Whether it’s transitioning into a new school or a new year, starting school can be pretty unsettling for your young ones. Apart from the fresh term jitters, jumping back into the routine with homework and classes might also be jarring, especially after days on end playing video games. But as parents, you can play a part to make this process easier for them. So to help cut back on their nerves, here are some tips for you to give your children a back-to-school boost!
Create a safe space
Unbeknownst to most of us, some children may not show their fear easily. Some of them could feel nervous about school but hide it exceptionally well. As a result, parents are slow to pick up on the signs. To ease any worries that your child might have about school, create a safe space to let them dispel their fears and reassure them to let them know they will do fine.
Creating a safe space could be as simple as starting a conversation after meals. Perhaps make it into a daily check-in, like asking them how their day at school went, whether they learnt anything new or exciting. Prompt them with a few of such questions and when they are ready, let them speak. Also, giving them an outlet to acknowledge their feelings lets them know that they are heard!
Having frequent conversations can let them know that you would be there whenever they would need some support. If you’re unsure how to start, consider speaking with your child’s homeroom teacher or even the school’s pastoral care department for tips and advice.
Do a goal setting exercise
Parents are always the child’s first teacher. They observe the way you walk, speak and even socialise. As their true role model, you can consider yourself in the prime position to lead them by example and set some goals alongside them.
The best time to start would be after the first week of school, when your child is just beginning to get back into the swing of things. Block out an afternoon that weekend dedicated to the goal-setting exercise. Some of the potential starting points could be what they aspire or hope to achieve during the new school term. You might be surprised by what they might come up with.
Knowing what your child would like to achieve could help you guide them better throughout the semester. You could also use the goal-setting to complement the daily check-in sessions, using their goals as a conversation topic and have a better idea of the direction you might want the check-ins to move in.
Fine-tune daily habits
Daily habits play a big part in our lives. Routines influence what we do in the near future, and the same goes for your child. Sometimes, it’s the little habits that can create a ripple effect and would be just enough to get your child into the right headspace.
For example, curating a healthy morning routine is a good start. Healthy habits include sleeping earlier to wake on time, leaving the television off in mornings and filling up on hearty breakfast before starting their day at school. All of these habits can easily make the day more productive and are healthy for your child’s development. On weekends, you can even make it a point for outdoor family time and limit your child’s use of digital devices.
Participate in their learning
Being involved in their learning is not restricted to discussing the upcoming schedule or making choices together on their IB subjects list. Sometimes, participating in school activities alongside your child could have a greater impact, and they might appreciate your efforts as well! If it’s your child’s first day at school, attending orientation together could give them someone to talk to while exploring the new environment. You could also get a better understanding of the school’s approach to learning.
Attending school events also allows you to get to know the parents of your child’s schoolmates. You could coordinate day outings with other parents and arrange play dates that the kids will enjoy. As many school events are held virtually due to the pandemic, it might be even easier for you to attend for more information and to meet like-minded parents as well.
Additionally, if your child is enrolled in a bilingual programme, show your interest in speaking the foreign language with your child at home! Reading books and listening to music suitable for their level would be another way to encourage exploring the language together.
Even the boldest children can feel the jitters of a new school setting or term. But with these quick tips, you’re sure to let your little ones feel assured to start a new semester ready to learn with a positive mindset. Have yet to find the perfect international school in Singapore to support your child’s learning needs? Enquire about their PYP programme today!