Tuesday, 11 August 2020

Preparing kids for heading back to school after the lockdown with giveaway

Boy filling in an activity sheet

Kids have been away from school for the longest period in their lives. Whilst our kids with autism struggle with these changes, many kids find the transition into and out of school challenging even in normal times. We've found that there are things that can help whatever type of bubble or other system your school is adopting to keep kids safe.

Return to school timetables

I don't necessarily mean lesson tables.  I'm talking about returning to normal daily routines that often go out of the while the kids have not been at school and into the summer break. 

This has meant we've changed things such and meal times and bed times.  The kids have been going to bed later and some mornings have been more relaxed. 

In the run up to school starting we are trying to get back into the old morning and evening routines. Getting up, getting dressed and having breakfast by 8.30 so that come first day back, it's not such a shock.  We've been trying to introduce some independence with this too.  It's been easy to get into the habit of doing everything for the kids while they have been out of school so we've got some idea to help them organise themselves again. 

An alarm clock helps them be responsible for getting themselves up in the morning.  Anthony has a 'Wake 'n' Shake' Dynamite alarm clock that includes a vibrate pad for a pillow, light and extra loud alarm function to help him know it's time to get up. This could also be great for any kids who are hard of hearing or deaf.  Anthony can also plug his phone into it so it charges and acts as an additional alarm if he forgets to snooze it and drifts back off to sleep.  Although we haven't been abroad this year, our sleeping pattern has changed long term and we will all need time to adjust. 

Countdown calendar

Knowing exactly when they are going back to school is a big thing for my kids.  But they also like to know other things, like when Dad is going back to work.  Having these activities on a countdown calendar can work well for some families. 

Our eldest likes to know when it's happening but doesn't like to talk about it. By having a visual calendar he can refer to it anytime he likes without it being mentioned and this is less stressful for him.

In the past we've also had dry-run days when we go through not just the morning routine as above, but we've also actually gone through getting in the car and driving to school.



Be prepared for the first day back

All our kids schools do a really good job in transition prep for the kids.  Usually they've all have spent time with their new teachers and in their new classrooms, but that's not the case this year.  There could also be different routines and they may have to accept being apart from other people in the school. So preparing them for where they are going and their teacher is important - a social story or pictures to look at can be really helpful. 

School uniforms don't just need to be checked for fitting this year - a lot of it needs replaced.  Jane hasn't been to school for six months and several things just don't fit anymore.  We've got some Treads shoes for her that have the added bonus of being able to take out an additional insole to make the shoes a half size bigger.  Just as well as her feet have grown loads since she was last in school.   They have a indestructible guarantee so the kids actually get the chance to grow into this larger size.  

Best of all, this great trick also really works for her older brother.  He has autism-related tip toe walking and can fit his orthotics into these shoes without giving up width and height by removing this extra insole.  We've had real challenges finding shoes that work for him like this. 

Anything new of course, needs to be put on before the start of school.  We have their uniforms out and get their school shoes on their feet at least a few days before hand.  School shoes can feel pretty stiff and hard after trainers or sandals during the summer so we try and get the kids senses adjusted a little before hand.

Then we help with ideas for what will actually happen on the first day back.  Most of the kids will have an easy day.  There is a good chance that one of their tasks at school will be either writing or talking about their time away from school.

A journal with a wrap around or sleeve can be really helpful as you can also add in bits like a scrap book without them getting lost.  We found blank pages are the best as it helps open up ideas and doesn't stress the kids out when writing or things go over lines.  We glue in activity sheets from days-out, maps and other things we've been doing during the lockdown.   Our one is also refillable so the kids can use it holiday after holiday and know they have something to refer to. 

Any advice to help kids going back to school?

GEEMARC 'WAKE 'N' SHAKE' ALARM CLOCK GIVEAWAY 



a Rafflecopter giveaway 

Conditions: UK Residents only. Entrants must be aged over 18. Entry is via Rafflecopter. Entries can be made up until midnight on Friday 28th August as indicated.  One winner will be chosen from all valid entries at random the day after closing. The winner will be contacted within 48 hours of the closing date and have 48 hours to respond. The Prize is one Wake 'n' Shake Alarm Clock as shown above.  The exact prize could change with an alternative product of similar or higher value sent. No cash alternative.



We were some of the products included in this post prior to writing it for purpose of review with no conditions. 
As always our posts are independent and only include information and links I'm happy to have on the site. 

