Home LearningDid You Know? Back to School 101

Back to School 101

by Eddie Rayner

Finally, after a traumatic year, our children are soon to be wearing backpacks, carrying lunch boxes, and attending school five days a week. This, of course, calls for celebration, but it also calls for a bit of preparation, which is why Education UAE offers you a crash course on getting ready!

Make the First Day Easier

​​​Parents should keep in mind that they do not have to wait until the first day of class to seek assistance. Over the summer, schools are available to discuss any issues a parent or youngster may have, including a child’s specific needs. Therefore, one to two weeks before the start of school may be the best time to seek assistance.

If your child appears anxious, practising entering the new setting can be beneficial. Before the big day, take them to see the new school or classroom. Remind them that the first day of school is likely to be stressful for many pupils. If your child is nervous, find out what they’re concerned about and work with them to figure out how to handle the new situation.

First day of school. Happy smiling young parents preparing and leading their cute child to school for first lessons. Cheerful kid boy saying goodbye taking his lunch entering the school.

To build positive anticipation for the first day of class, highlight the good aspects of starting school. They’ll see old pals and make new acquaintances. Talk to them about wonderful experiences they’ve had at school or with other groups of kids in the past.

Drive your child (or walk with them) to school and pick them up on the first day if you believe it is necessary, and arrive early on the first day to avoid undue stress. And make an effort to communicate with your child’s new teacher at the start or end of the day so that the teacher understands how committed you are to your child’s education.

Finally, begin your child’s school sleep/wake schedule a week or two ahead of time so that the time change does not affect their first few days at school.

Backpack Safety

Choose a backpack with a padded back and large, padded shoulder straps. Pack light. Organise the backpack to use all of its compartments. Pack heavier items closest to the centre of the back. The backpack should never weigh more than 10% to 20% of your child’s body weight. Go through the pack with your child weekly, and remove unneeded items to keep it light.

Children with rucksacks standing in the park near school. Pupils with books and backpacks outdoors

Travelling to and from School

School Bus

Children should always board and exit the bus at locations that allow them to reach the bus or the school premises safely. On the bus, your child should not move around, and they should wear lap or shoulder seat belts at all times.

If your child has a chronic condition that could cause an emergency on the bus, make sure you engage with the school nurse or other school health officials to develop a bus emergency plan before the first day of school, if possible.

Car

All passengers should wear a seat belt or use an age and size-appropriate car seat or booster seat.

All youngsters under the age of 13 should be seated in the back seat of a vehicle. However, if you need to transport more children than can fit in the back seat (for example, when carpooling), move the front-seat passenger’s seat as far back as practicable and have the child ride in a booster seat if the seat belts do not fit properly.

Bicycle

Before the first day of school, please have your child practice the bike route to school to ensure that they can handle it and always make sure they wear a helmet, no matter how long or short the range.

Have them use appropriate hand signals and respect traffic lights and stop signs. Know the ‘rules of the road’.

Increase their visibility by wearing brightly coloured apparel. After dark, wearing white or light-coloured clothing and wearing luminous gear is especially important.

Children with rucksacks riding on bikes in the park near school. Pupils with backpacks outdoors

Walking

At 9 to 11 years old, most children are ready to begin walking to school, where feasible. But be honest with yourself about your child’s pedestrian skills. Consider whether your child is ready to walk to school without adult supervision because small children are impulsive and less cautious near traffic. Have an adult, older friend, or sibling accompany your child home if the path home necessitates crossing busier streets than your child can safely manage.

If your children are young or are walking to a new school, walk with them or have another adult walk with them for the first week or until you are confident that they understand the route and can safely complete it. If your child will need to cross a roadway on their way to school, have them practice safe street crossing before the start of the school year.

Eating During the School Day

Children who eat a nutritious breakfast have been shown to perform better in school. They also have more energy and have greater concentration. Some schools provide breakfast for students; if yours does not, make sure they have a protein-rich meal before setting out.

Most schools send home cafeteria menu schedules or put them on the school’s website. With this knowledge, you can plan on packing lunch on days when the main meal is something your child dislikes.

Elementary Pupils Enjoying Healthy Lunch In Cafeteria

Develop a Sleep Routine

For a youngster to succeed in school, they must get adequate sleep. Children who do not get enough sleep struggle to concentrate and study as effectively as they should.

Establish a bedtime routine for your child and stick to it every night. A consistent bedtime routine will assist your youngster in settling down and falling asleep.

Make sure your child turns off all electronic devices at least an hour before bedtime.

daughter hugs mom lying on the bed. the child missed her mom. school students at quarantine at home

Developing Good Homework & Study Habits

Starting at a young age, create an environment that encourages students to finish their assignments. For example, children require a regular workplace in their bedroom or another section of the house that is calm, free of distractions, and conducive to learning.

Allow plenty of time for homework and factor in this time when deciding whether your child participates in after-school activities. Also, make it a household rule to turn off the television and other technological distractions during homework time. Always be there to answer questions and offer help, but never complete a child’s homework.

Daughters Sitting At Table Doing Homework As Father Cooks Meal

If your child has trouble with a specific subject, talk to their teacher about how you or another person may assist your child at home or at school. Also, speak with your child’s teacher if you have any issues regarding the assignments they are receiving.

Some children require additional assistance in organising their assignments. Checklists, timers, and parental supervision can all aid in the resolution of homework issues.

Young woman with daughter during teacher-parent meeting at school

Not Sure, Ask!

Finally, if you are a parent worried about your child returning to school, please reach out. While most children and teens find back-to-school difficult in a regular year, in 2021, our children and their families are dealing with unique conditions due to the pandemic and infection control measures. So, if you have any worries or queries, contact your school, which will be more than pleased to put your mind at rest. No problem is too big or small.


TOP TIPS

  •  Get your child back on track with their sleep and plan two weeks ahead of time to ensure consistency
  • Stick to the morning routine, assist your children in getting ready for the day ahead, and begin the day well organised
  • Encourage independence because the early rush can be stressful; begin reinforcing independence with the simplest daily duties
  • Acknowledge feelings – there is fear in the unknown; share your own thoughts and feelings, assist your children in recognising theirs, and allow them space to express themselves
  • Your child can assist in purchasing new school materials or in the organisation of these at home.