Believe it or not…we are now only a few weeks away from the beginning of the next school year! And what a year it has been…a year we could never have predicted that has brought with it all means of unexpected challenges. Never the less, we have all worked tirelessly to find new solutions to the new problems we have been facing.
Prepare for Back to School
In the run-up to the new school year, many parents have been anxiously asking me what they can do to prepare their children for the beginning of term, how they can support their children’s reintegration back into the classroom and what they can do at home to ensure their children are happy and successful.
Many parents look for the answers to these questions in literacy resources and maths textbooks. What they sometimes do not realise is that the emotional support with which they can provide their little humans, is the greatest gift they can give them.
As an educator, I am lucky to play such a vital role in each and every child’s story. We educators are not simply making a difference in children’s’ knowledge, but also in their lives! We are guiding them to becoming self-sufficient people; happy, confident, secure and thriving. It is the child’s health and wellbeing inside that underpins their ability to achieve success outside.
Praise for Hard-Work and Effort, Regardless of Result
One seemingly small and yet incredibly powerful thing that we can all do to encourage heathy development, and ease the anxieties of our children, is to show them praise for hard-work and effort, regardless of result. This is not to say that we ignore result. Of course not. But we show the child that it is the choices they make, the actions they choose that are highly regarded.
I understand fully that after the year we have had, it is only natural for parents to be nervous about their children returning to school and anxious that they be learning as much as possible to make up for lost time. But the reality of our current situation is that now more than ever we need to be prioritising our children’s mental health and fostering a positive attitude towards learning which at times means we need to focus less on the academic result and more on rewarding positive choices; rewarding your child showing you they are trying.
Time to adjust
My best advice to all anxious parents out there is to allow yourselves and your children a grace period within which to adjust to yet more change in the coming weeks. Check in with your children and yourselves, make sure you are all filling
each other’s metaphorical cups with positive reinforcement and emotional support. If your children are happy, if they have a positive attitude towards school and towards their learning, they will succeed and the learning will naturally follow.
We all want our children to grow up in a world where they believe they can do anything, be anything, achieve anything. Fostering positive mental and emotional health and praising the effort rather than the outcome is a great starting point for achieving this; and this is the greatest gift we can give.
Wishing all families a lovely last few weeks of the summer holidays and a happy, healthy and successful start to the new school year.
Lydia Scaltsas: Experienced Primary Teacher & Private Tutor
Graduated from University of Strathclyde with a 1st Class Honors in BA (Hons) Primary Education.
Registered with the General Teaching Council (GTCS)
Owner and Private Tutor at LS Tuition: lydias-tuition.co.uk
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