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Back To School Tips
It won’t be long before we’re all thinking about going back to school and the start of the new academic year. Help ensure the start of the new school year goes well by getting organized and preparing in advance with these back-to-school tips.
It can be an overwhelming time for everyone, and keeping track of everything that needs to be done and when is tricky. There are lots of emotions running around, often with excitement mixed with apprehension and various other things, exacerbated by the contrast of the holiday period. Set up some processes in advance, and you’ll start the year off right.
Lots of children worry about their academic progress and exams, as well as issues with teachers and peers. Increasingly, teenagers are under a lot of stress. Make sure the end of the holidays is focused on fun and not thinking about going back to school. Enjoy the last of the holidays if you can, but acknowledge that the worries are there. Talk about what is causing the concerns and don’t skirt around the issues. Reassure your child that whatever they are feeling is perfectly normal.
Ask the Question
Ask questions! Encourage lots of questions because that leads to open dialogue. It also gets them thinking more logically about issues that might have been guided by emotions. Some things will be different in the new semester, but there will also be things that don’t change at all - what about them?
Get some structure in place with a routine. This could include a checklist of what needs to be done in advance in order to be ready; write a list of tasks that need to be completed the night before, like getting books and uniforms ready, and a list of things to do in the morning. Think about the things your child can do on their own and the things they’ll need help with. Get to bed early on school nights so everyone has enough sleep for their age.
Stick to the same bed time and waking times as much as possible. These should be age-appropriate. Start moving toward the bedtimes during the last week of holidays so it’s not a complete shock to get up on the first morning. You may want to consider your own routine and make adjustments as necessary.
Help your child find their tribe at school. Encourage them to be themselves and take an interest in their school life as well as their academic studies.
Read the Signs
However well-prepared you are for going back to school, there will likely be some settling-in issues and possibly even stress. The signs of stress will be different for every child, but there are some fairly common signs depending on the age of your child.
They may be more restless or clingy than they normally would be, or they might be reluctant to take part in activities they would normally enjoy. They might come up with lots of reasons why they shouldn’t go to school on a particular day or try negotiating. If any symptoms persist for longer than a couple of weeks, it is worth talking to your teacher in case there is a bigger issue.
Read All About It
Take all the information provided by the school and read it. There will be lots of relevant, helpful tips that will answer questions and help your family prepare for the year ahead. There might be specific transition information, and there will certainly be information about key dates, school transport, and uniform policies. Many times, they will also link to other useful resources.
One of the joys of the new semester and going back to school is the prospect of new pens and folders. Nothing says “back to school” quite like a set of perfectly sharpened pencils ready to go! Stock up on all stationery, even a new bag if you want, as well as clothes and shoes and get it all ready with a few weeks to go. Uniforms or clothes and shoes are a tricky one; wait too long and you’ll battle the crowds, but if you go too early, you run the risk that your child will grow and you have to buy more or have the first set tailored.
Above all, be clear with your child that even once the school term starts back again, there is nothing that would be considered off-limits to talk about. Be sure to listen to what is said to you.