44 comments:

  1. I like the idea of a countdown calendar to prepare for events.

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  2. The countdown calendar is a great idea as is getting them into a routine, we have tried during this current problem but the strain is now showing, we have 2 children with speech problems and lack of contact has set them back

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  3. Never thought of having a countdown calendar, but it's a great idea and we're gonna try it!!

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  4. I think these ideas will work.

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  5. Love the loud wake and shake alarm clock.
    All very sensible and helpful steps. Checking the fit of the school uniform in plenty of time is very wise!

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  6. These are some great ideas and its important to get kids prepared for changes in their routines.

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  7. Our school sent out letters with tips and implied it was normal for kids to have a lot of anxiety about returning to school, that it wasn't the same as going back after the summer holidays, that some friendships may have changed, and a whole list of other things. My daughter was so keen to get back, we had no issues, thankfully. #KCACOLS

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  8. I think these ideas are great, I definitely need to start getting my daughter back into a good routine otherwise the first week is going to be a nightmare.

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  9. Love the very loud alarm clock. My son is deaf and finding something that wakes him is a challenge

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  10. These are a good set of ideas. I haven't thought too much about this, but now I will

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  11. Will come in very handy after such a long time without a school routine

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  12. I think you are exactly right about needing to get them back into a routine in time for going back to school. Although both Daisy and Leo still get up quite early, they don't rush to have breakfast or get dressed. In fact they can often still be lazing around in pj's at lunchtime.
    We are specifically tryig not to show any nerves to Leo about the schools reopening because this year he is going from nursery to school. He hasn't had the chance to visit the school but he has been in the school when we have been to events for Daisy. We are just trying to be super enthusiastic and there is a lot of talk about 'won't it be great to see your friends again'

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  13. Shoes that grow are a great idea - I've got lots of other school clothes with expanding waists etc but it's a great idea for this to be available in shoes too!

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  14. I think the Countdown Calendar is a great idea and something the whole family can get into. We already have a general calendar in the kitchen, so everyone is used to checking on who is doing what, when, as they get the milk out of the fridge, for example.

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  15. This is a brilliant giveaway! I definitely need to get Penny a clock!

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  17. I wasn't diagnosed until I was 21 but I always used to get myself back into a school routine by getting up early, going to bed at a reasonable time the week before school started. It wasn't until I was diagnosed that I realised I was doing it to quell my anxiety. Even now my year starts in September and my daughter isn't school age yet.

    Katrina x
    #KCACOLS

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  18. I felt very happy while reading this site. This was really very informative site for me. I really liked it. This was really a cordial post. Thanks a lot!. dofollow blog comment

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  19. Great ideas, for me its all about routine with my kids, they know they can come home from school, have a break in front of the tv etc and then its time for homework. Once thats done they are free!!! I say this like its easy......obviously its not.

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  20. Great set of ideas, these could work

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  21. I especially like the Countdown calendar x

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  22. Great ideas, it so important to have a routine for the kids and us

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  23. the ideas are perfect for, not only the kids, but us too - feel nervous x

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  24. Great ideas and routine is always a good idea for families.

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  25. What a load of good ideas to make going back to school simpler. Thank you so much for all of this.

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  26. Oh I need one of those alarms, it may be a little struggle to get back into a normal routine. Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next time

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  27. Thanks for the great ideas.

    It's always manic the week before school restarts, especially a new year.

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  28. I love how you prepare for school with dry runs and getting back into a school routine. My daughter could definitely do with an alarm like this she us awful at getting up but then so am I lol #KCACOLS

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  29. I think it is good to keep to a routine and build up to first day back. Less of a shock to the system That way for all concerned

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  30. Some very nice ideas - thanks for the article.

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  31. My children love to know when they are going back, when I am working etc too, especially my daughter so I think a countdown calendar is a good idea.

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  32. This is full of great ideas to prepare for the return of school. We’ve been homeschooling ours for over a year. So some of these will be useful when they return to school at some point. #kcacols

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  33. There are some great ideas here, I especially like the countdown calendar which I think is a great idea and will be a very useful tool

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  34. I'm dreading back to school, all the ideas are very welcome

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  35. Great ideas.... i love the idea of a countdown calander for events that is definitely an idea for my daughter

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  36. I love these ideas. Some are concerns I have had and thought how will I do this?

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  37. This alarm clock is a great idea.

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  38. I like the shake and wake alarm clock, and think I could do with one myself as my sleeping patterns have gone haywire over the past few months.

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