Switching gears from the holiday back into ‘back to school’ mode can be a tricky adjustment for some children, and even some parents for that matter!

The Christmas holidays mean a break from schedules, normal routines and a hiatus from work and school, but it can mean returning to school can cause some anxiety and nerves as children prepare for a new year and get their brains into gear for learning.

It can help to prep a few weeks before the holidays end, so it’s not such a shock when term begins. To help you kickstart the year off in the best way possible, we’ve enlisted the help of Matific’s Education Expert and Ex-Primary Teacher, Brent Hughes, to give us his top five tips on how to ensure your child has a great start to the new school year!

  1. Eat Smart

One of the most important things when preparing to go back to school is eating the right nutritional food. Make sure you pack meals with lots of fantastic ‘brain foods’ including the likes of, Greek yogurt, eggs, fish, nuts and seeds, apples and plums. A great snack idea for your children is some Greek yogurt with some mix-ins, such as blueberries or dark chocolate chips. Avoiding sugary foods and fizzy drinks is important as they can make children hyperactive and less inclined to focus and concentrate on daily tasks that are important.

  1. Routine Rules

A few weeks out of school term starting, it’s a great idea to start getting back into a routine. Start by outlining a more structured schedule, going to sleep at a good hour, getting up around the time your little one/s will be rising and shining for school, and setting more regular mealtimes. The more organised you are, the easier it is for your child to settle into the year ahead.

  1. Relish Reading!

Encourage your children to read books before the school year begins to get them in the right mindset to focus on texts and improve their literacy skills. A recent report released says that leading educators, academics and teachers are sounding the alarm over the impact excessive screen time is having on Australian children’s reading, writing and ability to concentrate in school. Therefore, it’s important the physical books are prioritised as part of your kid’s leisure time.

  1. Prioritise Good Screen Time Versus Bad Screen Time

Talking of screen-time, we know how much kids love their devices, but often we don’t want our children to spend hours of time in front of the screen. Although it’s important to include a range of activities into our kids’ routines (including non-screen time) not all screen time is bad and there are lots of apps and games that help reinforce and teach education concepts in an engaging and educational way for children.

Matific Galaxy, is one such maths app, an award-winning program that allows your child to learn and love mathematics through gamified activities. The program can also be fully downloaded onto whatever device you’re using (it’s available on the app store, Google play store, and as a desktop app), so you don’t even need WIFI to use all the features. Matific has helped improve students test results by up to 34%!

  1. Help to Ease Pre-School Nerves

Anxious behaviour in children is fairly common, especially when back to school time hits and they may be nervous for the new up-coming school year. Focusing more on your child/children “doing their best”, not “being the best” is important, as lots of children may have the idea that they need to be the best in everything, which is a very unachievable expectation. Parents who encourage their children to just do their best, may well help ease anxious mindsets, especially ahead of a new year and moving up within the school system.

Matific is part of global educational technology company whose founders include top Australian businessman Leon Kamenev, who has launched a number of high-profile online companies including Menulog and HotelClub.

The Matific resource, which is currently in 46 countries and translated into 26 languages, has been getting excellent results and making inroads in both the New Zealand and Australian education systems, following the 2014/2015 TIMSS findings which revealed both countries’ primary maths standards were slipping, sitting at 491 and 517 respectively.

Given the decline in numeracy standards in New Zealand and Australia, highlighted by PISA and TIMSS, Matific is committed to supporting primary school teachers in the classroom and helping them get students engaged in maths at an early age.


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  • Good to get started prepping now so it doesn’t seem so tedious closer to start date. Baking some freezable meals and recess snacks also a thought.


  • Great tips.and tricks to keep in mind. Our little ones first year of kinder


  • My 11 year old daughter hates reading these days! The only thing she really reads are my Take 5 & That’s Life magazines as she finds them interesting so I allow it because I want her to read if it means it a mag then so be it!


  • Some great ideas to implement before the school year begins. I agree that routines are important to upkeep throughout the holidays if possible to avoid difficulties later on.


  • great help, specially for the first time school goers and their parents.


  • In Christmas Stockings you can put things like ordinary pencils and coloured pencils they will use for school. The photo above reminded me. Also erasers and pencil sharpeners if they are ready to use them.
    One of the reasons why kid’s school grades are slipping is because teachers aren’t allowed to have enough control of the kids in class. Unless the law has changed they’re not allowed to yell at the kids as it is a form of child abuse(verbal abuse even if there is no bad language involved at all) . In SA the law has been in place since 1988 or early 1989. Parents aren’t allowed to so teachers wouldn’t be allowed to do it either.


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