Starting school in 2021: 3 Simple Tips
There is a mix of excitement and apprehension for both parents and children when we think of the year ahead at our new school. Whether it is Year 7’s or those heading off to school for the first time the same advice applies.
1. Know your School:
Now this can be tricky as you may not have been able to attend many orientations days or visits to your school because of COVID. As parents you may not have been able to eyeball classrooms, potential teachers or even the layout of the school.
However the great thing about COVID is that many schools offered Zooms, Videos and Virtual Tours. This is ideal as it allows us to view this information with our child and access it at their own pace.
It can still be useful to take your child for a drive past their school, get out, peer through or over the fence so they can get a sense of the landmarks.
For older children, take a train, bus or tram trip to their school and familiarise the route they will taking.
The most common concern both littlies and teens have is making friends and dealing with “big kids”. Remember as parents we don’t want to put pressure on our children with regard making friends. Refrain from saying “ I bet you will have lots of great friends at your new school”, “you know you will make lots of friends” and “you’ll have heaps of mates”. Your child has no evidence of this and the idea that there is this expectation is overwhelming.
Conversations should focus on the idea of starting to meet new kids, getting to play different games or learning what interests others in your class may have.
Parents often become anxious about social success, don’t let that translate to your child’s expectations of school.
Again both children beginning Primary and those starting Secondary will often have unhelpful thinking about expectations of school work. Remind them of the facts that everyone in the class is starting new just like you. No-one is going to now everything and it’s actually the job of the school and your teachers to help you learn. Help your child recognise the balance of classroom learning and the other aspects of school, recess, lunch, sport, and excursions.