Supporting your child is all a part of allowing your child to grow, explore what they enjoy and develop interests for themselves. As they learn through school you’re learning about your child, what makes them happy and what they’d rather avoid, and where you can provide help for them should they need it.
For parents looking to be more involved in their children’s education, there are many ways to help your child with their studies at any time. Here are some tips from this top London Sixth Form College.
Conduct Your Own Research:
With your child’s brain potentially running at 100mph you can’t expect them to be in the know about everything that happens at school either! When visiting the school to pick up your kid, have a look at the posters around the school, get to know your bearings and where to go. Parents’ evenings are the best time to do this when you’re waiting for teachers to speak with you, or asking the teachers themselves for any updates that you should be aware of.
There are a host of events that encourage parents to come down to the school to see their child take part in a performance, group choir or a school fête. These are the perfect times to see their child’s achievements, what they get involved in and the impact they have at school.
Plan Ahead For Your Child:
Although Charlie first started school back in September 2011, we live in a 3 tier system meaning it constantly feels like someone is starting school again for the first time, this year Megan starts Upper School but not the same school Charlie is at, so the whole thing is new for both of us. (She is starting a Performing Arts School doing dance and drama alongside her academic studies.) The transition from primary to secondary school is one period where parents should be researching and seeing how their new school will allow them to grow. Parents will also be looking at ways to involve their children into their new environment without alienating them. It can be a stressful time for kids as they make new friends and understand the new curriculum they have ahead of them.
Here are my 5 Top Tips for making the first day less stressful:
- Before the summer breaks up, visit the school with your child and look around. Engage in any transition days offered or meet the teacher events. If your child is getting the bus walk over to the stop, if you are driving do a test run
- Ensure you have the first day of school RIGHT and the correct time. We rocked up a family of 5 to Charlie’s first day of school back in 2011 and it was a teacher training day! Luckily pity was taken and he was allowed to have a look round, find his tray etc. Some schools start the reception class off a bit later as it’s less busy, so be prepared. Also now with COVID restrictions, there are the staggered starts.
- Let them help buy their uniform. This is not a fun thing to do. You will need wine after! But have you ever experienced the wrath of a 4 year old who doesn’t want that particular shade of black! Have you?! Then they get older and appearance becomes a “thing” and they can’t possibly have that backpack it’s not branded!
- Make sure your child is aware of what things belong to them. This will be the first time that they may have had to deal with PE kits and book bags. Don’t just label them up and pack them neatly, spend time telling your child what’s inside and what they are for. Don’t assume things will be obvious, school is such a big new experience.
- Don’t cry! If you start to wobble then your child is going to! They won’t understand that you are going to miss them, they will see school as something sad. Take them in, help them find their peg, tray, settle them in, leave and then have a full-on emotional breakdown away from your child!
Once settled, encourage your child to get involved in a handful of extra curricular activities or clubs that happen during school time – whether it’s lunchtime or after school. They’re great ways to get children involved in new activities while making new friends alongside learning some new skills that they use during school time.
Follow your child as they study and ensure you’re continually around your child so that they can turn to you for support. Having a close relationship, being interested in their progress and studies will give them more confidence and strength to turn to others should they need help, and feel more motivated with their studies.
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