Assistant Head of Early Years
Summer is just around the corner. While many families are busily planning for all kinds of summer vacations and activities, some other parents have already started to wonder how to support the back-to-school transition before school resumes in September.
It is almost certain that the majority of children will struggle to various degrees in the first couple of weeks after a two-month summer vacation. Hence, we want to offer some tips to families to make the back-to-school journey as smooth as possible for our children.
Encourage independence throughout summer
At Huili Nursery, we take pride in promoting independence for all pupils. From our youngest children in EY1 to EY4, children at school are expected to complete tasks, take risks and accept the consequences. We strongly recommend that parents also set clear expectations at home to encourage independence in summer.
There are countless daily opportunities, such as tidying up toys, dressing and undressing, eating independently, taking care of a pet and more. As a result, children can gain a strong sense of accomplishment and confidence as they complete tasks and tackle challenges which, in return, will help develop a high level of wellbeing and involvement.
Resuming routines early
Understandably, summer schedules often look very different from the regular time for parents and children. We strongly recommend that you adjust your children to the routines that are as close to schools as possible when it's 2-3 weeks before September. Children do well with familiar routines; consistency offers a sense of security, making their transition back to school much easier.
(A sample of the summer timetable at home)
You can create a daily timetable with your child at home, following a similar rhythm of the day at school.
As back-to-school day is coming up, it is encouraged that you talk about school with your child at home. There are several fun activities to do together with children to get them excited about the new school year, for example:
Going through the new class list with your child, asking how many classmates / teachers they recognise
Creating a back-to-school calendar:
Young children benefit from concrete examples. Having a calendar with dates and your child's photo on it to show them when school starts can help them easily visualise and be mentally prepared for school
Making back-to-school books:
Encourage your child to draw or write (depending on the age and skills) about school. You can also browse last school year's photos to bring back some fond memories
Read stories about school
Reading stories about school to your child can naturally lead to topics that children might be thinking about already as September approaches, such as making new friends, coping with different emotions, separating from family members, taking on challenges and more. However, please be mindful that if a child expresses worries or anxiety about returning to school, it is important that you acknowledge and empathise with their feelings first before offering support and advice.
(Some book recommendations)
At Huili Nursery Hangzhou, school and families are close partners to ensure that all of our children can embark on this new journey with strong support, endless care and professional guidance.