As the 2015-2016 school year draws to a close this week, we know parents up and down the country are looking forward to spending some quality time with their children in the sun.
However, as quickly as the academic year ends, the next one will begin. For kids who are starting school for the first time or moving to a new school, a big adjustment is in store. Similarly, the change can be challenging for those transitioning from key stage 1 to 2, from primary school to secondary.
Even the move up a year means tackling increased academic demands, new teaching styles and an ever-evolving social circle.
We’ve put together 6 top tips on how to ‘prepare for next year; so that you can relax in the knowledge that everything is sorted when September finally rolls around.
- Ensure your child is familiar with the school
If your child is moving to a new school or site, take them for an orientation if available and ensure they have chance to get used to their new environment. Admire the exciting new playground they’ll be able to play in and introduce them to the friendly staff who’ll be there to look after them.
If your child is simply moving up a year, remind them that with each new year comes new responsibilities. Perhaps this year they’ll get a new school duty, move to a new playground, get a heavier homework schedule or even be able to walk themselves to school. Get them used to these expectations and celebrate their progression.
- Keep your child’s brain active
The school holidays can sometimes take its toll on academic skills, this is known as the summer slide. As we mentioned in a previous blog post, tests have shown that children’s academic performance significantly decreases from the beginning of the summer to the end! There are plenty of ways you can alleviate this come September, by regularly partaking in activities that push your child to think and learn. This can include anything educational – reading, surfing the internet together and visiting interesting places are all great ways of maintaining your child’s academic skills. Here are a few suggestions:
- Facilitate peer bonding
This may seem obvious, but it’s very important to help your children maintain their friendships over the summer period. This increases overall wellbeing for your child and ensures that the transition into a new year is as smooth as possible.
This necessity to stay in touch with peers is intensified when moving to a brand new school, which can be quite a lonely experience. They’re bound to make many friends at their new school, but the transition between can be quite scary and made easier by companionship. Many schools are willing to help out with this by arranging playdates and put you in touch with other parents. In addition, playdates normally mean the chance for you to get some peace and quiet!
- Maintain your routine
Of course your families’ routine changes in the summer – you have breaks away, visits to family and friends. However, it’s important to remember that if your child’s sleeping pattern completely changes, September will be difficult for you. Remember that kids need 9.5-11 hours of sleep depending on their age (teens need a minimum of 9.5; toddlers around 11).
Try your best to keep your routine as close to normal as possible and September will be a doddle!
- Put your child in charge of their school supplies
To calm the pre-school jitters, encourage your child to write lists of what they’ll need for their new school year. Take them shopping for a nice pencil case and school bag and make an event out of the annual school shoe shop! Positive association goes a long way regarding school supplies.
- Sign up for Genie Tutors
At Genie Tutors, we are a safe haven for children with low confidence, those who need to catch up at school or perhaps need a challenge to achieve their potential. We are able to connect children of a similar age in small group tutoring, so they can learn together whilst making friends.
Find your nearest centre here.