Back-to-school tips for parents

Going back to school can be tough, as it means getting into new routines with no more late nights or late mornings. The transition from holiday mode to going back to school can be difficult for both children and parents. Even children who are eager to go back to school have to adjust to greater levels of activity, structure, and for some, the pressure associated with school life.

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Going back to school can be tough, as it means getting into new routines with no more late nights or late mornings
Help2read, a non-government organisation that focuses on literacy in primary schools instils good and healthy habits to assist children to flourish with reading.

Through their volunteer programmes help2read has seen the importance of parents being involved in their child’s school life and the active role they need to play.

Chief executive for help2read, Robert Michel, feels, “the degree of adjustment depends on the child, but parents can help their children manage the increased pace of school life by planning ahead, being realistic, and maintaining a positive attitude”.

Michel shares the following tips when helping your child make the inevitable transition:

  • Visit the school with your child. If your child is young or new at a school, its best to meet the teacher or assist the child to locate their classroom. This will ease primary school anxiety and also allow your child to ask questions about the new and strange environment.
  • Plan and shop for healthy breakfast and lunches. This will save you time and prevent frantic lunchbox preparation in the early hours of the morning.
  • Get back to a reading routine. If your child has fallen out of the bedtime routine during the school holidays, kick-start a solid routine
  • Support positive study habits early. Create a homework centre, where it’s quiet and conducive for a child to read and learn.
  • Keep encouraging literacy at home. Read frequently with your child and make regular trips to your local library.
  • Parents’ involvement in their children’s education is important throughout school. Talk to your child’s teacher regularly about his educational and social development, or if your schedule permits, volunteer your time in the classroom or become an active participant at your child’s school.
  • Review your child’s schoolbooks. Talk about what your child will be learning during the year. Share and be enthusiastic about the subjects your child will be discovering.
  • Encourage your child to be positive, patient, and attentive.
  • Send a brief note to your child’s teacher. Let the teacher know that you are interested in getting feedback on your child’s progress in school.
  • Talk, talk, talk. Engage with your child about all the positive things they like about school, this will allow the parent to child relationship to nourish.

“These tips can contribute to a positive and productive school experience for most children,” says Michel.

Funding remains one of the greatest challenges for help2read. Donations from sponsors, no matter how big or small, whether it is money, books or board games would be appreciated. If you want to become a donor or volunteer, contact help2read on 021 685 8085 or email gauteng@help2read.org. Visit www.help2read.org for more information.