Back to School Tips

Mark Maclaine

September 01, 2014

Our practical top tips on starting a new school year!

Get Organised

Your child’s school will usually provide a list of stationery and supplies such as; number of folders/binders for each subject, plastic wallets, lined paper, coloured pencils, fountain pen, scientific calculator, a geometry set etc. Go shopping together, and let your child pick out her own back to school stationery as this will allow them to take ownership of it (meaning she is more likely to take care of her new things) and get excited about the new school year.

TOP TIP: Check that your child is comfortable using her new supplies e.g. the scientific calculator, or protractor as this can help ease anxiety in lessons.

Get everything ready before school starts, ask your child to pack his school bag, and lay out his uniform the night before so there isn’t a manic panic in the morning!

Get Back into the Routine

Slowly get back into a routine so that it isn’t a shock to the system come the first day of school. Structure the day by waking up early, setting meal times, and bed times. Read our blog “The Importance of Sleep”.

Switch off Screens!

Gradually reduce TV time, this also includes use of the computer, tablets, games consoles and phones. Get creative and think of some other activities that your child can do during the day e.g ball games, art project, family walks, gardening.

School Friends

Having a friend over can help ease ‘back to school blues’ and anxiety. Ask your child ring to up a few parents and find out which children will be in the same class this year. Organise a few playdates, or a cinema trip so the kids can reconnect before school starts.

Set Goals

To help your child get into the right head space before starting school, sit down together and discuss his goals for the new school year. Examples might include: hand in homework on time, revise for exams in advance, raise a grade in maths. Setting goals will help structure a plan for the school year and keep to the routine. Try to avoid rewarding work that they should be doing anyway, but maybe discuss prizes for putting extra effort in.

Homework

Designate a space and time for homework. This space must be free from distractions so your child can focus. Try to encourage kids to have a snack and then do all of their homework right after getting back from school. This way they are still in the ‘zone’ and can relax right after.

Develop Relationship with teacher

Open up a dialogue with teachers at the beginning of the year. Take the time to meet them in person before or after school. Teachers are the best source of information when it comes to your child’s academic performance, however remember that the start of term can be busy so let them pick a time.

Stay on schedule

Familiarise yourself with your child’s school schedule. This will be provided on the first day of school, however you may also be able to request it form the school office before school starts. Sitting with your child, make note of keys dates such as field trips, school project deadlines, exams etc. By helping your child to keep on top of their schedule with gentle reminders, it will prevent last minute rushing and cramming the night before.