After the Christmas and New Year holidays, we are finally back to school. Back to school means back to schedules, back to classroom and sometimes back to stress. From preparing your child’s food, to sending your child to school and to meeting your requirements at work, all of these can often feel like walking into a battle field. However, it doesn’t have to be so. This is why planning and keeping your child’s sensory needs, this can lead to better transition to school. With these, more positive experiences will be created.
How can you prepare your child for the new school year?
- REVIEW YOUR CHILD’S IEP.
The IEP (Individualised Education Plan) is the foundation of your child’s educational program, so it’s important that you have a clear understanding of it. Review your child’s strengths, weaknesses and the goals that were set on each domain. Sometimes over the holidays, there would be changes in your child and his/her routine. Therefore, if you are unsure if the IEP goals “fits” your child, you can always contact the school and arrange for an IEP review meeting. This will help you and the school address the changes and difficulties that you and your child are experiencing.
- BE IN TOUCH WITH THE TEACHERS AND THERAPISTS.
It is important to have an open communication with your child’s teachers and therapists. Talking with them doesn’t have to be an hour or more. A simple update of how your child is at home can help the teachers to identify whether there are anything to work on at home or even at school. This is to ensure that everyone is on the same page and to ensure that strategies are executed consistently.
- PREP TALK ON RULES
It is best to talk to your child in advance. Prepare and review the school’s rules and expectations. Make sure that your kids knows the rules as this will help them for smoother transition from the changes during the long holidays. You can show it through pictures, through a video, or verbally remind them. Make it more interesting for them to remember them. However, communication is always 2-way. Give them chance to voice out their concerns and try to systematically compromise with each other.
For instance that your child needs extra assistance with their emotions, regulation and social communication area, make sure to discuss these as well with the teachers.
- ENCOURAGEMENT AND POSITIVITY
Talking to your child about the school and the upcoming school year can help reduce their anxiety. It’s always helpful to talk about all the exciting things about school like fun activities, friends, play sessions and toys that they get to experience in school. If your child is attending a new school, it is best to schedule a visit before the first day. This will help your child be familiar with his/her new environment. You can also ask if you can meet the teacher. This will definitely lessen your child’s school anxiety.
- KEEP EVERYONE INFORMED
The key to a successful schooling experience for our children lies in home & school partnership. It does make a huge difference if both ends are working together. This will help the child to have the consistency. Hence, making school a place to trust and a place where your child can grow.