2020 has been a very different year with schools shutting down and re-opening due to the Coronavirus. All the routines were shaken up. Summer’s gone and September marks the return to the normality for many students as they start the new semester.
The beginning of a new school year is often an exciting time for students and their families, and this year even more so. However, it may also be challenging for many children as they need to re-adapt to the new school routines. They need to adapt to a new classroom, school, and increasing academic demands. 
Below are a few tips on how you can help your child manage this transition and support them as they prepare for a new year:

 

1.  A new school year brings a lot of changes along with it, including changing classrooms, teachers, or even schools! Especially this year, your child may be feeling a bit nervous or apprehensive about what school will look like. Taking the time to discuss these worries and problem-solve with your child can help reassure them, for example by:

a) Making a “worry list” with your child: Help them identify what they’re most worried about and create a step-by-step plan of how they can manage these worries.   b) Talk with them about positive experiences they’ve had in schools in the past, to build positive anticipation and a sense of security.  

b) Talk with them about positive experiences they’ve had in schools in the past, to build positive anticipation and a sense of security. 

c) Provide a time and space for your child to share about their school day.

Encourage them to share by taking the time to first listen, rephrase what they said, and then acknowledge their feelings so that they know they are supported. 

2.  Getting enough sleep is essential to help children stay alert and focused during the school day.

You can help your child to develop a healthy sleep routine by:

a) Setting a consistent bedtime every night and waking time every morning.

b) Implementing a bedtime routine to create consistency, e.g., taking a bath, reading with parents, turning lights and noise down. 

It is recommended that primary school children sleep approximately 10-12 hours a night, while teenagers need approximately 8-10 hours of sleep.

3. Setting routines can also help your child develop good homework and study habits to support their learning, for example by:

a) Helping your child create a schedule and a list of tasks they need to complete, for example using a wall calendar or day planner. This can include not just their homework but also their extracurricular or social commitments. 

b) Planning a consistent time for homework time and making sure your child has ample time to complete all their work.

c) Providing a dedicated space for them to do their work in, that is quiet and calm to minimize distractions.

d) Reminding them to take frequent breaks to stretch or move around a bit to avoid getting tired or distracted.

4.  Finally, it’s never too early to ask for help.

If you have any concerns about your child’s learning, development or socio-emotional well-being, talk with your child’s teachers or their school’s learning support or counselling team to see how they can support. At ELG, our team of child experts can also work with your family and your child’s school to help understand your child’s needs and implement individualized support plans.

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