As the summer holidays draw to a close, children can feel nervous about their return to school – new teachers, new classmates, new challenges and tasks. Parents also feel the pressure as the more relaxed routines of the holidays give way to the more challenging schedules of term time. So MagiKats Maths and English has put together some top tips to make things a little easier for everyone.
Back to school with big smiles
Children generally follow their parent’s lead, so if you can make going back to school seem fun and exciting it is likely your kids will too - enthusiasm and a positive approach is infectious. In addition, here are a few practical ideas to make sure all the family have smiles on their faces for the first day of term:
- The start of the new school year is a perfect time to set new routines, responsibilities and rewards. Make a reward chart with the kids, including homework and organising their school bag. Let them choose their weekly rewards (a treat or day out is much better motivation than sweets). All you have to do is stick to it - including the weeks when they don’t earn their rewards!
- Extra treats and snacking are all part of the holiday fun but it is a good idea to introduce more standard mealtimes in the week before term. This will help kids get used to eating at regular times again.
- Shopping for uniforms, new shoes, pens, pencils and bags should be a fun day out and engages children more than shopping online. Set aside a special day to spend time helping your kids write their shopping lists. Plan the day to include things you must do and shops you must visit and don’t forget to include some fun highlights, maybe lunch in their favourite restaurant.
- Set some dates in your diary, in collaboration with your children, for some new term social activities, such as a ‘Back to School’ party, half term picnic (indoors if necessary) and a Halloween sleep-over. Socialising and making new friends is one of the most stressful aspects of the new school year, so this give your children a chance to strengthen new bonds, as well as something to look forward to at a tiring time of year.
- To help school mornings run smoothly, put together a checklist of things that have to be done each morning – breakfast, wash, clean teeth, pick up lunch box/snacks/sports kit. Place the list somewhere the kids can see it and get them to check off each activity before they leave for school. You could even give your child a small award for each successfully completed week!
The first day of the new school year is a big event for your kids, so why not mark the occasion with something special and turn it into an annual family tradition? Why not have a family Bake Day or BBQ: something to look forward to where the whole family can share all their hopes and plans for the coming year? Whatever you decide to do – enjoy it!
By Sarah Marsh, MagiKats HQ