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Are we all ready? Back to school we go.

After the year 2020 it has been a welcome respite for most of us and our families to stop and let the pandemic and its effects fade a little into the background. For those lucky enough to have had a holiday (in our own state mostly) we have hopefully enjoyed a mental reprieve and reboot.

January 2021 is upon us and the start of the new school term is approaching…….

Are we as parents and families all ready? Let’s look at how best to prepare. No matter if your child is starting, returning or changing schools there are a few practices that are key to a successful start to the school year.

Get back into a routine

Start preparing at least a week before school starts and try to adjust the relaxed holiday routine into the habits of the school day. (Yes – that means parents too!)

Get enough sleep

Start a healthy bedtime routine, going to bed and waking up at set times. The recommendations for healthy sleep for children aged 5 – 13 years are between 9 – 11 hours per night.

Read more about sleep needs here:

https://raisingchildren.net.au/school-age/sleep/understanding-sleep/school-age-sleep

https://www.sleephealthfoundation.org.au/files/pdfs/Sleep-Needs-Across-Lifespan.pdf

Have a positive attitude

Our children learn much from us and our attitudes. Talk about the opportunities a new school year brings. Talk about learning positively. Talk about friends to see again and new friends to make, activities new and old, teachers, age expectations and the challenges ahead.

Read more about positive thinking here:

https://raisingchildren.net.au/teens/mental-health-physical-health/about-mental-health/positive-thinking

Expectations

The start of the school year means its summer in Australia. Children are returning to school at what is often the hottest time of the year. They will be tired, they may be irritable. Try and limit the number of extra activities your child does for the first few weeks (particularly the new Kindergarten students). Younger children may need some extra quiet time over the first few weeks. Older children may need more support and direction, particularly around the use of technology as they re-establish homework and study routines. Above all have high and realistic expectations for your child. You know them best.

Practicals

Our children do tend to grow over the summer so does the uniform and the shoes still fit?

What does the school bag look like? (any old bananas lurking in dark places?)

Are there new public transport routes to practice?

Are your child’s immunisations up to date?

Do they know the names of the teacher/s? Their class? Where the toilets are? What their new timetable is?

So ………  

Let’s all get ready, be positive, eat well, sleep well and launch into the 2021 school year.

Happy 2021 to all families and best wishes for a successful 2021 school year.

Mary Digges *

MDR Education

Early Childhood Consultant for Angsana Education. 

* Mary Digges is an early childhood teacher, lecturer, trainer, assessor and consultant in education and has long promoted bilingual and multilingual education. Mary has worked in Australia, Singapore and China.

References

You may be interested in further reading from these references.

Raising Children Website:

https://raisingchildren.net.au/school-age/school-learning/learning-ideas/learning-school-years#tips-for-learning-at-primary-school-nav-title

The Sydney Morning Herald:

https://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/life-and-relationships/the-best-ways-to-ease-your-child-back-into-school-mode-after-the-holidays-20200116-p53s4x.html

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