Wake Up Early: Start waking the kids up at their normal school time several days before they go back, even if they stayed up late the night before. They will likely have no trouble going to bed on time on days when they woke up early.

Talk About School: Keep school at the forefront of your kids’ minds by talking about it each day of the holiday break. Ask them which friends they are looking forward to seeing when they go back and which classes are their favorites. Read books off your kids’ reading lists then ask them questions about the books. If your kids bring their lunch to school, make a calendar with different food options for the first week when they go back.

Keep the Brain Working: There’s an awesome series of books called Summer Fit Learning which is intended to help kids maintain over the summer what they learned during the year. The website offers lots of games for a “fit brain,” along with reading lists, book reports and entertaining activities. Even though it’s not summer, you will still find lots of things to keep your kids engaged.

Set Goals: As part of New Year’s resolutions, encourage your children to set some school-related goals, such as raising a math grade by five points or making one new friend each month. Set your own goals as well—maybe getting up a few minutes earlier each morning to have lunches packed before waking the kids or to give yourself a half hour to exercise or meditate.

Start Off New: Earmark one of your child’s Christmas presents as a special one for the first day back to school. It may be a new shirt, new shoes, a new backpack, zipper pull or locker decoration. Your child will be eager to get back to school to show the new item to his or her friends.

Getting back to school after the extended holiday break doesn’t have to be as stressful as taking a test. Remember to stick as close as you can to the normal wake-up and bedtime routine during the break, but don’t worry about the times when the holiday keeps you out late—just get back on schedule the next day. Routinely engage them in positive conversations about the return to school while they’re still enjoying their break.

This article was originally published on Mamiverse.

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