New Stress: Helping Kids Re-acclimate to School

Written by Kent Elliot Kent Elliot is a retired architect with a passion for dogs, DIY, and universal design. You can learn more about Kent on his website At Home Aging –

Returning to school is always an anxious time. Parents stress about getting kids to school on time, and no one looks forward to homework. No matter how old your children are, no matter how many years they’ve been in school, everyone can benefit from a little planning. Being ready makes those chaotic mornings a little less hectic. With that in mind, here are a few tips courtesy of The Will to Heal Project to help things run smoothly.

Clothes and More

No parent wants to hear a child say “I can’t find my shoes!” when the clock is ticking and the boss expects you to be at work on time. It’s important for kids to get a good night’s sleep and that their outfits are laid out the night before. The same goes for breakfast — plan ahead and keep it simple with convenient breakfast items, such as a bowl of fresh berries, muffins, breakfast bars, and orange juice. A complete, well-balanced breakfast sounds great, but it’s often unrealistic for families in a hurry. Make sure the kids have their backpacks and school lunches put together the night before so they’re not scrambling at the last minute.

Practice Your Routine

There’s nothing wrong with doing a run-through so everyone knows what to expect on school mornings. Do a drive-by before the school year starts so the kids know where they’ll be dropped off, where they’ll enter the school building, and where you’ll pick them up. That can be a big help for smaller children who may find the school routine intimidating. If possible, show your child her new schoolroom and meet her teachers, especially if it helps set a little one at ease.

Always get them to school a few minutes early each morning, and make sure you’re on time picking them up so no one feels anxious. After school, pay attention to what your kids have to say about their day and always make a point of asking how their day was.

If you’re working from home, you’ll need to establish a few routines with your kids as well. ZenBusiness recommends creating an easy-to-understand schedule and specifying when you’re not to be interrupted.

Controlling Costs

Between clothes, supplies, and school fees, getting ready for a new school year can be very expensive, so look for ways to cut costs. Pack lunches instead of paying cafeteria fees, shop for used school clothes, and consider eliminating costly household expenses, such as your cable TV subscription.


Getting back into the homework swing is usually one of the most difficult transitions after a summer of swimming, sleeping late, and carefree hours of video gaming. Homework isn’t just about getting school work done — it’s also about acquiring self-discipline and following rules. Establish a daily schedule, maybe from 4 pm to 6 pm or for a couple of hours after dinner and stick with it. You can help the kids get back in the swing by setting up a well-defined and fully equipped homework space, with an appropriately sized desk (one that’s nowhere near a television), and keep handheld devices and computer screens turned off during homework time.

There’s usually a bump or two along the way when kids return to school after the holidays, and it can take some time to get back into the school groove. However, you can make things go a little more smoothly by preparing in advance and ensuring everyone understands the daily routine. The Will to Heal Project explores the physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual aspects of what it is to be human and offers you information that will guide you to discovering new possibilities of all these aspects in yourself. We would love to hear from you