Free paper bun! This is the final week before the official start of the 2015/2016 academic year. As you get those last minute purchases in and finalise preparations, check out our handy back-to-school guide.
- Ensure that your child in in good shape. By now, we hope all school medicals have been completed, but in case you haven’t done so yet, you still have the weekend. Ted Feinberg and Katherine C. Cowan of the US-based National Association of School Psychologists suggest talking to your child’s pediatrician to address any concerns and determine if they are “normal, age-appropriate issues or require further assessment.”
- Re-establish school-time routines. Your kids will have become used to a later bedtime and more hours spent playing or watching TV, so it’s important to curtail these activities and usher them back into the mindset for school. Feinberg and Cowan suggest that you “encourage your child to play quiet games, do puzzles, flash cards, color, or read as early morning activities instead of watching television. This will help ease your child into the learning process and school routine. If possible, maintain this practice throughout the school year.”
- Go through school material with your child. You can spend some time going through textbooks with your child, and encourage them to skim or read their new English Literature books and look at some of the topics to be covered in other subject areas. If your child will be tackling a subject for the first time, it is definitely a good idea to get familiar with it beforehand. Feinberg and Cowan suggest that you “talk about what your child will be learning during the year. Share your enthusiasm for the subjects and your confidence in your child’s ability to master the content.”
- Make note of important dates. Create a family calendar where you can mark the dates for special occasions such as PTA meetings, school functions, after-school events for the kids, etc. This will help to keep you organised throughout the school year.
- Communicate with your child’s teachers. You would have already met your child’s teacher(s) during the registration process. It is important to stay in touch so that you can get regular updates on your child’s progress. Feinberg and Cowan suggest llet the teacher(s) know that you are interested in getting regular feedback, and prepare to be a partner in your child’s learning experience. Also, as the school year progresses, be sure to attend as many PTA meetings as possible, or send a representative if you can’t make it.