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Posts Tagged 'Back To School'

Back to School Jitters – What Parents Can Do to Help

Featuring: Lindsay Ross, MSW,RSW

As the end of summer quickly approaches, many children start to experience the usual feelings of nervous excitement that come with the impending first day back at school.  Whether it’s the start of kindergarten or the first day of high school, it is normal for kids to worry about the unknowns of a brand new school year.  These worries often include:

1)      Will I like my teacher(s)? Will my teacher(s) like me?

2)      Will my friends still like me after the summer? Will I meet new friends?

3)      What if I get teased or bullied?

4)      Will I achieve academically? Can I manage my course load? Am I taking the right courses?

So how can parents support their children through these last few days of summer and with the transition back to school?  Here are some general strategies that parents can use to help ease their child’s anxiety as they embark on a new school year:

 

Stay Calm

Children, both young and old, are extremely in-tune with their parent’s emotions.  If you are openly anxious and worried about the transition back to school then your child will most likely pick up on that nervous energy.  They will start believing that if mom and dad are worried then there must be a good reason.  Try and stay calm.

 

Stay Positive and Normalize their Feelings

A new year often means new challenges and opportunities.  Remind your children of their past successes as well as their skills.  Communicating to your child that you believe in their strengths and capabilities can help boost their confidence and feelings of self-worth.  Explain to your kids that what they are feeling is completely normal.

 

Visit the School

Familiarizing yourself with your new surroundings can remove a lot of undue stress.  If your child is entering into a new school, go for a tour.  Locate your classroom, gym and cafeteria.  Getting lost on the first day is very common.  If you know where some important landmarks are located, you are already ahead of the game.

 

Meet with your Teacher(s)

If you know who your teachers will be in advance, it can be helpful to book a meeting with them before the start of the school year.  Have your child prepare some questions that they may want to ask their teacher, for example, how to access extra help if needed or how to let the teacher know if certain academic or social issues arise.  Allowing your child to prepare and ask questions will encourage your child’s building of autonomy and self-confidence.

 

Meeting with the School Guidance Counsellor

If your child requires special school accommodations, it will be important to meet with the school guidance counsellor to organize a plan, or at least get the ball rolling, prior to the start of school.  Creating a realistic and structured plan can relieve a lot of stress and worry.  If the plan meets the child’s needs, they will feel that they have been taken seriously and supported by their school.

 

Be Available to Talk to your Kids

You are the expert on your children and the most important support system in their lives.  Frequently reminding your children that you are always available to talk about both the good and the bad opens the door for communication.  Put down your cell phone, turn off your computer and television and make sure that every day you devote some quality time to be with your kids.  They need to know that they are your number one priority.

Lindsay Ross is a clinical social worker working in private practice in Toronto, Ontario.  For more information on her services, please feel free to contact her at (647) 501-7220 or at lindsayross.msw@gmail.com

Posted in: Parent Education Resources, Special Education Tutoring

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Embracing Technology for the New School Year

As technology has continued to play an increasingly important role in our lives it has provided numerous positive changes to the way we learn and how education is conducted in the school.   As the school year begins, we hope you find the information below on how technology is being integrated into the classroom beneficial to you and your family.

Interactive Whiteboards

Also known as SMART Boards, this interactive display connects a computer to a board, supplementing traditional blackboards and flip charts.  They provide an excellent environmentally friendly way to teach the class in an interactive style that allows for materials discussed in the class to be posted at a later date for future review.

Below are several examples of how teachers are incorporating SMART Boards into the classroom:

  • Classroom brainstorming
  • Using a Document Camera to display and edit text and images
  • Illustrating and writing a book as a class
  • Teaching steps to a math problem
  • Digital Storytelling
  • Saving lessons for students who were absent
  • Allowing students share projects during parent teacher interviews

Online Classroom Management Systems

Many teachers are engaging in the use of online web applications like Moodle to promote blended learning with the classroom.

These systems have many online features to benefit your child’s education, which include:

  • Classroom discussion forms
  • Homework submission
  • Online quizzes
  • Downloading information including prior lessons and additional learning resources
  • Classroom calendar

To see an example of this technology, we would recommend visiting: demo.moodle.net.

We would encourage you to work with your school and teacher to better understand how many of these technological innovations can be potentially used in your child’s classroom.

Good luck with the start of school and if we can be of any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Posted in: Educational Technology

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Transitioning Back to School

Transitioning Back to School

The start of the school year provides an opportunity for you and your child to discuss goals for the year ahead and for them to develop new skills and knowledge.

Below are some tips in transitioning from the summer holidays to the start of school.

Adjust to the New Routine

  • Work with your child to ease back into a school year routine, especially bed and meal times
  • Discuss with your child what time of the day works best for homework / studying
  • If your child takes part in after-school activities, develop a weekly schedule to ensure balance with their school work
  • If your child is going through a transition year (middle school, high school) make a trip before the first day of classes and provide extra support

 

Emphasize Organization

  • An agenda is an excellent tool to help your child stay organized.   Work with her or him to develop a habit of recording their homework, tests and assignments to remember due dates
  • Utilize school supplies such as binders and folders to keep items organized in a knapsack
  • Before the first day of school, organize supplies, clothes and other items to ensure a smooth morning

 

Stay Informed

  • Engage your child on an ongoing basis to learn about their progress
  • Understand the important dates throughout the year:
    • Report cards, parent-teacher interviews, course selection, important assignments and tests, and exams
  • Get to know your child’s teacher(s) and continue stay in touch with them throughout the year

 

Good luck with the start of school and if we can be of any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Posted in: Parent Education Resources

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