Just as the countdown to the end of summer is ticking away, the wind up for back to school is, once again, quickly upon us. Students are donning their back packs, grabbing their lunch boxes, and imagining the prospect of being reunited with their friends again. After the past year of spending more time at home, some children may be feeling nervous or anxious about school, and many parents wonder if their children are ready academically, socially, and emotionally.
Ensuring your child is ready for a successful school year is one of the most important factors in a child’s education. School readiness is not only how well a child is prepared, but how parents can be supportive in this process.
Below are Some Suggested Tips to Get Parents Started This Year:
Talk about what is in store for your child. Ensure your child feels safe. Researchers report that the brain will pay attention to safety and well being above anything else. When children feel anxious or scared, learning is inhibited. When your child feels nervous, validate their feelings and allow your child to express their feelings, while setting a positive tone about the school year.
Having these positive discussions, which may include getting good grades, trying out for a new sport, or learning a new concept will help your child process feelings and lesson anxiety. Other areas might have a more negative tone, perhaps dealing with anxiety such as meeting new people, encountering bullying, or having a demanding schedule. Talking about these areas will help your child to begin to focus his or her mental energy on the new school year. Over the past year and a half, our children have certainly learned how to be resilient, and this will help them to be school ready this year.
Create Routines and Schedules. To support children’s emotional and physical well-being, a predictable routine goes a long way. Discuss the routine with your child and model for them how to get ready for school. Visual notes posted in an area at eye level will provide an organized, sequential order to a hurried morning, and ensures that the necessary items such as eating breakfast and brushing teeth are completed before rushing out the door. Your child will feel more independent, and will confidently grow when he or she is able to successful prepare for school without parental reminders. Check out this free resource:
Encourage School Readiness Skills. While most children faced a flexible learning situation last year, many parents are wondering if their child is behind academically. Although learning may have looked and felt different last year, it is important to emphasize children never stopped learning!
Encourage your child to think about newly acquired information in a variety of ways. When suitable, have your child make personal applications, analyze information by asking questions, use critical judgement, and synthesize information in their own words. This process helps children to make connections and link meaning to past learning, and in actively doing so, they increase their retention. In addition, ask your child open-ended questions to promote more complex thinking and language skills. Examples include:
- What do you notice while you were reading?
- What were you thinking when you solved the equation?
- What do you think will happen next?
Bridge 2 Learning reminds parents that even with the numerous preparations and best of intentions, many students may need extra help to meet reading benchmarks and literacy goals. Getting help at the first sign of trouble will help students from falling further behind in their reading achievement as the school year progresses.
The 2021-2022 school year is upon us, and no matter how your child is feeling about school, by taking a little bit of time to help your child express their feelings, sharpen their pencils, and prepare for a new school year, parents can help their child make the transition from the long, carefree days of summer to the more structured focused days of classroom schedules and assignments. Good luck to all our students and their parents as we embark on an exciting new school year!