Catherine Rankin is a Drama and Dance teacher at the International School Manila. She has a Bachelors of Education and a Masters of Applied Theater. She also happens to be Stella’s sister so we are lucky to have a first hand account of kiddos from a teacher’s perspective. Here is what Catherine has to say about heading back to school after summer break.
“Wow! It’s that time again! You need to think about your children going back to school. You are either celebrating or commiserating but whatever the situation, the key to a successful transition back to school is planning and talking. It is important that everyone involved in the transition is involved in the process then they become responsible stakeholders, whatever their age.
Here are some key tips -
Get back to “school” sleep routine- Holidays are great for the sleep ins and staying up late but about a week before school starts, you should go back to the wake up and bedtimes that allow kids to function successfully at school.
Detox from devices- Holidays usually sees an increase in device use, whether it be video games, iPad, computers or TV. As well as getting back to waking up for school, you should also start limiting their device time to help them adjust.
Shop for school supplies together - Make it part of the planning process that your children help with the buying of what is needed to make a successful start. This also may include a “first day” outfit if it is a non-uniform school. If it is a uniform school, making sure those uniforms fit.
Sorting out a schedule- Through discussions, you should work out how they are going to get to school and home, an afterschool plan if you are a working parent and what are the plans if your child gets sick day and you have to work - who will look after them? A discussion covers the “what if this happens” is always helpful in calming nerves of both kids and parents.
Doctor checkups- It is advisable to have a full check up and get any immunizations that are needed and having the doctor talk to your child about the best ways to stay healthy at school.
Help with homework -Before homework has even started, work out an area that homework is going to be completed. Helping students learn to organize and schedule their homework is a great skill that parents can help with. Either a homework diary or an electronic schedule like iHomework can be set up before classes start.
Review school material - It is important to review the key material from the school - emergency numbers, important dates (especially holidays or pupil free days) as well as transport and dress code.
Practice the routine- Routines make people feel comfortable. A day or so before, do a dry run of the school day’s important starter - getting up to an alarm, having time for breakfast and getting to the bus stop in time.
Packing the school bag, the night before- Avoid the first day mayhem and have everything organized the night before.
Talk it through - Communication is the key. Sit down and have a chat about what your child is excited about and nervous. If they are nervous, discuss some strategies to make going to school as successful as possible.
Good luck Present Day Moms!”