After the jolly season comes the inertia to prepare for school, as we usher in a new year. Congratulations parents, you have done well in bringing your child to a new level (academically)!
Ahhh… the school holidays have completely thrown out discipline, the kids may have seen more of their playmates than schoolmates, iPads than books! They probably remember the game levels they achieved better than the levels that they are going into in the next year! As we brace for another fulfilling year ahead, let us offer you 5 tips on how to get your kid back to shape and up to speed!
1. Review their performance for the past year
This is more of the homework that you as parents need to do before you know what or how to guide the kids. You can think about:
How was their performance the year before?
What were the areas that they did well and not so well?
What were the teachers’ comments about your child (if you have not attended the parent-teacher sessions, you should be feeling guilty now…)?
Was he weak in the algebra topics or lack creative writing skills?
If your child is weak in multiplication, you might want to start your child on the concept of multiplication by giving him one or two questions a day at the supermarket or after dinner. A mere 20 minutes of review work every day can make an important difference in how ready your child is for the next school year.
2. Prepare for the essentials
This is easy, a standard operating procedure that you go through every year as parents. The school would have provided a list of books and enrichment materials that you would need to prepare for the next academic year. Just in case you are lost on the optional items, especially on the assessment and enrichment materials, read our previous article on “5 Things to Look Out For in Assessment Books” for some help. Coupled with the compulsory items mentioned by the school, your battle gear is in shape!
Oh, and can we also remind you about your child’s “feel good” factor if you can arm him or her with good stationery for the battle?
3. Switch back to learning gear
Although it is just a two-month break, children adjust fast and would have been used to a different lifestyle already, waking up at 10am in the morning and playing the iPad till 12pm at night. They might be engaged in physical activities like chasing and running after each other (was trying to think of a name for the game but figured that this is just as simple as it sounds for the kids!) and are so hyperactive they can’t sit through dinner.
This is the time to switch back to learning gear. Have your child read something – anything – for at least 20 minutes a day. Go to the library, and let her choose books she is interested in reading. Keep the interest level high so your child can read for pleasure, and, at the same time, build reading stamina, vocabulary, and fluency for the year ahead.
4. Catch up on the Enrichment goal
It is no secret that kids have a big learning capacity. It should be a goal for parents to ensure that they are exposed to something different and check off a meaningful activity during the holidays. Afterall, the English teacher will start off with the classic topic of “Write about what you did for the holidays” and they should have something to write about right?
Warm your child up by letting him choose a topic about which he is interested in learning. Encourage him to research the topic online, in books, or perhaps take a field trip to learn more about it. Let the creativity juice flow by having him present what he’s learned to you, the family, or another audience in the form of a PowerPoint, with a poster, a model, or some other visual representation. Also have your child do some writing to express what he’s learned. This could be in the form of captions for a photo essay, or an actual essay with bibliography.
5. Tune the bio clock
This might seem the most trivial, yet it is the most important. It is always important to start the day on a good note, and this will happen if the bio clock is tuned back properly. Start your child back on the regular hours during term time. This will make it so much easier on the first day the school reopens for you!
And after all this, we would like to wish our dear parents and all children a very fulfilling 2015 as we march into the nation’s 50th birthday!