As the holiday drag to an end and the first day of school approaches parents and children alike begin to run the gamut of emotions: anxiety, excitement, fear, anticipation. Whether you can’t wait for your kids to be back in school or dread the more regimented days ahead, there is one thing you can count on: back to school is always a big transition. Transition periods are usually difficult for some adult to handle let alone children. Making a transition from one class to another or from nursery to primary level or from primary to secondary level require quite a different peculiarity of challenges and the necessary preparation that will see the child through those new and difficult days. For those who will be experiencing a child first day of school, you may be torn between leading your child through a momentous milestone and the sadness of knowing that your child is taking yet another step out from under your influence and protection. However, preparing your child for school can have the beneficial effect of soothing nerves and strengthening bonds.
While some children dread the thought of getting back to school others find it quite as interesting as every other adventure. However, the anxiety of the later to get back to school does not necessarily preclude his level of preparation towards the new session, but a favourable disposition. Research has shown that children who are well prepared towards a new school session are more likely to adapt smoothly and achieve better results with some level of ease than the unprepared child. children are still in a very sensitive yet critical stage of development that require a firm and understanding guide to prepare a constantly drifting mind towards a new challenge.
Parents must realize that the success of every child actually begin at home with a series of well coordinated events which is aimed at preparing the mind of the child in order to create a hunger and the joy of getting back to school in attainment of a smashing success in the next school year. Its important to note that this recommendation is however new to many parents who only see preparation as simply buying the necessary material (textbooks) that is required to begin the new school year. While this is also an important aspect of preparation, it is not the core of preparations as books alone cannot prepare and harness a child, but an approipriate understanding, knowledge and the commitment of the parents to dedicate valuable time to creative ways of building and preparing a child towards the next school session.
In a matter of days the holiday period would have being rounded up and the usual school routine will commence in full swing. The important question before the parents is what will be the disposition of your child towards the next school year? Will his disposition towards the next school year reflects an excited and a psychologically prepared child or will it reflect a child who dread the thought and sight of the school environment? Your actions or inaction in the light of this recommendation will ultimately reflect either of the questions posed above. For the busy parents allocating time to what is important from what seem important is always a very tight challenge as their career or work take precedence over the the productivity and psychological built of the children. Parents must however in the midst of a very demanding nation almost in every facet work to reverse this trend for the overall interest of the children if we are to see the sea waft our ship to a safe haven.
Here are a few ways to help you and your child important transition easily into the next school years:
Get into an academic mindset with an inspirational movie in school: this is a very beautiful and attractive concept of preparing your child for the next school session knowing that visual aid carry a powerful capacity of simplifying and multiplying understanding in virtually everyone and children in particular. There are a couple of good school movies that you can lay your hand on in preparing your child for the next school session. Ensure that you watch the movie with them as there are flicks from every stage of learning. Talk about what you see in the movies that relate to students, teachers, home work and school spirit. Your aim is to creatively get them into anticipating a return to school with a renewed zeal and enthusiasm that set the children up for optimal performance.
Begin a few weeks early to adopt the routine of a school day: this is another important preparation that helps bring to fore some school memories that would have being temporarily forgotten by the fondness of the holiday. Help children get back to the habit of early wake up and early bed time. Add some structure to the day by assigning some activities and reading time. Everyone grab some reading material and workbook and work quietly on their own as you do the supervision. Gather them together and lightly discuss what they’ve all read and worked on as well as what inspired them to do the work they did. It is not a period to allocate special marks or discredit anyone’s performance but to gradually prepare their minds towards the next school session.
Practice saying goodbye: this is very critical for the parent whose child is beginning school for the first time and have not had a daycare or pre-school experience, his/her biggest challenge will be saying goodbye to you and the raison d’etre is the bond and trust that you’ve both shared over the years. There is always the obvious tendency for the child to feel insecure in the hand of an unfamiliar teacher or caregiver. Explain that all children go to school to learn which is a child’s job just like parents work at a job. Orchestrate small separations to practice saying goodbye and develop a parting routine such as hug, i love you, a kiss etc. If your child still get teary when you say goodbye, don’t give in to the temptation of going back home with your child as him/her will soon get used to the new life. Reassure your child that you care for him/her and this temporary separation is for our collective benefit.
Start a conversation on the next school season: this is surely another useful way of preparing your child for the next school session. Sit with him and discuss the importance of his return to school and how excited you are to see him make academic advancement in his educational pursuit and what it means to the family. Listen to his reactions about the new school session and know how he feels about it. ensure that you connect with him by sharing how you made a necessary transition in your days in school that eventually became the turning point in your academics. When shopping for the new school session, be sure to take him with you and involve him in the supplies as you chat along. Initiating a friendly conversation with your child will help prepare him/her for the next school session.
The start of a school year is the time to start afresh. Children wipe the slate clean of the previous years and begin anew. Communicate your expectation and offer your support as you prepare your child to embark on the next great learning adventure.
By Efe Igbinovia