Preparing for the First Day of School

Back to school

The beginning of January signals the start of school, a stressful time for both parents and students. With so many things on your plate, you may be wondering where to start your back to school preparation. Here are a few tips.

Offer Your Encouragement

Students will feel a mixture of emotions on the first day of school, in anticipation of the year ahead. Primary One, Secondary One and JC1 students entering a new school may be especially scared or excited at the dawn of a new chapter. If your child did not get into a school of his choice, he might go to school with a heavy heart. No matter how you feel about the school, highlight enjoyable aspects of the institution to your child. For example, the school may have programs and co-curricular activities that cater to your child’s interest.

Students who did not perform as well as they expected the previous year might be stressed and anxious. Let them talk to you about their fears of starting school. Listen to them carefully and assure them to put in their best effort. No matter how well your child is doing academically, remind them that you love them and will support them through their academic journey.

Ease Into the School Schedule

After weeks of holiday, students will need some time to adjust back into the school routine. It will be helpful to start your back to school preparation at least two weeks in advance. Adjust bedtime and wake timings having the school schedule in mind. Start getting back into a study schedule slowly by doing some light studying in the mornings or after school.

Prepare Your Home

If your family is anything like many families, the start of school comes with a flurry of activity. Reduce any potential chaotic situations by creating a back-to-school checklist as part of your preparation. Things you can add to your list are, for example, preparing a space at home where school forms and letters can go in throughout the year. You can also set aside a designated time each day to talk to your children about their day and what they have learnt. One of the most important things is planning the bathroom schedule in the morning. Bathroom wars break out often when parents are preparing to go to work at the same time children are rushing to school!

Clear an area in your home as a study area. Study areas help your child get into the right frame of mind to study. Stationery shopping with children, and having fun choosing colourful pens and notebooks, is another way to ease their anxiety of their new school year.

For Primary One Students

The first day of school is one for the family album (and of course, many smartphone videos). Parents may be more anxious than their children during the first day of primary one. Children will be in an entirely new environment that requires them to be more self-reliant. A few may have separation anxiety from being away from mummy and daddy. They also have to get used to a mostly unstructured day to the routine of school and paying attention in class. It will be good for parents to talk to their children about what they should expect in their first few weeks of settlement. Make sure they know how to contact you when necessary and who to seek help from in school if they have a problem. Do not fret; your little one will be a confident learner in a few weeks!

Remember, schooling can be fun. Every new school year is an exciting new step for your child that assures to be filled with an abundance of opportunities for growth and learning. Back to school preparation with them will help lessen anxiety, build a parent-child bond and get them back on track for a stellar year.

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