Children will soon return to early morning wake up calls, strict schedules, structured learning activities and limited play time.
Breaking a habit.
It is commonly said that it takes about 21 days to break or create a habit. So now that the children have been out of school for over 70 days, saying that getting them fully prepared for a new session is a challenge may be a bit of an understatement. Parents may find themselves getting a little anxious around this time, especially those who have children that are moving to new schools. Children may find the prospect of a new session exciting or nerve-wracking, depending on their disposition, age and stage of learning. However, a few key things need to be done to ensure that children start the session properly and are not left behind or out of sync with school activities early on.
Here are a few tips that might help prepare children for the new session:
Ease into routine
Given the amount of time that children have spent out of school over the summer holiday, it is only natural that their bodies may have gone out of sync of the daily routine during term time. Over the summer, maybe they would have had a few lazy days, been waking up a little late or going to bed whenever they want. This is okay for their restful period. However, to make it easier for children to wake up early when school starts, parents need to enforce earlier and stricter bedtimes during the days approaching the start of the term. This way, children’s body clocks start to readjust back the routine of waking up earlier and it becomes less of a chore when they eventually resume school.
Over the summer holiday, children would have spent quite a lot of time resting and recovering from their hard work during the previous session. While rest is important, it is also imperative that children begin to get more mental stimulation ahead of the start of the term. Mentally engaging activities such as reading, writing and solving puzzles will provide that kick that would wake them up and prepare them for the work ahead of them when the term begins.
Overcome first-day Jitters
The first day of school could be daunting, especially for children who move to a new school. There may be some fear of the unknown, unclear expectations, new friends to make, new academic challenges, new teachers, and so on. To overcome this, it is advisable for children to take some time to reflect on the previous session with a view of what is to come in the new session. They should think as far back as their first day up until the last day of the last term; taking note of all their achievements in-between. This would serve as a good confidence boost that reminds them of the challenges they overcame in the past; and therefore prepares their mindset for those ahead.
Dig up the School Calendar
After a long break from school, parents and children may forget the new term’s activities. In order to adequately prepare, parents should retrieve the school calendars (if they do not have them already), review them and prepare for activities holding over the course of the term, some of which may require advance planning or purchase of special items.
Go to the Doctor
To ensure that the children are physically prepared for the new term, it is important that parents take them for a general check up with their doctors. This way any illnesses that may have not been noticed early enough will be nipped in the bud, thereby giving the children a healthy start to the term/session.
Over the summer holiday, some children may experience a growth spurt. So parents need to ensure that their uniforms still fit (for those who are returning to the same school/tier of school). For those changing schools, parents must make all arrangements to ensure that they purchase new uniforms on time. In addition to uniforms, other materials that parents need to ensure that their children are equipped with include stationery, sportswear, bags and books.
Do Not Skip the First Day
Following a long and relaxing holiday period, there is some temptation to take it just a little further and skip one or two days of the beginning of the term. Missing out on school in any way is not advisable because the children and parents would have to play catch up to get back on track. This could destabilise the children, thereby laying a weak foundation at the beginning.
The beginning of a new session is nigh. This requires a great deal of thought and preparation. But with careful and deliberate planning, parents and children would be ready to take on the entire year!