- Give children the freedom to make decisions, such as choosing their own outfits or where they will have lunch. This gives them a sense of participation ensuring a smoother transition into the new academic year.
- Maintain an adequate sleep schedule, especially during the first few weeks of school. Gradually adjust it, if necessary, and ensure primary school children get 10-11 hours of sleep daily.
- Make sure your child has a nutritious start to their day. A no-rush, protein-packed breakfast is ideal for an energy-filled day at school.
- Ensure that children realize the importance of having a reliable adult figure in their lives to maintain resilience during school life’s challenges.
- Engage in open dialogues with your children, sharing your school day experiences and listening to theirs without judgement helps in understanding one another.
Every parent knows that the commencement of a new academic year can be challenging for children. It’s crucial that during these times we help our kids adjust with lots of understanding, patience, and support,
explained Spencer Clark, an educational assistant professor at a renowned university in Kansas.
It’s believed that those fledgling days of the school year shape the remainder of the academic journey, according to Clark and his team.
Here’s their practical guidance on how to ensure a great beginning of the school year:
Giving children the freedom of choice
A valuable observation from Lori Levin, another assistant professor, is that kids feel liberated when they are allowed to make decisions. Offering them choices—such as deciding their outfits or whether to bring homemade lunch or eat at the school cafeteria—gives them a sense of participation in the whole process of getting ready for school.
Guaranteeing adequate sleep
If your child is in a full-day kindergarten, they may be exhausted and cranky during the first weeks. An effective approach would be to gradually adjust their sleep schedule by putting them to bed 15 minutes earlier each evening until a suitable bedtime is reached. If your child is attending primary school, they should be sleeping for 10 to 11 hours daily.
Ensure your child starts their day with a nutritious breakfast or provide them with high-protein granola bars to munch on in the morning. As Levin suggests, “they need to have something in their tummies before they start off their day filled with learning.”
Emphasizing on the importance of connection
Levin shares an important research insight – “The principal factor that helps children remain resilient during middle school is the knowledge that they have a reliable adult in their life, like a parent, teacher, coach, or clergy member.”
Sharing your experiences
Take time to discuss your own school memories with your kids. Equally important is to listen to them actively and without judging. This encourages open dialogue and understanding.
Reflecting on your desires
Levin indicates that “surveys from high school students reveal that they feel a significant pressure—both self-imposed and parent-originated—to excel academically, participate in a sport, and pave the path for attending a prestigious university.” Being mindful of realistic expectations is important. Every now and then, teens need some downtime sans technology.
For more guidance:
For more assistance on readying kids for school, check out the resources from the U.S.-based National Education Association.