Beginning of the 2019 school year in 3..2..1..
As the first day back at school swiftly approaches, there are a few things parents should keep in mind to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible. The following tips and information provided may not all be relevant to your child; however it is important to consider all possibilities even as they progress through year levels. It can be challenging for children and teenagers to get back into the rhythm of the school year routine after such a long break, let’s look at some ways to make it easier and to avoid unnecessary stress and anxiety for both you and your child.
•Out of holiday mode – Into school mode
Habits can develop during the holidays like staying up late and sleeping in, skipping breakfast, spending hours online or playing video games, etc. Once school starts, these habits will negatively impact your child’s performance at school, and is also not good for their health and wellbeing; that’s why you need to encourage them into regular school habits before the term actually begins.
-Re-introduce a bed time routine, minimising screen time and setting lights out at a time that will allow at least 8 hours sleep (the Sleep Foundation recommends school-aged children get 9-11 hours, and teenagers 8-10). A proper amount of sleep is imperative for a child’s growth and maximum function of brain power.
-If your family adopts a ‘fend for yourself’ approach during the holidays and this results in your kids not having a nutritious breakfast, it could be a good idea to help get them back into the swing of things, ensuring they have a good breakfast not containing an excessive sugar content or skipping it altogether.
Nothing is more annoying or good at causing unnecessary stress than leaving things to the last minute when it comes to getting back to school. You might think you have it together and then the night before the first day, realise you still have a million and one things to do.
-Triple-check the booklist, stationery and school uniform requirements. Your child will probably have grown so make sure what you have still fits! This includes also making sure it’s in good enough condition for school, no holes or worn out material in the uniform or shoes. Take an inventory on school supplies and make a list of anything your child will need, making sure you cross-check and there are no gaps. Lastly, ensure you have thoroughly gone through the booklist; in primary school they will usually only need books for homework and writing in at school, but high school there will be an abundance of textbooks and extra requirements.
-What might seem silly can actually be an easy mistake to make; read through communication from the school or do a drive-by to see the external signs that should contain the date your child will be returning. The term 1 start date for 2019 is January 29 however not all schools will return on this day so make sure you have your days right!
•Debrief with your kids
Returning to school after the break can bring a whirlwind of emotions with it, for you and your child. At the thought of heading back to school, your child may feel stressed or anxious, or excited and enthusiastic about seeing friends again and learning new things. Some may be upset about the fact holidays are over, while others are dreading the return in fear of the expectations they feel pressured by or concerned about keeping up with the workload. There is no one size fits all in how children feel about going back to school, and they won’t show it the same way either. It is really important that you check-in with your kids about how they’re coping so you can better cater to their emotional needs during this time.