It’s back to school for children around the country as they prepare for a new school year. This time of year is always filled with excitement but also a whole lot of anxiety from both parents and scholars as they prepare to tackle the year ahead.
Television and radio personality Carol Ofori, a doting mom to two beautiful children and host of the empowering educational series Raising Babies 101 every Monday at 09h00 on SABC 2, shares some tips she believes all parents should know before their child starts a new school year.
Carol Ofori’s tips as kids head back to school
Are YOU ready?
I hope you are rested, mom, dad or guardian! The year ahead is going to be hard, daunting, challenging and exciting at the same time. Make sure you, as the caregiver, are well rested, in a good mental space and ready to take on the year.
Planning is key
It’s always important to plan ahead as the children head back to school. A new school year often means new extra mural activities, play dates, parent-teacher meetings and so much more. So, plan your days accordingly.
It won’t hurt putting together a calendar of sorts to ensure that you don’t miss anything. Don’t underestimate the power of a checklist so you can make sure your child has all the uniform, stationery, books and food they need to get through their school day.
Develop a routine
It’s very important, especially if your kids are younger, to get them into the routine of school at least three days before school starts. If school starts on Wednesday, my kids will be in bed by 7pm from Sunday night and I will be waking them up at 6am to start setting that routine in.
In our home, we try to have dinner at 4pm, and at 5pm we start the bathing routine so that we can spend some time reading to our kids at 6pm before they head off to bed. Find a routine that works for you and get your children into that routine a few days earlier. Trust me, it will make all of the difference.
Make sure your chosen school is the right fit
The right school is so important to make sure your child is developing the best way they can. I hope you spent time over the festive season bonding with your kids and finding out more about their likes and dislikes, what they loved about the schools they were at and what they didn’t like.
If you are sending your child back to the same school, make sure that that environment is the right fit for your child to thrive in. If it’s not, there are platforms like ratingsforschools.co.za that will help ensure that your child finds a school that will cultivate their specific needs and has all the necessary resources to do so.
Get your children excited about the year ahead
The start of the new school year is always a big moment for children and, while it may seem daunting to leave their parents or go into a new class with new teachers and students, it’s also such an exciting time for them as well.
So, elevate that. Map out exciting events that may be coming up in the year, include them in the preparation process by letting them pick out a new backpack or new stationery which will help shift their mindset to a positive one.