The days prior to the beginning of a new school year can be a source of anxiety for many children. The following are strategies that can help your child feel better prepared, resulting in a successful start:
- Set up a homework area at home, fully equipped with a fresh supply of markers, pencils, pens, crayons, paper, geometry set, scissors, tape, etc.
- Ensure that home computer programs are up-to-date and operational. This is also an ideal time to re-establish internet safety rules, texting and email etiquette, as well as setting limits regarding time spent watching television and playing computer games.
- If possible, drop by the school with your child before classes begin, to meet the teachers and principal, and become familiar with the school building, i.e. washroom locations, etc.
- Invite a few friends over for a play date to renew friendships. If possible, include any new students who will be joining the class.
- To refresh your child’s memory, play phonics and math games, read storybooks and practise high frequency words, and review some completed workbooks from the previous school year.
- Be respectful of your child’s need to relax after a busy school day. Allow time for open ended ‘downtime’ to putter, read, or play. Parents often register their child in too many after school activities which can overload the child. This can result in children arriving at school the next day tired and unprepared.
It is important to discuss expectations with your child for the new school year. Simply listening to their concerns is an important step. Together, set up strategies to sooth any back to school jitters, and establish a schedule for tech and homework time, personal time, and ‘lights out’ bedtime. This will help to set your child up for success right from the very first day.
Healthy bodies promote healthy minds. Remember to have your child’s vision and hearing checked periodically. It is well documented that a child’s developing body and mind can be negatively affected by highly processed foods, sugary beverages, and chemically laden foods. If you can provide your child with organic foods, all the better! Have fun with your child planning healthy breakfasts, snacks, and lunches that will nourish their growing bodies and provide them with the energy they will need for each busy school day.
Linda Sweet M.S. Ed.
Founder and Director, Glenburnie School
Pre-School to Grade 8
Providing a progressive and innovative private school education