5 things you can do to prepare your kids for the new school year

Little girl on her first day of school

It’s almost time for the kids to head back to school! But before you celebrate reclaiming the house and a return to routine, spare a thought for the changes your child faces in the new school year. Here are a few tips to help with the transition back to school.

Many children look forward to returning to school – but for some, it can be hard to get back into routine. Here are 5 things that will help with keeping everything on the rails.

1. Read together – and not just at bedtime!

While you may not be trained in the finer techniques of teaching a young child to read, all parents can certainly help encourage their children to pick up a book and read.

Nurturing a love of reading improves literacy and educational outcomes for all of life. Just setting aside a time each night to read with our children can help foster a really great habit for life. It can also help ease them back into a routine for bed time ahead of the new school year.

2. Encourage handwriting even if it looks like scribble

In this age of screens everywhere, it’s easy to forget just how necessary it is to master the use of pencils and pens! But learning to write legibly (and to spell) is one of the essential parts of schooling. Even the simple act of handwriting helps teach children how to spell correctly, and it enhances their reading abilities too. It hones fine motor skills in tiny hands and even improves their developing memories. So take every opportunity to encourage your child to put pen to paper – the results are usually pretty cute too. You can download great free handwriting practice sheets from BIC which will entertain your kids while improving this important skill.

If you’re looking for a way to encourage those early handwriting attempts, what better way than a competition? BIC are looking for Pro-Handwriters – and they have $20,000 worth of scholarship and stationery packs to be won, plus you could get a free patch when you enter! Check out BIC for full details.

3. Gradually return to routine

The extended Christmas holiday period often means routine goes out the window! Rather than return to it cold turkey on the first day back at school when they already have so much to take in, why not ease your little one back in?

In the week leading up to their first day back, try to keep meal times regular and start to reinforce a suitable bed time each week night. If your child has enjoyed watching more television, playing video games, outings and sleepovers, start reducing these gradually and talk about the school year ahead with great excitement.

4. Organise uniforms and equipment

As parents, we know small preparations can make life a lot easier, so why not get the things you know you will need out of the way? If your child feels comfortable in the clothes they are wearing, it can make a big difference to their confidence, so check their uniforms still fit now so you can make any necessary changes or purchases before the big return.

If you can get a hold of the class resource list for the year ahead early, even if this means speaking to parents who have just had children go through the grade your child is starting, get whatever supplies you can now. Take your children with you for a special back-to-school shopping trip to build up the excitement of the new school year.

5. Discuss and address concerns about school

It may not be the first day of kindergarten but each new school year brings with it many unknowns – new teacher, new classmates, new classroom and new expectations and goals.

Don’t underestimate the nervous feelings your child has about these. Be positive about the changes and discuss any concerns with them. Remind them of what a school day is like from the moment they walk in the school gate to the time they return home and, if it applies, go over the bus routine. Before you know it, these things will be second nature again.

(This is a sponsored post for BIC)

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