Summer is still in full swing, and whilst we might be having a bit of a breather from the recent intensity of the sunshine it’s set to sizzle us once again in a matter of days… but, as we start to approach the end of August, you’ll notice that the supermarkets are filled with ‘back to school’ gear ranging from school uniforms to pencil cases.
This time of year, for many people, heralds the start of something new – in fact, a lot of people move home in this month which could be linked to the childhood pattern of starting a new year at school. We are all creatures of habit, and the start of autumn marks the return to school, darker nights, wrapping up warm, better television shows, and a cosy feeling inside that makes us want to settle down and prepare for the winter.
Here’s a brief list of some of the factors you’ll want to consider in terms of preparing for your kids to go back to school:
PICK OUT A NEW UNIFORM
Children can grow at a surprising rate, and this means you’ll almost definitely need a new school uniform for the year – and even if that’s not the case, it can be good for the emotional health of your child to get a new uniform as it marks the start of a brand new year, like how a new chapter is specifically set out in a book.
One of the most empowering things you can do is to involve your children in picking out their own uniform, and whilst most uniforms are restrictive in terms of what can and cannot be worn, giving your kids the feeling of autonomy in this sense can be very helpful to their emotional development.
HAVE A BIG CLEAN
The Spring tends to be known for having a good sort out, but the weeks prior to going back to school make sense to declutter and clean your kids bedroom – as the summer months tend to be spent mostly outdoors with a variety of toys thrown around the house, from water pistols to play tents and all sorts of other weird and wonderful things… getting your kids involved in a thorough clean and tidy of their space is a great way to ensure your kids feel responsible for themselves, and highlights the need to prepare for their new academic year.
Children thrive when there is a sense of organisation and balance in their lives, so decluttering the space and giving it a good clean is very helpful to achieving heightened states of focus for children.
PLAN SOME TRIPS
Whilst there are many activities scheduled throughout the year, such as special geography trips for schools, it’s a good idea to plan some educational trips of your own (particularly if you’re a fan of homeschooling) that enrich your child with experiential activities to hone in on the more academic learning from textbooks.
As you may know, children tend to fall into one predominant category in terms of their main learning modality; visual, auditory and kinaesthetic. Visual learners tend to learn best from reading and copying, whilst auditory tend to work better with listening and following structured lists, whilst kinaesthetic people find it much easier to learn from ‘doing’ and this is where the experiential learning of educational trips comes into play; particularly with a rich subject like geography – where you can take your kids on all sorts of outings, particularly within nature.
In summary, this time of year is still a time to be enjoying the summer sun and making the most of the summer holidays yet it’s also a time to start preparing for the academic year ahead. This is particularly pertinent if your child is moving from junior school to secondary school, as there can be a lot of anxiety around this change for both parent and child.
The best tip, is to ensure there’s some element of familiarity, for instance, partnering up your child with his or friend to walk to school together each day – this element of familiarity can make all the difference, because the reason your child might feel anxious is because they have lost the sense of certainty and stability that comes with being somewhere familiar.
Whatsmore, they have gone from being ‘leader of the pack’ in terms of being the oldest year at school, to now being at the bottom of the ladder, which can inherently make them feel a bit more vulnerable than they would like.