These past months in Covid-19 times have been rough for all, including teachers. Some families are still hurting on the way back from lockdown, particularly in Victoria. Don’t forget teachers are human and have been doing it tough too! Let’s be kind to them and here’s why.
The children are out of home and back at school! It’s wonderful!
Unfortunately it doesn’t mean that home is the same as it was pre-Covid! If the calm routine of your household has changed, you certainly won’t be the only one.
Question is how much should you tell the school? Help put the puzzle together. It’s time to confide in the teacher.
During a year at school, friendships change, children change, they develop new interests and passions. Old friendships may wane and new relationships flourish.
This year children have grown, developed and blossomed in isolation. They have found new interests as you, as parents, have looked for activities to replace sport, afterschool clubs and even long awaited holidays.
Children have taken up cooking, gardening, drawing and writing. Many have gained four legged family members. Puppies and kittens have provided children with entertainment, distraction, love and responsibilities. These interests, while supporting children to cope during their time in lockdown, have helped them to grow and expand their view of the world.
Shared experiences and interests are key for friendships. For many children those collective experiences may not have been possible while doing remote learning. Many children have not been able to see their friends. As your child returns to school, their friendships may have taken a hit.
For most children they will returned to their close friends and relish being able to play together again. Some children may have found someone amongst their peer group who shares the same interest. This has strengthened their bond. Others have formed new friendships with school peers online because of shared hobbies and interest.
Upon returning to school some children will reconnect with old friends, others will initially slot back into old friendships only to find in a few weeks that they have different interests. Other children have developed new skills independently or within their family group. This can mean that a child may not be able to find a peer to share this passion.
What can you do?
Schools will support children as they return to onsite learning. This will not be to restricted academic progress. School staff will keenly observe friendships and social interactions.
As a parent, be curious, find out who your child is making connection with, be aware that friendships may have changed. It is not a negative result; your child has grown, changed. This is something to celebrate.
Your child may take some time to adjust to the change in their friendships. That is okay. Remember what you probably told your child when they started at a new school or were placed in a class without their “best friend”. “It’s going to be great. You can lots of make new friends.”
As a parent you can say that but you also can be holding your breath, hoping it all works out well. Most of the time that is exactly what happens. There can be a period of adjustment. Hopefully, the excitement of being back at school will keep your child buoyant.
Watch, wait and be there for your child as they get back into the flow of school. Contact your child’s teacher if you have concerns.
It is so exciting that Primary Schools in Melbourne are reopening after nearly two terms of remote, online learning. There will be celebrations and sighs of relief from many parents, students and teachers.
It will be wonderful to be back to “normal”, all will be better!
For a large number of children it will be terrific to be with friends and to be in their classroom doing lessons. Online lessons were great but nothing beats throwing a ball with friends in a PE lesson, using paints in Art, and borrowing real books from the library; the list is endless.
For some children and families this may not be the case.
It is important to be curious as your child begins the process of restarting at school.
How are they feeling?
How are they behaving?
How does your child feel generally on that first day of school, or starting at a new school? These emotions may be heightened as children return to onsite learning. The expectation of returning to school may not match up to the reality.
For some children the school environment poses them concerns. Friendship, learning, socializing may be points of issue. Added to this for many children there may be concerns about their health. For many months, they have seen and heard that being with others could make them sick.
Normalizing all these emotions and thoughts is vital. Talking about these feelings may help your child to manage this transition. It may be an essential part of this process. It is okay for a child to be excited, to be worried, to be nervous, and to have waves of all of these emotions.
You child may like to draw pictures, write thoughts or stories to help them navigate this space. Giving them the freedom to express themselves may make the transition smoother.
Be kind to yourself as well. Remember that feeling you had when taking your child to their first day of school, sending them to a new school or their first day of high school. Those feelings of will my child be okay; will they fit in, will they be safe, will they cope with the learning? These emotions maybe at the forefront of your mind as you take your child to school. As with your child, all the reactions, questions and concerns you have are okay.
Use your support network to talk about your feelings, keep in contact with your child’s teacher and the school. Remember you are not alone; there is no right way to react. This is a new experience for everyone. Look after yourself and your child.
Some parents simply don’t have the time to be involved in school committees and that’s perfectly understandable. If it can’t be done, it can’t be done. But if time permits, being a committee member at your child’s school has many benefits for you as a parent as well as for your child.
