Getting everyone back to school ready
It’s not just children who need to get themselves ready to go back to school in September and it isn’t just uniform you need to be thinking about. Dr Maryhan Baker shares with us her definitive list of five must do’s to make sure the new school year gets off to the best possible start. Whilst it might seem a little early to think about these, in her experience the more prepared you are in advance, the less corrective and ‘firefighting’ work you’ll find yourself needing.
Over to Maryhan….
Top 5 tips to get you ready for back to school
- Plan ahead for the first day back, particularly if you have an anxious child or one who suffers from separation anxiety. So practice saying your goodbyes by role playing; making sure you take a turn at pretending to be the child, as well as the parent. Practicing gives your child the chance to problem solve and become familiar with how they will part with you without tears.
- Review the previous year and set goals for the new one. What did they enjoy and do well at school last year, what have they learnt about themselves, and what might they want to do differently? If this is your child’s first school year then what would they like to be able to do and feel about school by the end of their first year?
- Promote your child’s Growth Mindset and Resilience, as these are probably the two most important skills for success not only within the academic arena but also in life. Developing a mindset which understands achievement only comes through sustained, prolonged effort despite setbacks, will ensure your child never gives up when things becoming challenging. Set them challenges in the summer holidays such as learning a new skill, or overcoming a fear they have, which will actively promote this mindset
- Get their brains all fired up and ready again by doing a little bit of light work each day across the last couple of weeks before school starts. I’m not keen on children doing workbooks in their holidays so promote literacy through reading together, handwriting from writing ‘thank-you letters, or shopping lists and numeracy through budgeting for the weekly food shop or giving them a budget for a family day out.
- Establish a good sleep / bedtime routine whilst you’re all relaxed and your patience is in abundance. For children who go to bed without a hitch it’s just a case of reeling back those late nights a few minutes at a time so they’re back to a sensible bed time. For children who battle going to bed every night it’s time to talk candidly about a new bedtime routine and the consequences if it is not being adhered to. Encourage your child to be actively involved in establishing what the new workable routine looks like, trial it, and discuss any tweaks you might need well in advance of the start of school.