Dubai - Assistant principal of a Dubai-based school offers tips for parents to reorganise themselves and children.
If a day after holiday means rescheduling brains and activities for adults, how will it be for school children? No doubt, they will feel lethargic to return to books, especially after a long summer break.
As the day for school reopening is fast approaching, parents have a huge responsibility to bring them on to routine as in the pre-holiday period. From coaxing them to reduce their playtime and putting them back to the habit of rising up early in the morning, a Herculean task awaits parents. But grooming a child for school reopening is much more than that.
Moreover, it's that time of the year when parents as well as children lose their patience in managing time.
As a parent, if you have already started thinking as that stressful time has come again, stop and follow what Karen Robinson, the assistant principal of Nibras International School, has to say.
According to Robinson, give priority to the health of your child to ensure that children are healthy and fit when they resume school.
Above all, communicate with them properly to kill their anxieties by introducing their duties one by one to begin the new term.
Robinson advises parents to check on the below to see whether children are going to begin the new term on a positive note.
> Vaccinations: The student should have received all vaccinations
> Dental check-ups: Fix dental problems during holidays
> Eye tests: Check if your child needs glasses and get him/her accustomed to wearing them
Reintroduce your child's normal routine
> Establish bedtime routine at least a week before school reopens so that the child gets used to the bedtime and wakes up fresh when school begins
> Start eating breakfast, lunch and snacks around the times the child would eat during school
> Parents should ensure that their child is fully groomed for school. Hair and nails need to be neatly cut.
> Sure your child hasn't grown taller? Check if he or she needs new uniforms and shoes
> If your child is going to a new school, make them feel confident by taking them for a school tour at least a week prior to term start.
> Show them the location of the classrooms, recreational areas, toilets and cafeteria. If feasible, introduce them to the class teacher.
Get them involved
> Involve little ones in shopping for a new school bag, stationery, uniforms, lunch boxes, PE kit, art material, etc. This will get them excited about the beginning of the new school year
> Buy books in advance and get the child to cover the books and label them
> Older students can draw up their own class timetables or colour-code their exercise books and subject folders
> Stick a planner in your child's room and mark up term dates and after-school activities
> Encourage children to read school books at least a few weeks in advance so that they get familiar with the subject matter
> Plan nutritious school lunches and include brain foods such as eggs, greek yogurt, spinach, oatmeal, fish, apples and berries
> Know the exact times for pick up and drop off. Check parking spots near the school
> If your child is using the school bus, speak to the administration department to arrange transport to and from school
> Check if you can carpool with other parents
> For older children, do trial transport runs so that they know the route and are confident to travel alone
It is natural for children to be anxious about the next step. Discuss their concerns about starting school and explain the challenges you faced, and if you can, involve older brothers and sisters in the discussion.