My Primary Tutor's Tips on Starting the School Year Right!
As qualified teachers ourselves, the tutors at My Primary Tutor know how important it is to get the new school year off to a great start, and how setting out as you mean to go on can have a big impact on how the year progresses.
We thought about how teachers and tutors make sure that this happens for the children in their care, and realised that all the things that we do as teachers would actually be very beneficial for parents as well!
There is a scientifically proven link between uncertainty and stress (let’s be honest, we don’t need science to tell us that, we know it from our own lived experience!) and so making life as predictable as possible for young people is a great way to help them feel settled and secure – and that’s when great learning can take place. For this reason, we highly recommend building firm expectations and routines, as set out below.
Here, then, are our top tips for making sure that your whole family get the school year off to a flying start – and, as ever, if you have any questions, or would like some extra support we are always here to help! Just send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to help!
Any teacher or tutor knows that, when starting out the new school year, being very clear with the class about their expectations and boundaries is very important, and really helpful for children, who get security from knowing what is and isn’t acceptable!
As parents we can also use the new school year as a chance to reinforce rules and expectations with our children. This could be purely practical and work in terms of setting a new routine (more on that later) but could also be a way of setting up long term goals and rewards – teachers use them to motivate their pupils and why shouldn’t home do it too?!
A new school year has a definite ‘new beginnings’ feel to it for everyone – set next to the long, lazy days of summer, the change in pace stands out more than with any other holiday. It make sense to use that difference as a way of kickstarting the year and setting out with the mindset you’d like to maintain through until next July!
All teachers know that having a solid and secure routine is half the battle when asking children to do something they don’t necessarily want to do. ‘Because that’s what we always do’ is a surprisingly strong argument!
Parents can take advantage of this by setting their own routines which can help them through the trickier times of day like leaving the house in the morning or getting homework done. It’s not just advantageous for children – it’s helpful for us grown-ups too!
Habit is a powerful thing.
For example, if you family always ends up in a rush in the morning, why not try setting a routine before bedtime that involves setting clothes out, getting bags ready and putting them by the door? It saves precious minutes when running for the bus and means everyone feels calmer in the morning – and there is less opportunity to forget something important to take into school!
Equally, having a set ‘homework time’ in the house can make a big difference. Many families find that doing it as soon as they get home, while the children’s minds are still in ‘school’ mode, can really help. Asking someone to go and do half an hour’s work after they have sat down and relaxed is never *quite* as successful!
A huge part of routine setting is about working out what your family’s energy levels are, and when they are highest – morning people will like to get up earlier and have a routine in place then. Many families find getting homework done happens most successfully in the morning! Work out your families rhythms and build your routines around that – don’t be afraid to experiment and change as you go – routines should be flexible and iterative!
Give extra help where it’s needed
Giving children a stress-free, predictable environment both at school and at home will set them up well to do their best learning, but it won’t solve all problems. From our own experience at My Primary Tutor, when it becomes apparent that a child is struggling with an area of academics, or with their emotional wellbeing, early intervention is most successful, because it helps children to feel more confident very quickly.
If your child is struggling in a particular area, why not contact us? We have years of experience in helping children both academically and in building their confidence, helping them to meet new and bigger challenges with excitement and vigour. We can offer individual or group sessions which give fast, proven results – our testimonials prove it!
If you’d like to know more then send us a message on email@example.com to further discuss your child’s individual needs.