Preparing for the School Year by Mrs Hayley Van der Haar
Department of Childhood Education
Faculty of Education
University of Johannesburg
During the school holidays, normal routines are put aside and parents and children are more relaxed and not too worried about following the usual time schedules. Now that the school holiday is over, and it is the beginning of the school year, it could become difficult to get children and parents back into following normal daily routines (way of doing things). School routines can prove especially hard to get back into and can become a stressful experience for both children and parents.
- Make sure that your child goes to bed at a reasonable hour every evening. This way your child will get enough rest every night and not wake up tired and in a bad mood. Continue the early bed time routine and soon they won’t need the constant reminder. A consistent time routine is important if we want to teach children about being on time for school.
- Teach your child to pack their schoolbag the night before. It saves everyone time in the morning and also avoids rushing around looking for belongings. By doing this, you as a parent are also teaching them responsibility.
- Parents should encourage their children to set out their uniform the night before. It will help with mentally preparing for the following school day.
- Set aside a daily time after school during which your child will be expected to do homework. This is easier for older children as they can work on their own. Younger children will need your attention and support when they are doing homework, so set aside time after work to assist them. Children will see your interest in their schoolwork and will become more excited about completing their homework.
- It is important that your child has a healthy school lunch packed for the day. Encourage them to eat breakfast in the morning as this is the most important meal of the day. Most government schools have feeding schemes that will be more than willing to provide your child with a meal in the morning and at lunchtime if parents are unable to do this.
By following these basic rules of routine early in the year, you and your child/children will cope much better during the rest of the school year.