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Thriving After Winter Break

Updated: Apr 26, 2023

By Ella Holton-McCoy and Sean McCormick, M.Ed

Winter break is always so needed by both students and parents. The stress of school is removed and the chance to relax is welcomed by all. However, returning to school after a two-week vacation can be tough. All the routines have been different for the last two weeks (were there even routines?!) and trying to get back into the school mindset can be overwhelming, and with the pandemic still surging, the unknowns of what school may look like in the next few weeks is daunting.

Here are some things to try to help to recalibrate back to school mode:

  1. Start by getting organized:

    1. Make sure all needed supplies are in your backpack and ready to go.

    2. Clean out any extra papers from the backpack and binders.

    3. Clean room and work space.

  2. Encourage your child to set alarms and reminders:

    1. Set a reminder on your phone to start homework or check your schools main platform

    2. Set a recurring wake up alarm on your phone or on Alexa/Google Home.

    3. Set alarms and reminders for sports or other after school activities.

  3. Help your student find a routine that works:

    1. Reflect on what worked for you in school before winter break. What was going well? How were you supporting your success?

    2. Make a checklist of things you need to do each day in order to be successful and post it somewhere you can see it frequently.

  4. Be patient with yourself and your student:

    1. Returning to work/school can be hard after a vacation. Your brain might feel a bit foggy and it might be challenging to find a routine again. Be patient with yourself and gently encourage yourself.

    2. Positively talk to yourself. Remind yourself that you are doing the best you can and that once you get into a rhythm again, it will feel easier to be productive. Be gentle with your student as well. They likely are feeling overwhelmed and may need additional support to recalibrate with the school routine.

While it’s important to focus on the positive, it is also essential to focus on areas where you can improve. Does your child have a habit of getting home after school and immediately watching TV for hours before starting homework? Does your student forget to bring home needed materials from their locker? Remind your student of their goals, both short term and long term. They want to succeed and reminding them of what they are working towards will help them adjust to school restarting.

If you’d like to learn more about how our coaches can help your child with ADHD strengthen their executive function skills, schedule a free 15-minute inquiry meeting at or send us an email at We would love to help your student develop the skills to accomplish their goals.

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EFS started with one teacher deciding that kids with ADHD needed better access to quality executive function coaching services. Since then, we have grown to a team of specialists working both private students and public schools to enhance executive function skills for all students. 

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