Dr. V.S. Gayathri
Preparing Your Child For A New Grade!
Our kids will soon go back to school for their new academic year. As parents, we can always utilize their vacation time to prepare them for the new grade. Whether they go back to the same school or a different one, we can always make good use of holidays to revise and upskill them. Yes, of course, make sure not to mar their holiday mood.
When a child goes to a new grade, their previous skill set undergoes an upgradation. Yes, the school will definitely take care of the academics and you don’t need to teach them everything. However, it may be a good idea to revise their existing knowledge and add some new soft skills that will surely be beneficial for them.
Let us take a look at some important pointers on how we can prepare young minds to embrace their new academic journey in a better way.
1. Talk to them about the new grade: Tell them about the new subjects that they will learn. If you can get hold of textbooks from an older friend, you can just ask them to browse through them. Don’t make them read everything because then they will lose interest when they are actually reading the lesson. For new subjects, you can get them some other books than the ones they will read, and just let them read to get a better grasp of the topics.
2. Revise existing skills: Utilize the time to practice Maths, English- grammar and vocabulary, basic computer skills, etc. – some things that they already know and which form the foundation for any subject. You can periodically give them small assignments for worksheets to check if they remember their previous lessons. They can revise the ones in which they might be lagging behind.
3. Focus on soft skills: Soft skills like communication (spoken and written), problem-solving, time management, and others will always be required at any stage of life. So, equip your child with specific skills which you feel are their areas of improvement or those they want to learn. Like enrolling them in public speaking or creative writing workshops, or letting them develop critical thinking or analytical skills through reading, games, puzzles, etc.
4. Attend the school orientation program: As a parent, try not to miss the orientation program for the new grade or the new school. This can be a good opportunity for your child to meet their future classmates and interact. This helps to ease the first-day awkwardness for many kids as they might have already made some friends. You can also converse with other parents and the authorities regarding your queries and concerns which in turn helps you to prepare your child better.
5. Get them into a routine: Get them into the morning routine at least a few weeks before school starts so they it doesn’t get stressful for them when it actually starts. Make the schedule or calendar on bedtime, wake-time, study time, and play time, and let them follow it for a few weeks.
6. Let them identify their strengths: Finally, have a hearty talk with them and help them to identify their strengths and weaknesses. Urge them to value their self, and present themselves with confidence with a positive self-image. Help them clear their self-doubts because a new academic year means that they are also growing up, and moving towards new things in life.
The first day of the new school or the new grade is always crucial. Make sure they have a positive outlook. Prepare a healthy lunch box for them, make them sleep early, and wake up on time to get ready. Always send them off with positive thoughts and a lovely smile. Most importantly, ask them what happened and how they are feeling every day over the first few weeks. Gradually, decrease the frequency, but always keep in touch.
A new grade means new skill sets, new books, old and new friends, new learnings, and of course, new excitement. Keep that alive in your child and let them enjoy their new year in school.