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Return to school
Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

It’s that time of the year again when kids return to school. All across the country children will be making their way back to school. For some, it will be chance to catch up with friends, get away from home and get stuck into a new school year. For others it may be a time of anxiety. For parent and child alike.

Here are some top tips  from education expert Charlotte Gater to help parents survive the week with minimal stress:

The return to school

Ease them into it

It’s tough getting up on a Monday after 2 days off. It’s a million times harder when you’ve had six weeks off. Helping your child get back into that early morning routine a few days before school will help them acclimatise to those early starts and survive the return to school. Especially those older kids who may have grown too fond of those lazy lie ins.

Make time to listen

For the kids starting school for the first time, this will be a huge milestone. Make sure it’s a positive one! It may cause some parents anxiety when they send their little one off to school or nursery. Stay positive! Kids are perceptive and if you worry, they’ll worry. Be excited when they start their day and once that first day is done talk to them. Celebrate their successes and if they have any worries listen to them and reassure them.

Standing on their own two feet

It’s important to start encouraging them to be independent, so they feel more confident handling the little every day things. Things like putting on their coat, taking off their jumper and managing socks and shoes can seem small but will be enormous in their first week of school if they can’t do it and their fellow pupils can.

Befriend their friends’ parents

Making friends is an important part of settling in. Get to know your children’s friends and their parents. Friendships help children to settle into new environments so your support will really help. It will also be great support for you to get to know other parents in the same boat. You can arrange playdates and share the childcare load  among you!

Let off steam

School shouldn’t be the beginning and the end of your child’s day. Homework, levels and exams can be stressful and being able to switch off and unwind is an important skill. Hobbies can help them to be creative and find their true passion, as well as let off some steam. It’s also a great way to build confidence and make other friends. They might even be able to use what they learn in school or other areas of their life.

Return to school

Do your homework

Homework is often a cause of anxiety for both parents and students. Firstly, you may worry about how you can make sure you kids are completing home learning. Secondly, you may be worried that you won’t be able to help them along the way. Talk to your child’s teacher and make sure you know their syllabus.

Sites like BBC Bitesize will have a range of tasks and topics based on the curriculum. You can work through topics with your child. Your school may also have its own site where children can access material to help them with their home learning. If you know your child is struggling with certain subjects enquire at your school about mentors and tutoring.

With your support they’ll be back in the swing of things in no time. It’ll be as if summer never happened.