As first term draws to an end, many families have settled into a good routine for home and school. It is often at this time over the school holidays, that we can take a breather and reset after a busy couple of months. How do we manage time for rest and enjoyment without losing the solid routine that we have worked so hard to get right? Balance and moderation are crucial.
Children need a break from the expectations of school, particularly those children who struggle to ‘keep it together’ all day at school. Often those children are also the ones who don’t cope well with change so it can be difficult. Keeping some things consistent, like bedtime and meal times, can be a fabulous way of maintaining balance. Giving children some autonomy during the day to pick and choose which activities they do at what time, provides some independence they do not normally get at school. If you choose to have a total break from routine and relax eating habits and bedtimes over the holidays, try to make sure that a few days before school goes back that you bring it back to the school routine so that the transition back to term two is smooth. It’s all about balance.
At school, most children are fairly active and after school sports and activities usually exemplify that during term time. As some sports and activities don’t run during the holidays, encourage your child to keep active but to also have rest. It is okay to spend a day chilling out watching movies – it’s just not healthy if it is every day for two weeks. Going for a walk or bike ride or playing outside on the trampoline are great ways to get moving. Moderation in all areas will help to keep balance in order to settle back into the term after the short break.
Sara Drebber is an educational consultant, teacher, writer and mother of three.