How to prepare your kids for a new school term: expert advice from Dr Elizabeth Kilbey
2 September 2020, 10:47
Dr Elizabeth Kilbey has offered her expert advice on getting kids ready for the return to the classroom.
Parenting expert and clinical psychologist, Dr Elizabeth Kilbey has offered her expert advice on getting kids ready for the return to the classroom.
With the summer holidays drawing to a close, children across the country are getting ready to start a new school year.
Settling into the new term will - for many kids - be an even bigger challenge than with previous years, as the coronavirus pandemic meant that schools were shut for most pupils for much of 2020.
The new school year will likely be an emotional time for parents and children alike, with mixed feelings of trepidation and excitement all perfectly natural at this time.
To help prepare you for the upcoming term, Dr Elizabeth Kilbey has offered her expert tips, covering everything from healthy lunch box options - like Soreen Lunchbox Loaves - to the perfect night’s sleep.
Dr Elizabeth Kilbey's advice for getting children ready to return to school:
Preparation is key
The new school term is almost here, and it’s never too soon to start getting ready, buying the necessary equipment, and start preparing for your new routine.
Children do better when there are clear expectations of what’s required of them, so it’s worth talking through what time the family will get up each morning and letting them know what they’ll have to do before going to school. A visual chart or timetable that lays out all the steps can be really helpful for smaller children.
Pack ahead to get ahead
It’s a good idea to spend some time packing bags and even lunchboxes the night before to reduce the stress in the morning.
It can be really helpful if you can get your child into the habit of thinking about what they’re going to need for school the next day, and then getting it ready before they go to bed. Getting them involved in choosing healthy lunch box options will mean that they are more likely enjoy their food.
Never underestimate the value of a good night’s sleep
Sleep is hugely important for children's' mental and physical development. A good night’s rest is habit-driven, so it’s really important to get into a routine to ensure that your child can have at least 10 hours per night.
If your child has fallen into the pattern of going to bed slightly later, it’s important to give yourself seven to 10 days to work their sleep rhythm back round to getting up at the time they need to for school. This can be done by waking up a little bit earlier each day to allow them to adjust ready for the start of a new school term.
Adjusting to the new normal
School may look a little different to how it was before lockdown, and it would be helpful to talk through with your child some of the changes that they can expect when they go back to school.
Your school should be providing information about these changes, so spend some time talking to your child about the ways their school will now operate and how it will be different from before. It’s really helpful to remind them of the importance of good hand hygiene and make sure they're following the new rules and instructions given by their teachers.
Schoolwork can also equal homework
One of the things that children probably haven’t missed too much in lockdown is homework. As they go back into school, it’s likely that they’ll have some more homework to do outside of school. It can be hard to get back into the routine, so it would be good to set out a plan to follow after school to ensure that they’ve got time to complete their homework and also have some downtime/relaxation. Setting out a timetable that they can agree to will help avoid any after school battles.
As well as these top tips for a successful term, make sure your little ones have their lunchboxes filled with snacks to give them the energy they’ll need. Soreen Lunchbox Loaves come in four fruity flavours, are perfect for packed lunches and you can find them in all major supermarkets, near the cake bars. Click here to check out their flavours.
Plus, we've teamed up with them to give you the chance to win the ultimate back to school package including iPads, an Amazon Show and money to spend on School Uniforms. Enter here.