days, stay home days, and other special days.

Talk it out

Talk about what might happen at school, what your child is looking forward to, and what he or she is scared of.  Practice snaps and zippers on clothing, opening book bags, and opening doors.

Plan lunches together


Make sure your child likes what you are sending and he or she can open all the containers.

Be compassionate

Going back to school is hard! While it is necessary, it is still hard to leave the lazy days of summer.  I know how hard it is to go back to work after a week vacation.  Can you imagine how your child feels after having the whole summer off? Help ease them back into that routine.

Encourage rest breaks

The first week of school is exhausting.  While they may miss the fun of playing with neighborhood friends, encourage a small rest break first.  It will make everyone’s evening a little betterJ

Continue to have fun

While our free time seems to be consumed by school work, try to plan some fun events during the week too.  Kiddos miss all the fun and relaxation of summer.

Set up special homework place


Make homework fun!  Find a special place in the house and make it special. Add some decorations and new school supplies.

Plan out the morning routine


Talk about the routine the night before.  Some kids will benefit from a visual schedule.   This will help the routine go a little smoother for everyone. At my house, we lay out clothes and pack lunches the night before. Bags are packed and ready for a lunch box.


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