Starting secondary school can be a daunting experience not only for the child but also for their parents. Once you have gone through the exercise of choosing a secondary school and enrolling your child, then the real work begins.
The first piece of advice to parents is not to be nervous. Any worry or nervousness you show will be projected onto your child. You don’t want to ruin their initial secondary school experience by triggering feelings of fear or worry.
Preparation is key. It is good to make sure your child has all the required school equipment and school uniform at least a week before school starts. This will mean that the final days of the long school summer holiday won’t be spent rushing around in a mad panic.
Having a routine is probably one of the most important aspects of preparing for secondary school and getting the best from it. Teenagers need more sleep than most people. It is vital that they get an early night and enough sleep before starting a new school. This means limiting screen time including smart phone and tablet use. Getting into a proper sleep routine is important throughout the school week, because nobody can adequately concentrate and work well if suffering from lack of sleep.
Diet is also an important part of the school week and a healthy, filling breakfast is essential every morning. Getting into a morning routine for school with a set time to wake, eat breakfast and get ready for school will help your child feel prepared for the day ahead.
Homework and Extra-curricular Activities
It is a good idea to help your child develop a homework routine and a routine for extra-curricular activities. Their homework will more than likely greatly increase once they start secondary school. Having the right study environment in the home will greatly benefit them and having a certain time to start homework each evening will reap rewards. Perhaps allow an hour for them to unwind, have a snack and spend some screen time relaxing first.
A desk or work area with room for books, laptop and stationery is a must. Make sure it is away from the TV or other distractions, and provide good lighting. Having five minute breaks at regular intervals is also recommended.
A good homework routine in secondary school is imperative because your child will likely have extra-curricular activities such as sports clubs to fit in after school hours. Also, ensuring homework is completed at a reasonable time will contribute towards a good bedtime routine every night which means less panic in the mornings. This will help children who suffer with anxiety.
A child’s secondary school experience can be greatly enhanced if parents or guardians provide help and encouragement by giving emotional support and practical guidance as outlined above.