10 Steps to Ensure Your Child is Prepared for the New School Year
Optimise Learning’s Top Ten Tips
Whilst the new school year is still a few weeks away, implementing the following tips now will prepare your child for a great start.
1. Initiate Conversations About the New School Year
As the summer holiday break draws to a close, some students might start feeling excited, glum and/or anxious about the new school year. By asking your child questions, such as:
- What are they most looking forward to at school this year;
- Which after school activities they might be interested in joining; and
- Discussing what teachers they will have
Are some good ways to encourage your child to start thinking and preparing mentally for starting school again.
2. Reintroduce School Sleeping Routines
Many students get into the habit of staying up late and sleeping in over the school holidays. It can take a few weeks to adjust holiday sleeping patterns and get back into positive sleeping routines. Starting school sleeping routines a few weeks before the new school year begins is a very positive step. Research has shown that to focus productively at school, primary school aged students require 10 to 12 hours of sleep each night. Whereas, high school students need 9 to 11 hours of sleep each day.
3. Encourage Your Child to Read and Write Every Day
Ensuring your child is reading and writing a little each day in the coming weeks will help them to revise and consolidate their skills. It will also help towards reigniting their reading and writing stamina in preparation for the new school year.
4. Play Board or Card Games
Playing board games with your children provides them with the opportunity to focus for lengths of time, plan ahead, think strategically and flexibly. These are skills that they need to succeed in their education.
5. Display a Calendar
A calendar displayed in a central position at home can be a great organisational tool. Encourage your child to write their school events, sporting activities, assessment due dates and any other commitments on their calendar. This is an effective way for everyone to stay informed and organised.
6. Purchasing and Labelling Schooling Items in Advance
Purchasing uniforms, books and stationery for school just before school starts can cause you and your child unnecessary stress. Ensuring your child has these items weeks before the new school year begins gives you and your child time to label and prepare everything. Leaving your school shopping to the last minute can also mean that your child might start the school year without everything they need.
7. Read Over Last Year’s School Report
Taking the time to sit with your child and read over their last school report is essential. It is a great way to identify areas requiring special focus the coming school year. This could also be the time to create some learning goals with your child.
8. Designate a Study Space at Home
Assist your child to designate a space at home as an area for them to do their homework or study. Ideally, this space needs to be in a quiet area of the house. With your child, discuss and identify the items they will need to have access to in their study space. Is their study space the dining room table? If so, invest in a plastic box so items can be quickly and easily packed up and unpacked again.
9. Prepare for New School Experiences
Is your child is starting at a new school, secondary school or feeling quite anxious about the new school year? If this is the case, giving them opportunities to discuss how they are feeling is important. You could:
- Involve older siblings in your discussions;
- Organise trial public transport runs or school yard walk-throughs; and
- Organise catch-ups with other students from your child’s new school.
10. Lunchbox Familiarisation (For Students Beginning School)
If your child is starting school for the first time, have them practice eating out of their lunch box before the school year begins. Students need to be able to easily identify their fruit snack, their morning tea and their lunch. It’s important they know how to open and close their lunch box, and any other food/drink containers they will be using at school.
Preparing in Advance Can Ensure Your Child is Ready for New Learning Experiences
Students across all year levels can feel overwhelmed about heading back to school after the long summer holiday break. Preparing your child in advance can boost their confidence ahead of the new school year and ensure they are ready for learning.