A New Parents Guide to Surviving the School Year
Returning to school after the Christmas break can be stressful for the whole family. For those navigating the beginning of the school year for the first time, this is particularly daunting.
It will take a while for you and your student to become accustomed to a new routine and the demands of school life. Our tips will help make this transition easier.
Prioritise Mental Health
Due to COVID, the return to school this year is more difficult than normal. We recommend families place a strong emphasis on mental health.
You obviously want your child to associate school with positive and happy experiences. Talking openly about your student’s fears and concerns will help them cope and feel supported.
Many parents are also feeling anxious about sending kids to school during this period of uncertainty. Practicing self-compassion and drawing on your support network can make this easier.
Establish a Routine
The first weeks at school can be a bit chaotic, and parents often feel like they’re failing. While it’s great if you can hit the ground running, it takes time to establish a new routine. This is particularly true for parents of new students.
It’s helpful to have a visual planner where the whole family can see it. Mark down important times, such as when kids need to get up, and the time the bus arrives. You can also record excursions and school events here.
Having this visual reminder will make sticking to the schedule easier for everyone and ensure you don’t forget anything.
Focus on Organisation
Getting uniforms and materials organised before school starts is the easy part. Maintaining good organisation amidst the chaos of everyday life can be more of a challenge.
The foundation of good organisation is a set place for everything. Some parents find it helpful to have separate trays for new and completed homework and notes from school. This makes it simple to see what needs to be done.
Getting your child involved will make staying organised much easier. It’s a good idea to get them into the habit of packing and unpacking their schoolbag from an early age.
Engage With Schoolwork
One of the most effective ways to help your child adjust to school is by taking an interest in what they’re learning about. Get into the habit of regularly asking them about what they did in class that day.
Keep these conversations light and fun. You can also talk to the teacher about what you can do at home to enhance learning.
Make the effort to attend school events so your child recognises that you value education. This will help to create an engaged learner.
Participate in the Community
Unfortunately, due to work commitments, many parents find it difficult to get involved with the school community. While it’s wonderful if you can volunteer for canteen and attend events regularly, there are other ways to get involved.
Most schools now have a Facebook page where you can keep up to date with what’s happening and connect with others. Try to establish a rapport with your child’s teacher early on.
A good way to build relationships with other parents is by hosting playdates with your child’s friends. Taking the time to really get to know their families will help you feel like part of the community.
These tips will help you sail through your first school year!