The first term of the new school year is an exciting time for children, as they make friends, learn new things and widen their horizons. But it can also be a challenging time for all the family. Leanne Galloway, Head of the Early Years Centre at Harrow Bangkok, answers parents’ common questions to help ensure little learners get the best from school.
It can be a struggle for children to get used to waking up early after the school holidays, any tips?
Children thrive from routine and it’s even more important when they start school. They need an established sleep routine so they wake up feeling refreshed; when they come home, give them time to relax, and make sure that weekends aren’t so busy that they start another school week tired out.
Some parents may find changes in their children’s behaviour once they’ve started school (ie more tears and tantrums) – is that normal?
This is completely normal. Often, this is because they are tired, adjusting to new routines, or still a little unsettled. Children don’t always have the vocabulary to express themselves and because they are frustrated they become upset. Help your child to learn how to name their feelings so they can seek help when they need it.
Why do children come home from school saying they loved it, but the next day they don’t want to go?
It can take a long time for a child to realise that going to school is something you need to do every working day. Rest assured this is very common for children. It’s best if the transition is brief; when you say goodbye to your child leave straight away so they can settle sooner.
What is the right balance of after school activities, socialising and homework for younger children?
In the Early Years, Reception children are able to attend a maximum of two after school clubs per week. We believe this is enough for a child of this age. In terms of homework, we encourage children to read with their parents as much as possible. Socialising is really important, too. In the Early Years, a huge focus in placed upon a child’s personal, social and emotional development and play dates are an important part of this.