It’s Christmas, it’s December, you’re shattered, but your child, and therefore you, have survived the first term at school!
Take a moment to congratulate yourself and feel proud! You made it to school on time (well, mostly) and you probably showered most days! Most importantly your child should feel proud as they will have achieved so much in the last 12ish weeks.
If it’s their first term at school they will hopefully have got over the shock, made a few friends, learned the routines and become a dab hand at covering themselves in pen and paint each day. If they’re still struggling a bit with school life, then remember it’s still early days and such a lot for them to get their little heads around; give them time.
I’m a stay at home mum, previously a Primary school teacher, and it’s my first term on the other side of the classroom door. The biggest revelation? The worry! However, I definitely worry less than the other parents and it’s opened my eyes to what it’s like for parents who have no idea what happens when those doors are closed after school drop off in the morning!
The biggest topic of conversation has to be homework, and the stress for some parents is a shame. Whether it’s the Christmas, Easter or summer holidays, my biggest feeling is that the children need a rest. They’ve had 12 or so weeks of daily routines that they have to adhere to and now is the time to let them relax.
Enjoy the holidays, let them play with their toys, visit family and friends and generally appreciate not living to a timetable. Of course you as parents can enjoy most of these too (maybe add in a glass or two of wine)! There are also things you can do to make sure your child doesn’t completely switch off and is prepared when school comes around…
If you do nothing else continue reading with your child. If you’re lucky enough to have a child that loves to read, then carry on with school reading books and other appropriate materials in a formal way. If they are not so keen then get them reading all or parts of Christmas present labels, Christmas cards, signs in shops, words on TV or games. There are opportunities for informal reading literally everywhere.
You can do maths with your child without them even knowing it! Count everything: number of Christmas cards, Brussels sprouts on their plate, baubles on the tree, number of thank you cards they need to write! Spot shapes and patterns everywhere you go and add up the prices of shopping items.
Don’t underestimate the value of being outside. There are endless learning opportunities in the great outdoors so don’t let the cold or wet weather put you off! Think of simple activities such as filling and pouring containers in a sandpit, throwing and catching a ball or a woodland walk looking for signs of nature.
Finally, of course your child’s sleep pattern is going to be massively disrupted over the school holidays; they will love the excitement of late nights and you will likely curse the early mornings – will they ever sleep in?! However, if you do nothing else to prepare them for their return to school, as you approach that first day back begin to get them back into a good sleep routine.
Late nights on the run up to school will affect them and they’ll struggle to concentrate if they’re even a little sleep deprived. Don’t underestimate what a difference a good night’s sleep can make – to you as much as to them!
Allison was selected as a BISS guest blogger after entering our October linky. For your chance to write for GoodtoKnow, check out our Because I Said So platform.