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Prepping your child back to school

By Ijeoma Thomas-Odia
07 January 2023   |   3:55 am
It’s a new academic term in a new year, 2023, and your child should be ready to face it in a few days. While we count the days, what preparations are you making to ensure a smooth transition back to school after a memorable Christmas celebration?

It’s a new academic term in a new year, 2023, and your child should be ready to face it in a few days. While we count the days, what preparations are you making to ensure a smooth transition back to school after a memorable Christmas celebration?

Remember that transitions like going back to school are a normal part of life, but the changes many children are already experiencing or will experience at the start of the next academic year will be significant. To avoid getting your child struggle with the new school term, it is important to prepare yourself adequately, adjust your schedule as well your child’s routine to better sink into the new term.

While your child might have worries about returning to school, you can help your child by managing his worries and anxieties by being available and having conversations about his/her concerns. Ensure you make yourself available. Create opportunities and a safe space for your child to talk to you in different ways, as he/she may want to come and talk to you at a time when you least expect.

When the school starts, make sure you discuss your child’s day with him/her– what he/she learned, the highlights and things he/she found hard. It’s good to encourage a dialogue that can continue throughout his/her time at school, showing him/her that you are interested in what he/she is learning and are there to support.

If your child is starting out at a new school this term, ensure you make the unknown environment more familiar by going on a tour before resumption. Let your child see the new classroom and ask if it is possible to meet the new teachers. Going on a tour will help the kids to become more familiar with the new place. It is also a good idea to have a conversation with him/her about all the positive aspects at school such as his/her favourite subject and the activities they love at school.

Prepare lunchboxes and keep them easy, as studies show that pupils who have breakfast function better at school and have more energy. In advance, ask your children about healthy foods that they like to take to school.

You can also find a ‘go-to-school friend’ from the neighbourhood. If your child walks or takes the bus to school and there are other children in the neighbourhood who go to the same school, talk to the parents and ask them if the kids can walk or take the bus together. This way the kids will have more fun on their way to school and may share their worries and help each other to feel more comfortable going back to school.

Have conversation about homework. Children who understand the topics at school properly have more fun at school. Usually, good quality homework is key to understand topics and achieve good grades. Review the environment where your child does his or her homework: Is it quiet enough? Is there enough space? Besides the environment, it is also important to think about activities and internet or TV usage. Do your children have enough time to do their homework and are they not distracted?

Ensure that childcare after school is put in place. A parent should be at home to help the kids get ready for school in the morning and supervise them when they return. If this is not possible talk to your children that it is important to follow rules and listen to the adult supervising them.

Put up a culture of celebrating the start of a new school term. If you celebrate the first day of school, your kids will see back-to-school as a transition they can really enjoy. You should also take a picture on the front step in their first-day-of-school outfits.

It sure will be a great term and year!

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