Getting back into the swing of things can be rough.

But we’ve got some ways to motivate students after you get back from vacation.

Many of us have just finished a break or some time off with family. (If you haven’t taken your latest school-related break yet, mark this email and save it for when you do.)

Whether your children attend 5-day school programs, they’re homeschooled, or they are in a hybrid school, here are 5 tips to make the transition back to school better.

5 Easy-Transition Ways to Motivate Students

  • Start with what’s easy. This means finding something your child tends to excel in and letting that be the first assignment or homework that he or she tackles.
  • Ask for your child’s opinion. Sometimes, transitions can be made worse when we forget to get our kids’ buy-in. Even if it is a simple decision, asking your child for his or her opinion can go a long way toward cooperation. So if you are making the weekly shopping list, ask your child what he or she wants for lunch this week. Or if it’s time to get the books out and study, let him or her decide how long to work on school before the next break (within reason). We recommend something like this: “Would you rather work for a solid hour and then take a 15-minute break, or do you want to work for 25-30 minutes, and take a shorter 5-minute break?”
  • Find a study buddy. Whether it’s a friend you carpool with, a neighbor, or a classmate, find someone else your child can do a school-related assignment with. Even if you hire a babysitter for an hour and she reviews math facts and spelling words with your child, it’s something different. (And let’s be honest, sometimes our kids behave better with others than they do with us, right?) Finding a friend or someone your child enjoys being with to help him or her do a small school-related assignment helps you get a break and might be that extra motivation your child needs this week.
  • Keep your expectations doable. After a break, you might feel refreshed and ready to go. But it’s best to temper your expectations with the transitional margin that a child possesses — not that of an adult. Remember that as adults, we’ve built up skills such as stopping one activity and moving quickly to the next and learning how to budget appropriate amounts of time for different tasks. However, many students haven’t acquired these skills yet or they are still learning. So as a parent, remembering your child has limits is always a good place to begin when you are planning out the first week after a break. He or she may need time to simply be home and get back into norms such as brushing teeth and having a regular bedtime.
  • View this week as a drop of water. Regardless of how your week is going, remember that it’s a drop of water in the bucket full of weeks. We each get 52 weeks a year for however long we’re here on Earth. It’s okay if you need a little extra time to regroup — whether that is your child, you, or both of you. Try to just get back to basics this week and wait to tackle bigger goals later.

If you find that getting back from school breaks or family vacations is difficult, we’d love to resource you with additional ideas. As you are reviewing how to get back to “business” in the midst of everyday family life, consider if your current style of education is still working.

We always recommend evaluating what has worked this year and what may need to change next year when you are looking at homeschooling again, returning to the same school, or finding something new. Even if it’s a small tweak such as changing curriculum or getting a summer tutor, students thrive when we teach them the art of reflection. Learning how to process the changes they encounter in school and in life is a useful life skill.

Find out more about why we teach both academics and life skills as integrated aspects of an excellent education, and reach out to our admissions director if you have additional questions about our hybrid school or our Navigator Program.