Although few children will come out and say it (this would be so un-cool!), most are secretly proud of the fact that mum or dad are on a school committee. Immediately parents have shown that they see school as important. [Read more…]
Children can be very sensitive to how adults, particularly teachers, speak and interact with them. Very sensitive children will see their own worth in how others treat them, even if it just their perception!
Teachers have a particularly powerful role in younger children’s lives and often what the teacher has said will trump what a parent might say! Much to a parent’s annoyance understandably!
When a child says that their teacher doesn’t like them, then the alarm bells and sense of real annoyance can arise in parents. [Read more…]
Parents play a pivotal role in developing young children’s oral language.
By pre-school, hours and hours of chat will have been exchanged between a child and their parents. These natural and joyful experiences will underpin the development their child’s oral language; their knowledge of words; ability to communicate their needs; and lay the foundation for successful literacy learning.
It’s a memorable experience dealing with the terrible twos when the child is developing strong desires for independence and yet still growing their ability to verbally express their needs. Few parents escape this frustrating period. Then suddenly the toddler has moved on – hopefully!
It’s universally acknowledged that a child’s well developed oral language is an essential basis on which to develop early literacy skills – both reading and writing. You will have found this mentioned many times in our articles in Acing School.
There are many obvious and not so obvious ways for parent to enhance their pre-schooler’s oral language. Let’s look at some. [Read more…]
It is heartbreaking when your child tells you that their friends do not like them. However you know your child is extremely sensitive to rejection or any signs of disapproval. You can see that they are hurting and crying out for help. What can you do. [Read more…]
Being aware of a wide range of careers can really change children’s attitude to school and help them be so much more positive about school. When children realise that exciting careers can be within their reach if they do their best at school, working harder at school seems more attractive.
Thinking about employment skills for primary children seems to be jumping the gun but the foundation of employment skills starts from day one. Parents can help children develop the skills, qualities and attitudes that will help them thrive in tomorrow’s world of work.
The transition to secondary school is a significant milestone for every adolescent and a successful transition is incredibly important. Children who can fairly quickly find their feet and stand tall in the first few months at secondary school are happier and generally more successful academically. And, equally as important, they are so much easier to live with!
One of the most heartbreaking experiences, as parent, you can have with regards to your child’s schooling is when your child comes home and sadly looks up at you and says:
“I didn’t have anyone to play with today.”
The first thing to do is listen, it is the hardest thing to do when very part of you wants to jump in and ‘fix” it. But just listen, your child will tell you the details when they are ready. [Read more…]
Fitting in with other children and friendship groups is one of most important aspects of supporting children’s wellbeing at primary school.
But some children have more hurdles to jump over than most.
The following question was posed recently from a concerned mum.
“We want our son to fit in and make friends when he starts prep next year. He is a happy, confident child but our concern is that he has a large birth mark on his face. Lucas accepts this completely but should we warn him that some children at school might be mean to him? We are concerned that he won’t be ready to handle teasing.” [Read more…]
Parents worry about agreeing to their children going on camp – letting them out of their sight and putting trust in the teachers.
But do trust that the teachers really care and the children benefit and grow in independence, resilience and confidence.
Being away from home (even under the watchful eye of the teachers) can be a real rite of passage for the primary student.
So please let them go! [Read more…]
Read to your child
Read with your child
Listen to your child read [Read more…]
The teacher feels your child is not thriving at preschool or school.
When children start preschool it can be the time when certain health issues become evident. It is not a time to panic but to work through some basic checklists to see if you can identify what might be going on. [Read more…]
“I didn’t have anyone to play with today.”
As a parent what do you do
The first thing to do is listen, it is the hardest thing to do when very part of you wants to jump in and ‘fix” it. But just listen, your child will tell you the details when they are ready.
Children are growing up in a highspeed world. There is a need for them to slow down but how? This is the question been asked by parents and educators alike.
Mindfulness is the latest catch cry but does it really work for children.
It’s human nature to want to fit in and be liked by the people around us.
Right from the first day at school, children want – and need – to fit in. As a parent, you will already know if your child stands out from the crowd in a way that unfortunately, may gain a negative reaction from some peers.
Are you worried?
Homework should not rule a home. It should not be a constant worry and overshadow the entire family. If it does cause tears, fights and family friction, then something needs to change.
Some parents love homework and will demand even more from the teacher, while others believe their child should be free to play at the end of the day. I suggest both are correct!
Getting the balance right is the trick!
So if homework is a problem, what can you do?