For some, coming back to school is a surreal experience after six weeks of holiday – and not just because you have to sit still and learn for hours at a time! Remembering all you learnt the previous year, adjusting to a school-year schedule, and dealing with constant reminders that “SATs are just X weeks away!” can all take a toll on a child.
So how can parents help with the adjustment period? We offer three tips, all variations of the old adage that “Fast is slow and slow is fast”.
1. Don’t set high expectations from the get-go
Your children have just finished their holidays – an adjustment period is not only expected, it’s necessary! Start them off with just making sure homework is done, and don’t bring up too many extra learning activities until the second or third week. This would allow your child time to adjust to the new schedule.
2. Encourage some revising
For knowledge to build up, it needs a solid foundation, and the way to do that is to revise, revise, and revise some more. This is especially necessary if your child is struggling with understanding new concepts – it could well be that they need to reinforce old knowledge before they make the connection. Be patient, and remember the 30 second rule.
3. Remember to leave time to play
We said it once, but it’s worth repeating: We need to recharge our batteries often in order to learn more effectively. This is especially true nowadays, when physical exercise and play are becoming more tightly regulated. (It’s something a lot of people discuss: An article in the Washington Post, for example, attributes the increase of children diagnosed with ADHD to a lack of physical exercise.*) Let your kids be kids – the homework sheet will be there in the morning.
What are your top tips for easing back into a school schedule?
*For more information, find the article here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2014/07/08/why-so-many-kids-cant-sit-still-in-school-today/