For many children, the first day of school and/or transitioning into a new school doesn’t only mean new teachers and new friends. It can also be a source of anxiety with homework assignments and tests just around the corner. Starting the school year off on the right foot can help minimize a child’s stress level throughout the year.
Mark Kance, M.A.T., Executive Director with the Sylvan Learning of Hamilton, suggests parents help their children prepare for the transition to the next grade level and the return to school by encouraging a structured routine from day-one and staying actively involved in their child’s education.
— Visit the school. If your child is changing schools with the new year, make a special trip together to visit the school before the first day of classes. Checking out the new classroom and the new teacher before school starts will help ease feelings of anxiety and help get your child into his or academic routine. If it’s available, review the class schedule with your child and prepare him for the new grade.
— Discuss changes in routine. Talk with your child about how the routine for her new school may differ from the previous year. It can be difficult for children to adjust to changes in schedules and workloads. Explain how her schedule may differ from last year. Will there be more homework assignments? Does she have to wake up earlier? Will she have more than one teacher this year?
— Provide extra support. When starting the new school year, especially if it’s a transition year, a little extra support can’t hurt. Talk with your child about her fears regarding school and maintain an open dialogue throughout the year. Discuss what subjects she’s anticipating and any areas she finds particularly challenging.
— Transition into Kindergarten. Kindergarten is your child’s introduction to elementary school and a first opportunity to learn basic math and reading skills, not to mention a first look at routines and expectations of group learning. As a parent, you are your child’s first teacher. The skills that he learns from you – how to get along with others, follow directions and listen to directions – will help him start the year off right.
— Transition into middle school and high school. Organization becomes even more important in middle school and high school when your child must keep track of multiple subjects, homework, teachers, classrooms and books. You can help him to reduce stress by giving him a calendar/planner to help him organize these new items and encouraging him to build good study habits.
For more educational resources in reading, writing, math, study skills, science, SAT & ACT prep, please visit www.SylvanLearning.com or call (800) EDUCATE.
Sylvan Learning, the leading provider of tutoring to students K-12 and college offering reading, writing, math, study skills, science, SAT & ACT prep. With over 30 years of experience, Sylvan employs the latest technology and a proven process to increase skills, confidence and motivation in students.