The much-anticipated July school holidays seem to have flown by. Alarm clocks have been quiet and daily homework seems to be a distant memory. School uniforms have been hibernating and lunch boxes, shelved.
It is time again to oil the gears and get ready to start the school run once again. It can be a stressful time for parents and learners. Here are a few helpful hints for parents to ensure that the holiday-school transition is a positive experience for all.
1. Choose your words and actions carefully
Your child will look forward to going back to school if you create a feeling of positive anticipation for him. Chat to them about their friends and new experiences that lie in wait. Be positive about your expectations for the term, assure your child that you are there for him and that, together, you will face any challenges that may arise.
2. Set positive goals
Take some time to dust off the term 2 report. Look at each subject and, together with your child, decide on realistic goals for term 3. Remember that you cannot build your child up by breaking him down, so make this exercise a positive one. Decide if he/she needs extra assistance and be open to understanding what he/she may need to achieve their academic goals. All negative behaviours or attitudes towards academic work stem from fear! Fear of failure, fear of consequences. Use this time to seek to understand your child. Be excited about his/her potential to achieve their goals.
3. Get the bits and pieces sorted
Check that uniforms are clean and ready. Label anything that may still need labelling. Stationery, sports gear, exercise and text books need to be sorted and ready-to-roll. It is important to do this in good time to avoid a stressful rush at the last minute.
4. Start making healthy lifestyle choices
A healthy diet and exercise routine go a long way to ensure a positive academic experience. Start going to bed a little earlier as well. Sleep is as important as healthy food choices.
5. Reinstate routine
Nobody enjoys routine during the holidays. Spontaneity is enjoyed, and so it should be. The school term, however, places demands and expectations on every learner and a positive routine is needed to ensure that your child is able to cope effectively with the pressures of school life. Life is not a straight road and sticking to routines can be challenging. If you focus on following a routine as much as possible, you will all reap the benefits.
Whilst you enjoy the last few days of the school holiday, do yourself a favour and start preparing for the beginning of a new term. It will be worth it!