How to Prepare for a New School Year

19 June 2020

Whether or not your child went back to school in June, the pandemic this year has thrown a lot of us off-track when it comes to a ‘normal’ routine. Preparing for a new school term can be stressful enough, but even more so if your children haven’t been going to school since March.

With home-schooling, keeping your family entertained and potentially having to work at the same time, things may have been tough. It’s uncertain whether or not things will return to normal in the new school year; there may be a phased approach with social distance measures still in place. In any case you should have some back to school preparation done - read on for advice on how.

Include your children

Create a countdown to the new school term so you can start preparing your children for school. It’s also very important to keep them updated on what the current restrictions may be at that time. It’s likely that social distancing will be in place when the new academic year starts, so it’s vital that your children go to school expecting these changes.

It could also help to refresh their memory about any home-schooling you did before the holidays and give them an introduction into any new subjects they’ll be doing.

Do a back to school shop

One of the most exciting things about back to school preparation for kids can be buying a new uniform, stationery, and other school essentials. Make sure you set a day aside to do a back to school shop with your children, whether it’s online or in person.

Giving your children the chance to choose their essentials encourages them to be creative, provides new responsibilities and can increase their motivation to go back to school.

Exercise and go outdoors when possible

It’s important to encourage your family to exercise. Your children will be taking part in regular P.E. classes at school so it’s crucial that exercise is maintained at home. It’s also a great opportunity for you to get fitter too!

If you have outdoor space, utilise it! But you can still get fit without it. Joe Wicks has been streaming live P.E. lessons every morning that have been a hit with people of all ages. There are also plenty of free workouts you can access on YouTube that cater for children too.

There are plenty of other things to do at home that can keep your family busy and active throughout the time off. School will be a burst of activity, so, if your kids have mostly been on the sofa, they might have a harder time adjusting.

Utilise available resources

If you’d like to do some home-schooling to keep your children engaged with the curriculum before they go back, there are plenty of resources. BBC Bitesize and MyMaths are famous sources of educational content and include questions on each subject. Workbooks can also help.

If you can’t get these from school, there are plenty of free and cheap ones available to download. Second-hand books can also be an option. Again, YouTube is also a great platform, and has lots of educational videos that are child friendly.

Adjust your routine

Your children may have settled into the home routine if they’ve been off school for a while. They will need reminding of the regular routine and help preparing for school.

It’s likely that due to being off school because of the pandemic and the summer holidays, your routine is different than it would be during normal term time. If possible, start to alter your routine a couple of weeks before the new academic year is due to begin. This could be an earlier bedtime, an earlier start time, regular mealtimes, and planned activities for part of the day.

Don’t be too hard on yourself

These are uncertain times for everybody, and we’d be lying if we said it was easy. Some of you are juggling home school and work on top of other pressures and anxieties. It’s ok if things don’t always go to plan every day.

Try your best to get your family ready for the new school year but take this advice as a guide and realise it’s ok if things don’t go to plan completely. Keeping a healthy mind and taking care of yourself and your family is essential – that’s the most important thing to remember.

The second edition of The Army Cadet’s digital magazine has even more ideas on how to stay lively in lockdown – head to page 17 and get stuck in. It also includes information on hypothermia, how to eat healthily on a budget and the latest cadet news.