Summer is winding down and before you know it, you and your child/ren will be transitioning to the start of a new school year; a new class.
Resuming a new class for some kids can mean fear, anxiety, and uncertainty.
To help your child mentally prepare for the new class and get the best of it, here are six tips that will help.
1. Establish And Start School-day Routines Early
Routines are important for school children of all ages.
They. amongst other things, foster predictability, control, and independence.
With the long break often being less demanding for students, it can offer a break from previously established routines.
However, as a new class brings increased responsibilities, re-establishing important routines becomes vital.
Establishing a morning routine that fosters a peaceful start to the day is as important as an afternoon routine that incorporates homework, activities, preparing for the next day, and appropriate bedtimes.
Routines are important for helping your child be successful with the start of a new level.
If your child is of mature age, consider carrying them along in the development of a new routine.
For a young child, use a chart with pictures or stickers to map out the day.
If chores or homework are a part of it, you can use rewards to reinforce positive behaviour and achievement.
For adolescents/teens, you can encourage their independence by helping them use a calendar or daily planner, set out their clothes, pack their own lunch or set their alarm for the morning.
This will help them build more independence as well as ease their anxiety about returning to school.
Also important is that they give the routine a trial run the week before school resumes.
Doing so will help acclimate your child to the new routine and ease the transition prior to the first day of school.
2. Encourage Open Communication
For many children, a new class year can be anxiety-provoking. It is common if they’ve had learning challenges, poor peer relationships, or experienced bullying in the past.
This is why having someone to talk to is critical for children and teens as they navigate a resumption into a higher class.
Don’t be afraid to talk squarely with your children about their feelings.
These emotions are real.
Acknowledge them, and normalise such conversations so your child knows that sharing their feelings is okay.
Daily family check-ins can be a great way to establish a healthy routine for you to check-in with your child to see how they are doing.
These quick conversations can be in the car on the way home, at dinner, or right before bed.
If need be, you can also reach out to the school counselor or therapist for aid.
3. Be Involved
Parent involvement at school is not the only key to a successful new class resumption, it is important for your child’s success throughout the school year as well.
Engage with your child’s teacher beyond PTA and official matters.
Connect with them, get their phone numbers and let them know that you value open communication with them.
Not only will this ease any concerns you may have as a parent, but will help your child settle in better.
Student involvement is also essential. Kids tend to feel alone if they are in a new grade, school, or environment.
Encourage yours to explore extracurricular activities such as sports, music, or after-school clubs.
Kids (especially older ones) who are involved in beyond the classroom activities often find ways to positively invest their time and build strong adult and peer relationships, as well as their own sense of self-confidence.
4. Incorporate positive reinforcement
If your child is nervous about resuming a new class back to school or starting a new class, it means they’ll likely find it tough to adapt or focus on the positive things they are doing.
Bear in mind that most mindset change comes through reinforcing the positive things your child does.
Therefore, you’re to find ways to praise your child throughout the day for speaking appropriately, making the right choices, or handling their responsibilities.
Consider setting up a reward chart or other type of goal-directed activity for positive behaviour that you can build on throughout the school year as responsibilities increase.
And “no”, rewards do not have to be monetary.
A thirty-minute extension of their screen time on Saturdays can well serve this purpose.
5. Maintain An Optimistic Outlook
Transitions can be tough.
Transitioning to a new class and school routine can be even more difficult. It could be so if your child had a difficult year the year before. For, you, summer would have been a much-needed break from a school year of timelines and struggles.
Granted, keeping an optimistic attitude can be a challenge, but since children, and your child is tuned into you as their parent and will often follow your lead.
Invest in self-care activities to help you to focus on the positive things a new class brings and share those positive messages with your child as they start a new academic year.
6. Set out and Set Up a Study Space
Set out and set up a study space ahead of time, and start observing study hours as you would as soon as school resumes.
When your child/ren comes home from the classroom, it’s homework time.
Creating a designated homework space in the home will ensure this time is as productive and efficient as possible.
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If you have space constraints and cannot dedicate an entire room to ‘studying’, the dining table or in a corner of the family room may be the perfect space.
Stock the homework station with necessary supplies like pencils, crayons, paper, scissors, and glue sticks. Also ensure there is proper lighting and a comfortable chair to make the time in that space as pleasant as possible.
Older kids may appreciate their own whiteboard or bulletin board to post homework assignments and reminders about upcoming tests and projects.
Also, they might prefer to study in a quiet spot like a bedroom or office might prefer to study in a quiet spot like a bedroom or office.
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