Back to School: How to Set Your Child Up for Success After Winter Break

Back to School: How to Set Your Child Up for Success After Winter Break

For children, winter break is magical. Not only do they get to celebrate the holidays with their families, they also get a couple glorious weeks off from school. But winter break always feels too short, and when their first day back rolls around, you’ll probably hear a few groans and grumbles from your child as you send them off to the bus stop.

As a parent, you might wonder how you can be there for your child while they re-adjust to their usual school schedule. Here are a few tips from Playapy to help you get a child off to a good start when they head back to school after a break.


Have Honest Conversations

When your child gets home from school, make it a point to spend extra time with them. Ask them engaging questions about their day and what they learned. Your child wants to know that you take an interest in what they’re learning.

By prompting them to talk about the positive aspects of their day, you might start shifting their perspective on going back to school. But if they want to vent about a tough lesson or bland cafeteria food, lend a willing ear — we all need to blow off steam sometimes!


Go for a Walk

After going from days of building snowmen and watching holiday movies to long hours back in the classroom, your child might feel like they already need another break! While they can’t take more time off from school just yet, you can schedule fun breaks from homework so that your child doesn’t feel like they have to be productive all day long. When possible, get your kids outside and move.

Try going for walks together. If you’re not sure where to go, check out a Walk Score map of your area. Areas with scores higher than 70 are pedestrian-friendly and should make great spots for you and your child to explore on foot.


Stream Educational Programs

If you can’t get outside, use screen time strategically. Stanford suggests sticking to a limit of about one to two hours of TV time for your children each day. You can stream programs on all kinds of interesting topics, like science, geography, and nature. Set up parental controls on your devices beforehand, just to be on the safe side.


Discuss Your Child’s Goals

Now that the new year has begun, your child might want to set some simple goals. Perhaps they want to get better grades in school, or maybe they want to learn how to play a new sport. Having a fresh start and a new goal to work towards might make them feel more engaged in the classroom.

Give your child some guidance when it comes to goal setting. Help them figure out the small steps they can take towards their goal, like setting up a morning and after school routine. Many successful leaders attribute some of their success to their morning routines. Let your kids know that you support them in whatever endeavors they want to take on this year, and that you believe they can achieve whatever they set their mind to.

Build Good Habits

Helping your child build good habits is a vital part of their development, and teaching them the importance of keeping their room clean is a great place to start. A clean and organized space not only fosters a sense of responsibility but also contributes to their overall well-being and productivity. To make this task more appealing and maintain their interest, consider turning it into a game. You could set a timer and challenge them to ‘beat the clock’ in tidying up, or create a reward chart where they earn points for every day their room is kept neat. Making a game out of cleaning can transform what might seem like a chore into a fun and engaging activity.


Start a Reading Ritual

During winter break, your child might have been busy with family holiday festivities. Now that your family’s schedule is back to normal, it’s time to settle into a routine. Why not designate some time to read with your child every evening?

According to Pearson, reading expands your child’s vocabulary and helps boost their performance in school. If they’re too old for bedtime stories, choose a book that you can both read together and discuss. Decide together on an appropriate book that suits their reading level, with an interesting plot that will lead to great conversations.

Yes, your child will probably be a bit cranky for their first week back at school after winter break, and they might drag their feet as you help them get ready in the morning. Just be patient for a few days and give them time and space to readjust. With your support, your child can put their best foot forward and thrive during the upcoming semester.

Parents and professionals have direct access to caregiver education, pediatric occupational therapy, and parent training. Backed by the experience of working with hundreds of children, Playapy effectively communicates playful solutions that lead to powerful results.


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