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Tips for Parents: How to Start the Academic Year Right!

Starting the new school year on the right foot is always tricky. Between covering schoolbooks, outgrown uniforms and stationery lists we sometimes forget that setting yourself and your child up for a successful academic year goes way beyond the first day back.  We thought it might help to remind you of some essential pointers to ensure a successful academic year.

Get to know your child’s teacher

Try and establish a positive relationship with your child’s teacher. Introduce yourself and make sure you are both on the same page. You should explain any baggage your little one might be bringing into the academic year and any strategies that worked well the previous year. It can be tricky to strike the right balance; to not come across as a ‘helicopter’ parent, but still to make sure that your child is understood.  Reassure teachers that you trust they’ll do the best for your child but that you would appreciate it if they could let you know if they have any concerns.

Plan!

Ever heard of the expression ‘Failing to plan is like planning to fail’? There is a lot going on at this time of year. New classes, friends, sports and for some even a new school. It is easy for a few things to fall through the cracks. Start early and try to embrace your inner A-type personality (which may be a little harder for some of us).  Setting up a timetable of all activities and making to-do/shopping lists might just help you keep your head above water!

Set expectations early

Having a clear set of expectations from the start of the year is a great way to avoid future tension between you and your child. This can include things such as expectations in terms of TV time vs study time, academic results or simply being nicer to a sibling or trying their best at school. But remember, this coin has 2 sides. Set the expectations your child can have of you. This may be promising to support them if they are afraid, being patient when they find things difficult, being there to cheer them on in their interests, or promising to read a book together before bedtime.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

As humans, we are inherently unique and that is a wonderful thing! We each have our strong points whether it may be planning, being funny, art or being a social butterfly…  But it is also important to address some of the more challenging areas early…before they become big issues. Sometimes it is hard to ask for help. This could be for a number of reasons, but it is important to know that working on some weaker points is not a weakness. If you suspect your child is being bullied, reach out to a teacher or a friend. If you know your child needs academic help, speak to someone such as Edublox. That is the only way to see if their offering aligns with your child’s needs. Getting help early will stop a problem in its tracks before it starts derailing your child’s year and affecting their self-esteem.

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