To help children who have just headed back to the classroom handle it with confidence, the tutoring company GoStudent has compiled a list of top tips and tricks.
Now that the new academic year has begun, it’s important to remember that while it can be an exciting time for both children and parents, it can also bring feelings of worry or anxiety, especially when transitioning to another class or going to a new school. Here are some ideas about how to tackle it as a parent.
One of the best ways to ease feelings of uncertainty is to create a routine that feels habitual and familiar. Set a bedtime and work hard to keep to it. As you approach that bedtime, do activities with your child that promote feelings of calm; such as reading together or listening to music. As part of this wind down routine, make it a habit to talk through what you have done that day, and what you plan to do the next day. This allows you to identify any worries that your child might have, and gives you space to discuss them, helping to settle their thoughts.
It is important to remember that children are incredibly astute, and will sense if you are feeling anxious or concerned. Try to maintain a positive attitude when discussing school with, or within earshot of, them. Enthusiasm is key; and will go a long way towards helping you both to feel more comfortable. Try to make the first days back after a break from school feel extra special by getting excited together about each library book read or project that has been completed. Perhaps you could even enjoy small rewards together, to mark these exciting school-related milestones.
When the new school year starts, it’s time to also set new goals and objectives. Goals are important because they can give you direction and focus. They can also keep you motivated during the year. You can consider short-term and long-term goals. And it doesn’t necessarily always have to be big, something small, like being friendly to your classmates, will do as well. Setting goals gives clarity, which can help to reduce feelings of insecurity.
For some children, a big reason for back to school anxiety can be the schoolwork itself. If you are concerned that your child might be struggling in class, take time to talk to them about how they are feeling, where they are struggling and what they think they might need help with. By reassuring them that support is available, and that it is normal to struggle sometimes, the classroom can feel like a far less scary place.
It might be that you can offer them support at home, or that you can speak to their teacher about offering a little extra guidance. Alternatively, there are numerous resources available to help, including 1:1 tutoring services, that can tackle specific worries head on, as well as online games, videos and quizzes, that might present the subject they are struggling with in a different way, making it easier to comprehend.