In Singapore, it is common practice for parents to give their children a head start for the new academic year. After all, this eases the transition into a new year with more stress and advanced content like a new subject or difficult topics like algebra for students to learn.
But it needs to be done right, otherwise, it might cause your child to burn out earlier, and they might also feel even more intimidated by the new academic year. To do it right, here are some tips that you can follow!
Review the Previous Year
Before you can begin planning for the next academic year, you need to review and reflect on the previous year with your child. This helps you to set goals (see next point) for the next year and gives you a better idea of what you and your child need to work on.
Here are some things you should take note of:
1. Your child’s behaviour in the previous year
2. Your child’s ability to cope with the previous year
3. Areas of improvement (could be in academics, attitude, or development)
4. What goals your child had in the last year, and whether they reached it
It is important to set goals for your child before starting a new school year. This will give them a better direction on what to aim for by the end of the academic year. It also serves to encourage them to challenge themselves and develop their confidence.
Ensure that the goals you and your child set for them are clear and achievable. You can do this by following the SMART criteria. For example, your child’s goal could be getting an ‘A1’ in Maths or obtaining a leadership position in their Co-Curricular Activities.
Know What to Expect
The best way to prepare your child for a new year full of uncertainties and new territories is by knowing what to expect. It gives your child a better idea of the new year, making them less anxious.
You could look up information on the school’s website, join discussion threads like on Reddit or Quora, or look up articles where students and parents share their experiences. Here are some things you might want to look out for:
Create a Routine and Stick to It
Create a routine for the next year and get your child to start following it a few weeks prior to the new year. This helps them to adapt to the new semester better since they’ll be used to the routine by the time school starts.
Routines include a morning routine before school and a homework routine. This helps them to get into the mindset of going to school and preparing for it. To start your child on a homework routine, you can let them join head start programmes.
Join Head Start Programmes
Many tuition centres have head start programmes where students learn the following year’s
curriculum before school starts, so encourage your child to join them. This prepares them for their lessons for the new year and gets them warmed up to start studying.
Transitioning into a new academic year can be extremely stressful for your child because they’re stepping into a new phase of life.