Setting Up For School Success
The school holidays are in full swing, which means summer trips, play dates and, let’s face it, the endless search for activities to keep your little ones amused for the next few weeks.
But the new school year will be upon us before we know it, and if you are thinking of moving home into a new area, or have recently done so, you may be wondering how you can help your child or children settle into a new school.
It’s also important to ensure you have an environment within the home that makes it easy for your child to concentrate and learn.
Here, we share our top tips and suggestions to help you with both.
Practice the School Run
Familiarity can provide reassurance, so if you can, do the school run a few times in advance of the first day. This will help your child get familiar with their new environment and surroundings even if they are a little nervous about what’s beyond the school gates.
Introduce yourself to your neighbours, who may also have children and will no doubt be a good source of information about the local area. Visit local parks or play areas in your new home town where you might also find the opportunity to meet families with children of a similar age – a great way for you all to make new friends!
Talk It Through
Over dinner, or during the day when you spend time with your children, talk to them about what they think their new school will be like. Hopefully this will get them excited about the whole experience as well as giving them a chance to talk to you about any worries or concerns they have.
Join the Club
If your child enjoys a sport or activity, try and find out if there is a local club they could join. As well as being a great way to meet new people of a similar age who share the same interest, doing something they enjoy and know well will provide comfort through a period of change. Also, as Gwen Byrom, Head at Loughborough High School explains, many schools host ‘getting to know each other’ sessions: “Find out if the school has ‘buddy schemes’ whereby an older pupil can take your child under their wing. Parents should encourage an open conversation throughout this period, staying positive and allaying any fears their child may have.”
Moving to a new area and a new school takes time, so be patient and provide your child with plenty of encouragement and reassurance until they are settled.
Homework can be a bit of a chore but by ensuring you have set up a cosy space in your new home to help your child focus can help make it a more productive experience.
Make sure the environment is calm and not distracting, so clear away all the clutter, and make sure you choose an interesting but neutral shade of paint for the walls. Blue or green are calming, tranquil colours – we like Coniston by organic paint company Auro. Finally, ensure everything needed is readily to hand to minimise disruptions caused by getting up to get pencils, paper and other supplies.
Good luck – we’re sure you will all be settled in soon!