- Start conversations about their day at school. Get your child excited about the school year (e.g. making new friends, riding the bus to school, going on Learning Journeys, buying snacks in the canteen, reading new books, joining a CCA, etc.).
- Address any anxieties your child may be facing. Is there anything that your child is afraid of? Is your child having difficulty academically, having low self-esteem/confidence, having difficulty making friends, or being bullied? Books are an excellent way to begin conversations on sensitive topics.
What does your child hope to achieve in the new academic year? Together, set manageable targets/goals. For example:
- Waking up on time to go to school (which also means going to bed early and getting enough sleep).
- Completing homework on time is an excellent goal to strive for. Make sure your child has a notebook to record important assignments and a calendar to mark important deadlines.
It is important to teach your child organisational skills. Having a schedule or routine allows children to take responsibility for themselves and for their own learning.
- An erasable whiteboard on the kitchen fridge or in your child’s bedroom is perfect for listing out your child’s daily or weekly events.
- Have a homework routine. Find a quiet spot in your house for your child to do homework before going out to play. Factor in time for your child to take a shower, have a snack, take breaks, attend enrichment classes, read for enjoyment, play computer games, etc. A timer will come in handy if your child is not yet good at telling the time.
- Be sure to help your child schedule time to revise before exams. By doing so, your child can avoid last-minute cramming, and hopefully, learn how to work smart, not just hard.
Helping your child become a reader is the single most important thing a parent can do to help a child succeed in school—and in life. Why is reading so important?
- Research has repeatedly proved that children who are read aloud to by parents get a head start in language and literacy skills, and go to school better prepared.
- Sharing lots of different kinds of books with your child exposes him/her to new vocabulary, different styles of writing, and whole new worlds. Don’t just stick to one genre; introduce a mixture.
- Reading stories about school life helps children understand the rules of school and what to expect.
- There is no denying that good writers were, first, good readers.
- Reading is the key to lifelong learning.
Nothing gets children more excited about learning than when they are involved in something that interests them.
- Taking swimming, badminton, tennis or gymnastics lessons
- Learning how to rollerblade, ride a bicycle or ride a scooter
- Learning how to dance, sing or play a musical instrument
- Playing team games or learning how to play board games
- Exploring nature by going on hikes and nature walks
- Visiting museums to learn about history and art
- Taking Speech and Drama, Creative Writing or Arts & Crafts classes
Having specialised interests and hobbies can help a child build confidence and feel good about himself. They help children develop physically, socially, and intellectually.