Welcome to 2018! The rush of Christmas and New Year is over and life is beginning to settle back into its normal rhythms. Christmas decorations have disappeared and no longer bombard us in shops. But wait, something new has taken their place. ‘Back to School’ signs are everywhere! These bring a mixed reaction from parents. For some, it is the sheer relief that the holidays are coming to an end, but for others there is the apprehension of children starting school for the first time.
Excitement is in the air for most children as they get ready for the new school year. There are uniforms to sort out, backpacks and lunchboxes to buy; along with all the other tools and equipment needed for a successful and organised start to the academic year. Heading back to school can be an expensive exercise. Most schools provide a book pack which can be ordered and purchased prior to the end of the school year, which ensures students have exactly what is required for them to undertake their school studies. These packs take the hard work out of trying to source items on your own and suit many families. However, if you don’t order a book pack from your school, make sure you source the items the school requires, as these are targeted for specific activities. Check with the school if you are unsure of what to buy, as sometimes buying cheaper, inferior items can be a false economy.
Whether your child is in Prep, Primary or Secondary school, it is important to be organised and ready for the start of school. The start of a new school year is the ideal time to start off on the right foot. We are all busy people, so it is vital to establish effective routines to ensure each school day runs as smoothly as possible. Encourage independence in your child from a young age. Involve them in packing school lunches, getting school uniforms ready and establishing a designated homework area. Encourage them to make sure that books, notes and resources are organised each day. Independence and good organisation are important skills for everyone to have, even young children.
It’s also a great time to introduce yourself to your child’s teacher/s. Share your goals and let them know about your priorities for your child’s learning. You know your child best, and you can provide vital information to the teacher about their learning style, strengths and weaknesses early in the year. Discuss ways to establish regular and effective communication between home and school. Are there ways you can assist at school, however small, to be more involved in your child’s learning?
So, bring on 2018! Get ready, get set, go! Here’s to the start of another whirlwind of a year. Those Christmas decorations will be on display again before you know it. I think I may have spied a chocolate Easter Bunny already!
Karen Carter is Co-Director at Kip McGrath Education Centre Burpengary, providing professional tuition by qualified teachers in Maths and English for Primary and Secondary students. Visit www.kipmcgrath.com.au/burpengary or call 3888 2332 for a free assessment.