After almost 2 weeks of holiday, most children will be resuming their studies next week. A lot of the stress and anxiety (child and parental) can be avoided or decreased if parents prepare themselves and their children for school. The most important thing is to find out what is expected of your child and what the specific new challenges will be.
Knowing challenges your child will be facing and discussing them before hand is a great preparation. The more prepared a child, the less surprises there will be, ensuring a smoother beginning.
Getting enough sleep and eating a proper breakfast
It is important to ensure that children are well rested, have had a good night’s sleep and a good breakfast before starting school. This of course is important every school day, but especially important during the first days back, when children will need to be as rested and relaxed as a possible. Tired children tend to be more anxious, impatient and more easily upset and frustrated.
It is important that your child receives a medical check up before school starts. During the evaluation, a hearing and vision screening should be done. The necessary immunisations or booster shots, if needed, may also be given at this time.
If a child has a chronic medical condition requiring special attention at school, the administration of medication at school or any limitation of a physical activities make sure that you get all the proper paper work prepared by your doctor so that the school can easily understand what is expected of them regarding your child’s medical needs and condition.
Most schools normally give children holiday work; cross check and make sure your children have done their assignments as they return to school. This homework also helps to refresh their minds about academic work.
When the term begins homework at times provokes stress and anxiety both in children and their parents. The main point of homework is that it is the child’s responsibility and not that of the parents.
The parent’s role is to know the homework requirements and make sure they are done on time. Here are some tips and suggestions to help develop and maintain good homework habits:
Establish a daily homework time and reinforce it. Parents at work should call to make sure that the homework is done. By doing so it shows children their parents actually care even though they are at work.
Children should do homework independently, but seek help when needed. Consistently praise your child’s effort.
Parents should be firm if a child refuses to complete their homework, making it clear that they are capable of doing their homework. Reviewing homework progress is also a good idea. For example parents can say: “start your homework and show me what you have done in 15 minutes.”
Most importantly, remember, going to or staying at school takes hard work and needs all of your support as a parent. Working together with the school is equally important.