School's out! How that phrase excites parents across the world. Or not? Well, largely depends on the habitual routine that characterizes their children's school sessions. But "school's out" is over; school is back in. A new session is upon us and a general phenomenon is that once it's this time of the year, parents have to be on their toes to get their children set for resumption at school after about two months of staying at home.
Admittedly, this preparation requires more than the physical; psychological readiness is also important. Parents should understand that one month is enough time to form a habit; so when these kids have got into the habit of not waking up early and not doing other school related activities, it won't be easy to get them back into the academic habits.
But to avoid the September drama of having to fight with and drag your children to school, here are 5 things you can do to prepare yourself and your kids:
1. Earlier to Bed, Earlier to Rise
No, this is not necessarily the usual go-to-bed-early-each-night drill. Rather, it means to start breaking the habit of sleeping in. Two weeks before the actual resumption day, start waking them up at the regular school time. By so doing, they start getting into the school time culture again, early enough so they'll pick up fully by the time school actually resumes. This is a major psychological preparation you really want to do. Granted, it requires work on your part. But consider it as an investment into saving you more time in the future.
2. Be their need greater
This means that where they have a greater need, you should fill it up. Identify things they must necessarily go to school with and provide same. Pack everything they need ready before the resumption date. Such things as uniforms, launch boxes, bags, socks, books, pencils, etc., should all be in tact. To make the prospect of resuming school more exciting for them, take the kids along when you go shopping for the supplies they'll use.
3. Highlight the importance of school to them
Even from a tender age, you can start helping your children to see that school will benefit them in the future. Ask them what they want to become when they grow up and use that to imprint on their minds that they need school to achieve such. For instance, ask them what they want to be in the future. If your preteen in primary school says he wants to be a lawyer, you can tell him that he has to work hard to get into secondary school first and then choose the Arts department. You can keep reminding him of this goal occasionally.
Another way to make them love school is to love academics yourself. When these young ones see you study diligently, it registers in their subconscious that academic activities are important.
4. Plan their meals weeks ahead
Having a timetable for each week's feeding, at least for the first few weeks after resumption, can be time-saving. That way, you'll save time and relieve yourself of the stress of planning their daily meal every morning. This affords you more time and attention to be detailed in the quality of their meals.
5. Visit their school in the first week of resumption
This will help you get familiarised with the team of teachers who'll be handling your child. You may feel it's not necessary since you already know the teachers but note that school managements usually change staff at the beginning of a new session, not term. So it would be appropriate if you visited and saw things for yourself.
Lastly, still on the safety of your child, new infrastructures may have been put in place. Visiting the school will help you verify how safe the environment is. Remember that your kid will be spending at least six hours there daily; it's worth the trouble.
Imoh Iniekpo Udoh
Communication Executive @ Edusko Africa