We believe a successful experience in school is about building relationships, learning new and interesting topics, thinking independently and building confidence and happiness.
Here are a few points about how you can help your child succeed at school.
Having a positive attitude about school will help your child see school as a fun environment to be in. Ask your child about all the fun things they love doing at school, or which upcoming topics interest them. Tell your children about your fun memories of being at school, which teachers you loved and why, which subjects were your favourite and tell them all about your friends, sporting and creative activities.
Good nutrition is essential during childhood as it is a time of rapid growth and development and kids burn a lot of energy through physical activity and learning. Treats in moderation are totally/completely acceptable (even most of us grown-ups can’t resist treats!), but keeping your child’s diet nutrient-rich can promote physical and mental health to keep them feeling energised.
Let kids be kids and give them plenty of time to relax and play. Play is crucial to development, and if we limit this, their ability to develop creatively decreases. Don’t feel pressurised about how many after school activities other children are doing, but consider your child’s interests and what is best for them.
Having a consistent and calm bedtime routine that starts at the same time each evening, ensures your child develops a good sleeping pattern. Studies have shown that children that get adequate sleep have not only improved attention span, but an increased capacity for learning, memory and this improves their overall mental and physical health. Aim for 10-13 hours for your 3-5-year-old children and 9-12 hours for your 6-12-year-old children.
Learning should be fun and there are so many exciting ways to learn through play. Play is vital in helping children be ready and confident for school as well as encouraging their imagination and helping them with literacy and numeracy skills. Try to incorporate their interests when learning through play. Incorporating school topics into home play and activities shows your child that learning can be fun! Plan a trip to the museum/beach/forest to further explore their current topic.
Giving your child your full attention when reading them a story shows them that they are important to you/matter to you. This helps to build self-esteem and vocabulary as well as feeds their imagination!
Being involved in your child’s school life both academically and socially shows your child that you care. Try and meet new parents that have children in the same year – every parent wants the same for their children; to ensure they are happy, confident and friendly with their peers. Volunteering, or simply keeping track of events/key dates in the school calendar can help your child to feel secure both at school and home. Allowing your child to be the leader in forging friendships and relationships builds confidence!
Having open conversations with your children can help them in so many ways. Open-ended questions encourage them not only to think but allow them to determine the way in which they want to answer the question, helping to develop their personalities and inspire decision making.
Talking about setbacks and how they can present opportunities is a great learning step. Also, talk about non-school topics. By having open and relaxed/calm conversations your child should feel safe enough to come to you if they are experiencing any difficulties at school.
It is so important to praise your child for their efforts in completing a task. It is not always about the outcome, but rewarding them for trying their best, helps to build their confidence and worth. In turn, they will more likely be motivated to attempt tasks that they previously would have avoided. (Children respond well to most forms of praise – a simple “high-five” can go a long way to make your child feel accomplished!)