As the countdown begins for your child to go back to school, the panic sets in all over again, as it did at the beginning of the break. Is your child going back to its old school, or is he/she starting a new school, going into a new class / year group, how do they feel – are they prepared and what can you, as their parent, do to help your child get back into school mode.
How do you begin the process of getting your child back into the swing of things; from those laid back days of the summer, to the bustling schedule of the school year - just weeks before the school bell rings?
Not to worry, we’ve got you covered with our ultimate back to school tips, to help you make that transition a smooth one.
Get the shopping covered
Go through your child’s supplies. Have a checklist of all the items, and then tick off those that need replacing or new items that are needed for the new school year. Do they need a new P.E kit, new polo shirts, skirts, trousers, shoes, socks, undies, water bottles, lunch boxes etc?
Try to avoid the last minute scramble at the shops, as this only serves to unsettle you the more.
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Prepare a ‘back-to-school’ schedule
Remember, your child has been in lazing mode for the past 6 odd weeks. This practice is going to need some time to get out of and the sooner you begin, the better for all! What you don’t want, is to spend an extra 30 minutes trying to get your child to sleep or (even worse) to wake up in the mornings of that first week back to school. The transition needs to begin in the last 1- 2 weeks of the holidays. Their system needs to readjust to the ‘early to bed, early to rise’ schedule – better suited for the back-to-school routine. Those impromptu mealtimes would also need to be adjusted.
The same would also go, for those generous time slots spent in front of the TV or on the screen of their devices. The necessary ‘cut-backs’ would need to be made, ahead of time in order to avoid the stress associated with the last minute process.
Discuss going back to school with your child
Some children might feel anxious, or apprehensive about starting a new school or class. There could a long list of questions going on in their head ranging from: what will the teacher be like, will I be able to make new friends, will I be able to cope with the new subjects, the expectations at that level etc
As the parent, you could initiate these discussions with your child; ask him/her questions about how they feel in general and whether they have any concerns, as talking about it might help calm your child’s nerves a bit. This would also be an opportunity for you as the parent to be able to gauge your child’s level of concern and perhaps have a casual discussion with your child’s new teacher, at the start of the term, with a view helping your child settle in much better.
Be prepared for the new class
Have a look at the topics that will be taught in your child’s new year group. This should normally be available on the school’s website and if not, you could do a general research on topics for that subject, which should be available on the internet. Buy the relevant books and start to have a peek into them with your child as it never hurts to get a head start on the term.
Needless to say- check to make sure that any homework that was required to be done over the break has been completed, so there is no mad rush to get it done in the last days leading up the start of the new term.
Going back to school or starting school should be an exciting time for your child, especially after being at home with you (the parent) for the past 6 or so weeks, they should be looking forward to getting out there to see different faces (no offence...they still love you) ,make new friends and reconnect with old ones. They should also be looking to get back into the swing of things and your job is to make that as smooth as possible. As a parent, you’ve probably had to juggle a lot of things over the break; to make sure your child had a great holiday experience. This could have been anything from taking some annual leave to be around / go away on holiday with your child to possibly splitting your time between the office and working from home, plus everything in between, so you might need that transition period just as much as your child, so you can get back to your normal routine as well – even if you just need the house to yourself from 09:00 – 15:30! (and we know you love your child....lol).
As humans, we all could do with some structure in our lives, which is what a regular schedule could provide for us. This is just as important in a child’s world as well and should ideally begin from day one.
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