By Olakunle Olafioye
The holiday is over and the new school year is right around the corner. It is a period of mixed feelings for parents and their children. As parents you can make a big difference in helping to prepare your child for transition between holiday and the more regimented school days ahead.
Here are some tips to help you prepare your child for the new school year.
Make adequate preparation for a hitch-free academic session for your child
School fee to a large extent defines how the school term will run for the child. Parents should therefore accord the payment of the school fee the priority attention it deserves. However, where parents may have difficulty in raising money for the child’s school fee, they may seek the understanding of the school management and reach an agreement on how this will be sorted out.
Start talking about the school year
The end of the summer break may see the arrival of the post-holiday blues, but this can be combated with getting your child excited about the new school year.
Take advantage of any orientation opportunities
Many schools allow new students especially in the younger grades to come to school for an orientation session before school begins. If the school doesn’t have such a program, ask if you and your child can come by to meet the new teacher for a few minutes a day or so before school starts.
Facilitate your child’s bonding with the teacher
All kids need to feel connected to their teacher to feel comfortable in the classroom. Until they do, they are not ready to learn. If you can arrange for your child to meet the teacher in advance, by all means do so.
Facilitate bonding with the other kids
Children are always nervous about their new teacher, but if they know any of the other kids, they’ll feel more at ease. If you’re new in an area, make a special effort to meet other kids in the neighborhood.
Get your kids back on an early to bed schedule well before school starts
Most kids begin staying up late in the summer months. But kids need 9 1/2 to 11 hours of sleep a night, depending on their age. (Teens need a minimum of 9.5; toddlers usually do best with 11). Getting them back on schedule so they’re sound asleep by 9pm to be up at 7am for school takes a couple of weeks of gradually moving the bedtime earlier.
The day before school starts, talk about exactly what will happen the next day
Your discussion should center on when he or she is expected to get up, his or new teacher, friends and other possible experience.
If your child gets teary when you say goodbye
If your child gets teary when you say goodbye, reassure him or her that s/he will be fine and that you can’t wait to see her at the end of the day and then hand him/her off to her teacher. Don’t leave your child adrift without a new attachment person.