Yes, we are homeschoolers, well for the most part. My daughter is now in grade 12 and is in the public system and my sons do a blended approach. They go to class 2 days a week.
With the new school year here, we are now at a new beginning. New beginnings bring new routines and a shift in the “Norm”. Summer was great and though we keep most of our routines the same, no matter what season we’re in, there’s still differences of expectations and responsibilities. No, we didn’t do official school work in the summer, I thought I was going to keep up with some math facts, but we had other things on the go – like the beach.
The day has arrived and we are starting the new routine. Our littlest and our oldest have the most difficult time with changes. Whether the changes is a good one or not, it’s still a change.
I often think of these times like turbulence on an airplane, everyone reacts a bit differently. Some go quiet and hang on for dear life, some cry and rock, some scream, some obsessively talk and others aren’t affected at all. Once the turbulence has subsided, most are thankful and are happy to move forward smoothly. Yes, there are still bumps here and there and are expected.
So what did the first day bring for us? Turbulence for sure. I knew this was coming up, so I mentally prepared myself for it and put in as many strategies as possible before the shift. Each person reacts differently. With the little one, it was a lot of “rude”, throwing out insults, running to his room, refusing to do the “regular” routine things. For my older, the day went great, until it was time to make lunch, prepare for bed and get ready for the next day. They each experience the back to school stress, anxiety and change in routine.
Let’s be honest here, I also had to prepare myself for this transition. I have to remind myself what to expect and remember that it’s their brains that are overwhelmed. The behaviours aren’t easy and I know that they are trying. My little guy said yesterday, “Sorry Mom, that was a very bad moment, I’ll try for a better afternoon.” I know buddy and he did try, but it was still rough. I was still happy to see bedtime come and put this one down as a day complete.
We keep the environment is as predictable as possible. I did my best to prepare them for the change – ( not doing this too early or there’d be other challenges). I have made visuals for everything, (during my midnight madness)!
- The “shape of the day” schedule
- Steps for the morning
- Steps for the evening and
- I also verbally remind them.
It is a lot and will we have to continue this level of support forever? No, it eases up once the routine and transition has settled and we’re through the bumpy part. Our children always need predictability and routine, especially if we want to set them up for success, but once things settle the independence will come back. They will be able to regulate and I won’t have to be as ON as I am now.
We, as parents, have to be so ‘ON’ during these times that time to myself is a bit harder. At the moment I need to be more available to them, I have to be their external brain and help navigate through the day. I cherish the quiet moments that bed time brings and prepare for the next day. Once we get through this change, my husband and I will go to a movie.
I hope transition is going well for you and your littles. I’d love to hear strategies that you use or how you get through the rougher patches. Comments and emails are always welcome.