A New Year - Term 1 of School
It is the start of another school year - following two disrupted years of learning.
For some children, the school drop off can be a difficult transition, especially in foundation and the early years of primary school. If the school drop off was challenging before this COVID-19 pandemic, then these challenges may resurface. Some children who have never had difficulty going to school may now find it a stressful separation.
Parents often ask me for suggestions about how to navigate this transition. I will share some ideas here and post some more in coming days.
𝑾𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒄𝒂𝒏 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒅𝒐?
🔹Start now! Preparation is important.
🔹Talk positively about returning to school
🔹Normalise their feelings. Talk about feeling nervous or having butterflies in their tummies - it’s been so long since they’ve been to school.
🔹Provide reassurance. Tell them that many things about school are the same - they’ll be in the same class and their friends won’t have forgotten them. Their teachers and their friends have missed seeing them.
🔹Prepare them for change and talk about differences. Explain that they will be asked to wash their hands often throughout the day and play in certain areas and at different times. Say that they will probably have to sit apart for social distancing. Talk about the new drop off procedure - that kids will come at different times, the teachers will be waiting at the gate and you will need to say good bye at the gate now. Explain that they will be required to wear a mask (grades 3 and up) and they are to remain on their face indoors - to please avoid pulling them down under their nose or off altogether during class. Instead, ask the teacher to get some fresh air and take the mask off then. If they’re unfamiliar with mask wearing, show them how to wear it correctly over their mouth and nose. These changes are so that everyone stays healthy. By now, kids should be familiar with hand hygiene, social distancing and mask wearing because this has been a big focus over the last few months.
🔹Make sure that their school uniform fits now - avoid this additional stress on the first day.
🔹Start adjusting bedtime and wake up time - otherwise the early starts next week could be a real challenge.
𝑯𝒐𝒘 𝒕𝒐 𝒂𝒑𝒑𝒓𝒐𝒂𝒄𝒉 𝒏𝒆𝒙𝒕 𝒘𝒆𝒆𝒌?
🔸Always remain positive and talk about feelings.
🔸Give yourself extra time to get ready. Rushing and pressure can lead to conflict. It may help to prepare lunches the night before.
🔸Try to keep things as low key and relaxed as possible. The way that the morning starts carries in to the school day.
🔸Develop a goodbye routine - a hug, high five, and/or an encouraging and positive message and a statement about who will be picking them up at the end of the day.
Keep an eye out for more information about successful school transition during these COVID-19 times.