The Family Co.'s Family Worker Support Team have collated some great tips to help parents assist their child in transition back to school after extended home learning during Lockdown.

Download a printable tips page here

Read our tips for parents here.

The week before:

Reassure your child that it is safe to go to school.

Many parents had conversations with their children about the importance of learning from home to keep them healthy and safe. Some children may now worry about the safety of returning to school.

To help your child feel safe, have a conversation with them explaining that:

• the decision to return to school is based on medical advice

• everyone at school is working hard to make sure that children are safe

• anyone who is unwell will stay at home

• the government is keeping an eye on things – if it starts to be unsafe, decisions about what to do will be made

• reassure your child that it is normal to have mixed emotions such as excitement, relief, worry and anger

• discuss what they are looking forward to and what they are worrying about

• reinforce good hygiene practices

• talk to your child for changes to usual school routines as your school may have made changes to their normal processes eg drop off and pick up process. Your school will communicate these changes with you – these may vary across schools.

• write social stories with your child about changes to the routine

 Repeat as necessary

  • Return children to their usual wake up and bedtime routines, as well as breakfast and morning snack/lunch. 
  • Parents should set their alarm and get up early to avoid any morning chaos –and be clam, organised and regulated!
  • If the child is anxious and struggling – talk to the school teacher prior to drop off for extra support.
  • If parents are aware that the child is anxious – organise to meet up with another child so they can walk in together.

The day Before:

  • Parents could pack lunches the night before and involve the child/children if Appropriate-Parents could add a special “lunch box token” e.g. Have a great day” smiley face , I love you” this could be laminated or written on a post it note –and placed in the lunch box.
  • Have uniforms, bags, school hats etc. ready at the door and involved children in this.
  • Ask about any strategies that home learning helped your child and discuss what they might be able to take to the classroom

Returning to school before siblings

Younger children returning to school earlier than other family members may feel disappointed that their siblings are continuing with home learning or may feel disconnected from the family. You can help your child by:

• reassuring them that is ok to feel disappointed

• explaining that all children will be returning to school soon

• allowing your child to pick a fun activity to complete when they get home from school so that they have something to look forward to.

• Ask your child if there is anything that will make this easier for them eg taking a special item that helps them feel ‘brave’.

On the school day:

  • No TV/devices on in the morning before school
  • Parents could create a "to do" and "done” visual chart for children to follow – you could use clip art photos or take photos of the child getting ready - follow this up with a reward at the end of the week. Officeworks also has great reward charts and morning routine charts.
  • Use essential oils to help support their child’s emotions e.g. “ Brave oil “or ‘  calm oil ‘ – sometimes this, with a supportive and validating conversation between parent and child is enough to get them through the gate!
  • Reassure your child that there will be plenty of staff to help take them to their classrooms

After school:

• talk to your child about their day, including what they enjoyed, what worried them and what they are looking forward to tomorrow

• plan for extra family time as your child may have missed being at home with you

• plan for some down time as your child may feel tired and need to recharge.

 The Family Co. offer regular and free parenting programs to help parents learn skills to create more harmonious home environments. Check out out upcoming schedule here. You can join our program mailing listand be notified when programs are running.