Starting school is both an exciting time and a time where both parents and children may feel nervous or anxious, mainly about the unknown (what will this year hold?). Luckily, there are some helpful tips that may help you and your child settle into the new school year.
1. Develop good morning routines
Practice the start to the morning that would be ideal for you. Children respond really well to routine, so establishing what they WILL do, and when, will help them to know how they can help and how to please you. Giving your child small jobs that they can do, and know when to do, each morning is a great way to start the day. Also, practicing the route you will walk/ride/drive/public transport to school will help your child to know what to expect each day.
2. Help your child to feel confident in their ability to make new friends
Settling into a new class can be daunting. Children who succeed in being confident get off to a great start. Try to encourage children to use some of the skills they’ve developed from their martial arts classes (hello my name is, what’s your name?). This will allow your child to make new friends quickly. Try to encourage your child to make a new friend each day for the first couple of weeks.
3. Settling into after-school activities
Doing sport, especially in a routine, will help children to develop more energy, strength and help them in the transition to school. Studies have shown that kids who exercise 60 minutes per day have better focus, more energy throughout the day, and learn better at school. To help your child have that little energy boost while settling into after-school activities, try packing them an after-school ‘crunch and sip’ box with some fruit and water to give them that energy lift!
4. Dealing with the “I’m too tired”
This is common to hear, and your school will most likely have told you to expect to hear this from your child. School is not optional when you are tired, and children know that they are expected to go. Going to your sports sessions should be approached the same way, and the best part is, afterwards your child will be more energetic and do better at school the next day! If your child does complain of being “too tired”, talk to your teacher about tips that can help overcome these obstacles.
5. Reward appropriately
Do children get rewarded for going to school? Probably not. Martial Arts classes are so much more than running and kicking, and should be approached as a fun lesson time – come in and get strong, but learn the new lessons that are taught as well. Parents will find that the ‘extras; that are taught to their children are there to help your child get the most out of, not only martial arts, but also school, music and other programs. If you want to give your child something extra for doing a great job, that’s fine, but don’t let it become part of the sporting routine. Doing sport is a reward all in itself!
The more kids do an activity, the more they enjoy it! Participating in extra-curricular sports is a great way to develop friendships further. Try inviting your child’s new friends to come to your martial arts classes. Not only will they love it, but it will help your child to strengthen the new friendships they’ve made, as well as show their new friends how strong they are and what cool moves they know. Don’t mess with them – they’re awesome! For more handy/helpful hints for settling into the new school year, have a chat to your martial arts teacher – they are there to help.