As the long lazy days of summer come to an end there is the dawning realisation that next week brings early mornings, the school run, packed lunches and the dreaded homework challenge.
Some children will be excited about seeing their school friends again and sharing tales of summer adventures but for others it can be a time of anxiety and nervousness. How can you help your child prepare for the new school year?
After a few weeks of late bedtimes and morning ‘lie ins’ it is key for families to get back into a routine before the beginning of the school year. Pull back the bedtime by a bit each day and the children will hardly notice. It also helps to start getting them up a little bit earlier each morning to make sure that first start is not too much of a shock.
Re-engaging the brain
School work will probably have been a dim and distant memory during the summer months but now is the time to start waking up those brain cells and getting them to re-engage. Start cutting down on screen time and introduce activities focussed around reading together, playing word games and mental arithmetic.
Kitting them out
Having just settled the school fees, it is always rather a worry to discover that last year’s uniform is now outgrown, the shoes too small and the backpack has disintegrated. Time to get out the credit card again! Check out the second-hand shop at school for uniform and grit your teeth as you buy new trainers, school shoes and football boots. Engage the children in the fun of buying new stationary, pencil cases and lunch boxes; choosing new things to take back to school can help to distract them from the nervousness of a new term.
Focus on the positives
There are so many good things to look forward to about a new term, talk to your children about seeing their friends again, the fun school activities and field trips ahead all the extra-curricular activities they can sign up for and remind them of all the fun times they had in the previous year at school.
Listen to your child
Although to an adult eye the concerns and anxieties about returning to school may appear insignificant, for your child they are hugely important and deserve attention. Listen to them and given them your full attention and let them feel free to express what is worrying them, whether it is friendship issues, worry about the workload or just feeling blue that the long summer is over.
Finally, here are some good books to read and films to watch to get you back into the school spirit.
- I don’t want to go back to school by Marisabina Russo
- The Worst Witch by Jill Murphy
- A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
- Mallory Towers by Enid Blyton
- Harry Potter by JK Rowling
- Mighty Ducks
- St Trinians
- Dead Poet’s Society
- The Breakfast Club
- October Sky
- Wild Child
Have a great start to the new school year!