The beginning of a new school year is almost always an exciting and somewhat anxious time for many families and students in Singapore. Starting school or advancing to the next grade level is a clear sign that a child is making progress in their endeavors. This means they have acquired the skills and competencies that are needed in order to take on new challenges and responsibilities and to further their development. At the same time, there are a lot of differences between a child’s home and school environments, and students must be able to adjust quickly to these changes so that they can become more receptive to new lessons and experiences expected of older children.
How do you prepare your child to face the new academic year in their Singapore school? There are a few practical steps that you can take to help them adjust to their new environment and give them the confidence they need to be more open to new lessons, experiences, and people. Here’s what you can do.
Visit the School and Classroom Beforehand
Many of your child’s apprehensions about going to school can be addressed by taking a trip to see the educational institution that they will attend for the next school year. This can be especially helpful for children who have just relocated to Singapore with their families and are starting at a new international school. Visiting their new school ahead of time will reduce the number of uncertainties that your child has to deal with.
The good thing is that plenty of schools make such an activity a hassle-free affair. If your child will be transferring to Stamford American School, for example, you can actually schedule a virtual tour of the school before booking an out-of-hours campus visit. A tour of their new campus will help your child know what to expect when classes finally start, how to get around the school, and where to go for club activities and the like.
Review Lessons from the Previous School Year
School lessons and activities are typically delegated to the backburner during summer as families focus on spending time together and going on holidays. As the new academic calendar starts, however, it’s imperative to ensure that the kids still remember what they studied the year before.
A week or so before the first day of school, start introducing games and activities that will compel your child to use the knowledge they acquired the previous year. If your child needs to review their basic math functions, for example, you can ask their help in adding up all your purchases for the day or setting their pocket money for the next school year.
Establish Goals and Intentions for the Next Year
Having clear goals at the start of the new school year can help your child develop their focus and enable them to understand the value of planning and preparation. Perhaps your child wants to gain leadership skills, make new friends, or improve their grades on a specific subject. Once your child has determined the goal they want to work on, the two of you can break the task down into more manageable chunks and set realistic milestones. If your child is aiming to acquire leadership skills, for example, they can perhaps volunteer for class roles that will give them the chance to deal with others and practice their sense of responsibility.
Plan Activities for the Coming Months Together
What does your child’s regular school day look like? What subjects and activities will they be involved in and how can they keep track of their classes and co-curricular events? Together, you and your child can go over their schedule and perhaps come up with plans so that they can manage their time well. It’s also a great time to talk about their bedtime and make adjustments so that they can get enough sleep even though they have to wake up early for class the next day.
Shop for School Supplies, Books, and Uniforms
Every student needs school supplies. You can take your child shopping for notebooks, pens, and other accessories to build up their excitement for the upcoming start of school and give them a sense of ownership of the supplies that they will be using. Because they had a hand at choosing the tools that they will use in school, your child will likely be more careful with how they handle and keep their stuff. Making a conscious effort to care for their items will help your child develop a sense of organization and attention to detail—qualities that can make a positive impact on their academic and co-curricular activities in the long run.
Discuss Your Child’s Feelings about School
Last but not least, you can help your child prepare for school by discussing their feelings about their new campus, classmates, teachers, subjects, and activities. Talking with your child regularly can help you determine their current state and whether they need additional support or not. Discussing feelings regularly with you will also help your child develop a healthy level of self-awareness, foster emotional growth, and express themselves and communicate with others more clearly.
Help your child adjust to the new changes brought about by the new school year by following these tips. At the same time, ready yourself to support your child as they go through another exciting year in school. With enough preparation, you can turn your child’s apprehensions about school into excitement for the possibilities that the new academic year presents.
This is a guest post.