Summer is coming to an end. The late nights, the long lie ins, days out exploring and no homework. It's been a fun filled summer, with very little sun, but I'm sure you've all been making the most of the time off with days out planned and trips away. We have been sent lots of stories of the holidays and the adventures all our young people have been going on. The carers' days out have been a success; I know the Yorkshire Foster Carers all enjoyed a beautiful day out to Gullivers World! The children and young people all looked like they had the best time. However, it’s time to get the household back in to a routine for the new school year.
It can be a difficult for young people to get back into a new routine when they have spent 5-7 weeks off school. Some of our young people are starting school for the first time, some are starting a new school and some will be just going back after the holidays. So a plan of action could be useful and we are here to help with some top tips that have been put together to try and help you make the transition as smooth as possible.
Get back in to a routine
A week before the new school year date, try to restart to school routine, earlier bedtimes and morning wake up calls. This may be a struggle to start with! If my experience is anything to go by, young people love their bed and don't want to get up early if they don't have to. But be persistent, maybe even chat through with the young person about what their routine will be like when they start back at school. If your young people is sleeping in until 10am, try waking them up a hour earlier at 9am to start with, and then a few days before they go back, reduce it to 8am, this way when they have their 7am wake up calls when starting school again they will have gotten used to being woken up early.
PlayStation, Xbox, iPads, mobile phones…off!
With the very little sun we have had over the last 5-7 weeks, young people will have increased their screen time as our young people have more free time when not in school. You might want to reduce their time gradually and make sure all electronics are off an hour before they go to bed. This will help them to wind down.
Get them involved
Start talking to your young people about their lunches and what their likes and dislikes are. If your young person is about to go to high school make a budget with them for their dinner give them a sense of responsibility. If your young person is having packed lunches let them help you choose what they want. Take your young person food shopping with you and pick what sandwich fillers they want, or if they want a sausage roll or pasta etc.
When it comes to a new school year all young people love to have a new pencil case, pens, stationary etc. Let them pick what they like, but let them know their budgets.
Make sure they are looking forward to it
Talk to them and find out what they are looking forward to about going back to school or starting a new school. Address any concerns they may have. Find out what activities the school offers and see if they would be interested in getting involved.
Starting a new school as a foster child can be hard, some children can struggle with a new school, and unfortunately can experience some negative behaviours. Teach your young person how to open up and always let them know they can talk to you about anything and everything. If your young person struggles to communicate their feelings, find someone who they will talk to, or let them know they can speak to their Supervising Support Worker at any time in private.
Build a relationship with the school
It’s important to have a good relationship with your young person’s school. So you can let them know about any worries you may have or possible challenges they may come across with the young person. Let them know about your involvement in their life, without breaking confidentiality. Schools and teachers will be very understanding of the situation and will be there to help them and you.
We are here to work with you and ensure your young person gets the education they deserve so please, if you feel you or your young person is struggling, do not hesitate to speak to us about it. We are here to support you through it!
If you have any more useful tips on how to help our young people get back into a routine, then comment on this blog and pass on your advice!