The first few weeks of school can be an exciting and overwhelming experience for kids and parents alike COVID-19 notwithstanding. Here are six tips from Vancouver teachers to help set your child up for success.
6 Tips for Back to School success
A good night’s sleep makes a huge difference when your child is managing their back-to-school excitement and trepidation. It can be tempting to drag out those last few days of summer, but a tired or jetlagged child will miss important information and getting-to-know-you activities that the teacher has prepared. These ice breakers are designed to help students get to know one another, establish a welcoming and safe classroom environment, and create a positive first impression.
Preparing a nutritious and filling breakfast is an essential way to start the day. Take the time to sit down and eat together (without distractions). A full tummy and a peaceful, unhurried morning helps students feel ready to focus, learn, and engage in class.
Create a quiet, distraction-free space at home that is dedicated to schoolwork. A comfortable desk and chair in a well-lit room shows your child that their learning and assignments are a priority, and will go a long way towards helping your child stay organized.
Reading to children (of all ages) improves language and literacy skills, and leads to greater academic success. Reading aloud and discussing stories also helps develop a child’s attention span, memory retention, and critical thinking skills. Most of all, it’s an important opportunity for connection with your child.
Children whose parents speak positively about school see greater success and meaning in their schoolwork. Being genuinely enthusiastic and interested in what students are learning helps children feel that their efforts are valued and what they do at school matters. Celebrate a child’s hard work (above grades) and support them in the goals they set for themselves. A relaxed, positive attitude sets an example and encourages your child to feel the same way.
School is packed with fun new experiences, challenging ideas, and lots of opportunities for play. A full day in the classroom is both stimulating and exhausting, especially for a young child. Reconnecting after school is especially important to help them navigate this transition. A healthy snack and some downtime will give your child the space they need to process their day. Give them the option to tell you about their day now or later, and ask open-ended questions. Then listen closely.
Jeanine is a teacher, writer, and mom to two active and curious toddler boys. She has a passion for education and outdoor adventures. She loves to discover and share the best hidden parks, playgrounds, and beaches in Greater Vancouver. When she isn’t writing, you’ll find her and her boys playing in the dirt or peeking under logs in the forest.