It’s been a long, lovely summer and children are back to school this month. Perhaps you even have a new starter? Either way, there are some easy things you can do at home to help your little ones feel prepared and confident as they walk through the door to greet both new and familiar faces and spaces. Here are our top tips:
- Encourage independence: allow children to realise their capability by including them in everyday tasks – dressing themselves, setting the table, preparing food, helping with the shopping etc. If they’d like an opportunity to try, let them! Children gain a sense of empowerment in knowing what they can achieve by their own efforts.
- Freedom to make mistakes: allowing children to discover things through their own hands-on experience – to try, perhaps get it wrong and then adjust their approach until they have worked out the best answer – is how they learn and grow in confidence.
- Slow down: children need time to move, learn, play, think and explore. If we’re always in a rush or working to a rigid plan, there is little opportunity for curiosity. Allow children the time to complete tasks and absorb what is going on around them.
- Provide a sense of order: children thrive in an organised environment, where everything has a place (encourage children to tidy up before they move on to a new activity). Routines are important as children feel comfortable if they know what to expect.
- Acknowledge feelings: if you sense that your little one is feeling nervous about returning to or starting school, allow them to own those emotions rather than trying to fix them or explain them away. Supporting children through listening will help them process their thoughts and emotions, which may not eliminate the nerves (in this case) but rather give them the confidence to push through.
A child-centred home and learning environment fosters rigorous, self-motivated growth for children.