Are you looking forward to school starting again? Or do you dread having to rejoin the regular school structure? Whether you're looking forward to it or not, it's definitely a big transition for your child. How can you help them succeeding this transition?
You had a relaxing fun time as family, together with your children. You woke up late, hiked, traveled, relax and read a book. whatever you did, the rithem of the routine changed, in a good way, but still changed.
On Monday, the first schools will start in the Netherlands,
Hope you and your kids have (had) a wonderful holiday!
Every beginning can be exciting, filled with mix feelings and so the start of a new school year can be thrilling and scary for many children. By preparing your child in advance, you can make the transition to school a lot easier for your child.
How can you prepare your child for the new school year?
Here are some useful tips that might help you and your child. Which of these tips are you already using?
1. Talk to your child about school
Discuss with your child what it will be like to go back to school. Get your child excited by talking about outdoor play, reading, computers and creative classes. Tell what you used to like at school.
Ask them questions as: "what are you looking forward to at school?" "what do you miss from school?" "how would you like the first day to be like and how can you make this happen?"
By making them excited about going back to the routine, and imagining, asking and talking about it, you prepare them emotionally to the transition.
2. Listen to their wishes and feeling around the issue
Talking about school also gives your child the space to express any concerns or questions they might have. The most important thing when talking to your child is listening and keep asking more questions about their feeling, concerns and wishes.
Also raise some questions about the vacation they had. You can ask questions as:
"what did you like most this summer?", "We still have a week before school starts, what would you like to do?".
Don't try to allay your child's fears, listen to them. Take your child seriously and show them that he or she may find it exciting and tell your child that he or she is not alone in this. You can ask what might help overcome their fear or concern. Try to find out more and keep active listening.
3. Social communication
Make contact with your child's friends before going back to school. This will ease the preparations, and the first day at school. Let your child meet or play with classmates, so that your child is already used to his friends again. This allows your child to relax more on the first day of school, because they'll have support from his peers.
4. Know the school/class
If your child goes to the same school as last year, discuss with your child what will be different this year. If your child goes to a new school, go see the school a number of times. Play in the square or look together through the fence at the playground equipment and discuss how much fun it will be to go there.
5. Ensure safety
Make sure your child feels safe at school. When it is possible, get acquainted with the teacher, or look for a photo of the teacher. at this stage it is important that you show you can trust the teacher and that you heard some positive things about her.
Another way to ensure safety is giving your child a small reminder of you, for example a small stone or a scarf from you or at lunch a small reminder note that you love them.
6. Start the school rhythm before school starts
During the summer vacation, your child probably went later to bed. Slowly move the bedtime back the last week. Explain your child the reason and asked them to go 30 minutes earlier every day, until you are back to school rhythm. Also wake them up earlier and ask them to play along.
Ask them to start reading more and practicing some math's so that when they go back to school they will not be shocked about the material they forgot.
7. The first day of school
Share all the details you know so your child knows what to expect. This gives many children something to hold on to and rest.
Come and pick them up and try to make it a festive day with a nice meal they love so you will have the opportunity to talk about the first day!
Success going back to school and have a great year!