For teens, the autumn or September term brings a whole load of new challenges. Starting a new year group, new subjects, and maybe even a new school – not to mention learning after 6 weeks of chillaxing – can be a shock to the system. With a bit of help and support from you, they can get back into their school routine like a duck to water.
To make things a bit easier, we have put together some handy advice to help you help them get emotionally, academically, and practically ready for the new school year. Let’s dive in!
- How to prepare them emotionally
- How to prepare them academically
- How to prepare them practically
- How to prepare them physically
1. How to prepare them emotionally
The new school year can be a daunting experience in a normal year. And after all the school closures, exam cancellations, and changes all around with the pandemic, it’s no surprise if your teen feels more anxious about school than usual.
One way to make the return to school less of a jolt is to have an ongoing conversation about it with them at home. Helping them imagine going back, talking about the subjects they’re taking and the teachers they’ve got this year can all make the first couple of weeks back less daunting. Similarly, walking the route to school, getting them into the routine of getting up early and going to bed at a good time, or trying on their uniform can all begin to get them into the school mindset.
The relationships your teen makes at school can be just as important as their school work (to them at least) and helping them manage these can help them stay happy and able to give their schoolwork the time it needs to. If your teen hasn’t seen a few of their friends for a while, getting them to reconnect with them before school starts can help make returning back to their friend groups less unfamiliar.
As well as this, having open conversations with them and encouraging them to uncover any anxious feelings can be really helpful too. Particularly around the pandemic, explaining to them that loads of other teens will share similar feelings and that they’re all in the same boat can work to reassure them too.
2. How to prepare them academically
After on-off homeschool over two academic years, lots of teens have learning gaps in some subjects. The key thing to remember here is that this is the case for everyone, so your teen shouldn’t feel panicked that they’ve got a few problem areas in their subjects. As they get into gear for the new term though, finding out where their learning gaps are – and getting them filled in – will be key to helping them move onwards and upwards in their education.
At the start of term, your teen’s teachers will be focused on getting them caught up and on track. For some dedicated 1-1 academic help to support this, our online tutors can offer teens the curriculum knowledge and subject expertise they need to put learning gaps behind them. Because they’re all students and recent grads from unis, they double as mentors, offering much-needed confidence-boosting and reassurance at this challenging time.
Some subjects such as English might have reading lists, and it’s a good idea to encourage your child to start reading these texts so that they become familiar with them and better prepared to study them in more detail when they get to school. For other subjects, reading about them broadly is a great way to get your teen to get excited about the topic and to fuel their interest in it early on. For an even more relaxed way to take in subject knowledge, watching relevant films and TV shows that reflect their modules can be a fun and relaxed way to get thinking about the topics.
3. How to prepare them practically
By helping your teen to buy any resources they require for the new school year such as textbooks and new stationery, they will feel more prepared to go back to the classroom.
If your teen isn’t happy with the results they got in the summer, direct them to reach out to their relevant teachers about resits, help with their school applications, and encourage them to speak to a career advisor. If they’d like to change subjects, make sure they try to do this as early as possible so that they don’t miss out on teaching in their new subject.
Before the term starts, if they don’t have one already, making sure your teen has a quiet study space in the house will make a bit different to their studies through the year. Each new school year demands them to be more independent and take a lot more in, so they’ll need this space to be able to get their head down and crack on with it.
To support their independent learning, even more, making a bookmarked list of online resources means if they get stuck on a topic, they’ll know where to turn to find the answer themselves. BBC Bitesize is a great site as it features resources on relevant topics from the current school curriculum across a range of subjects.
4. How to prepare them physically
As well their studies and wellbeing, it’s great to get your teen to look after their physical wellbeing too. This can put them in a better mood, and make them more physically ready for the demands of the school routine.
If they haven’t already, getting up and about each day is a great place to start. Encouraging them to do some sort of movement or take part in a sport that they enjoy – depending on what they enjoy – can up their fitness just in time to feel strong for the demands of the new term.
As well as reassuring them that everything will be OK, make sure to look after yourself too, and do the things you enjoy so that you can be the best version of yourself for your child. Good luck to all the students returning, and here’s to a great new term!
Remember, you don’t have to go it alone! If you’d like to find a tutor to support your teen at the start of the new term, book a call or 08177772980 or 08145129758 or chat on click https://wa.me/message/76YBC6NAGGIQF1 to get matched with one of our Tutor Experts, who will help you find the perfect match with a well vetted tutor in less than 30 seconds.