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The new school year of 2014 is quickly approaching and it seems as though the Christmas holidays have come and gone in a flash. Already we are seeing ads promoting services to get school supplies all ready and in order. However, the getting together of school textbooks, pencils and calculators is only a small part of the school preparation strategy.

For some kids the start of the new school year means big changes. It may be the start of proper school from Prep or Kindergarten, High School or even Tertiary education. No matter what year or level of education your child is commencing in 2014 it is pivotal that you prepare them both physically and mentally.

1. Discuss The Change

Sit down with your child and find out how they are feeling about the new school year. For the younger ones it may be a feeling of unease from factors such as:

  • New classmates
  • A brand new classroom teacher
  • Working in a new and foreign part of the school
  • A brand new school altogether

Older children can have similar sorts of hang-ups about a new school year including:

  • Multiple new classroom teachers
  • Having to change class rooms and teachers for each subject
  • New classmates
  • More pressure with academic success

2. Find Early Solutions

Gauging their response to these potential issues will help you both to discuss any solutions right off the bat. If your child knows you are aware of their anxiety they know they have your support from the beginning. There are a few ways you can ease the pressure and reduce their anxiousness:

  • Assure them that change can mean positivity
  • Create some strategies to stay organised with a fridge planner and one for their bedroom
  • Ask if meeting their teacher will help (for younger ones, this step is very important)
  • Have a look online for teaching curriculum notes to position your child with a head start for new subjects they might be taking this year

3. Always Be Prepared

Before the havoc of school days, work days and routine household chores get in the way sit down with your child and devise a support plan. Some children prefer their parents to let them organise themselves while others cherish the ability to call on you whenever they need it. It is important that you let them dictate what suits them. If you let them know you are willing and able to help them should they need it you can instil within them a confidence to problem solve first before coming to you when they really need it. From that point you should decide what the biggest supportive steps should be:

  • Intervention from the classroom teacher
  • Additional support from you
  • Outside support from friends or family
  • Professional support from a tutoring service

If you and your child discuss the support process early you will both be aware and supportive of what will happen if problems arise. Including your child in the decision also makes them feel more responsible for their learning, which is an essential part of success at school.