In association with ASDA
Cast your mind back to when you were 11. If you’re able to remember how you felt back then (and congratulations if you have the memory skills to do such a thing!), you’ll know how it felt in the run up to secondary school. You’ll remember the nerves and the anticipation as you made your way through primary school, only to become one of the youngest kids in the school again. No wonder some kids get incredibly worked up about the whole process, especially if they’re going to a different school than some of their best friends.
However, easing the transition from primary to secondary school is possible and, as their parent, you can be a key element in the process.
Put yourself in their shoes
As mentioned earlier, cast your mind back to when you were in their shoes. Secondary school can be daunting for many reasons – the bigger kids, the subjects, the size of the school, the new people – its understandable that they’re feeling a little apprehension, and you will be able to be more supportive if you can emotionally relate to them.
Treat them to some new uniform
Grab the uniform checklist from the school and treat them to everything they could need. Let them pick items that they’ll feel confident and comfortable in; take them shopping with you for trousers and school skirts from George at ASDA and allow them to choose to shoes that they love. Secondary school is a great time to show off some individuality, right down to the backpack, folders and stationery that they choose. Let them go wild…within reason.
Listen to them
Don’t ignore their worries and concerns, and don’t shrug them off either. Listen to them and try your best to resolve their issues. Emphasise that everyone will be in a similar situation – it’s not just them that will have to face all those new people and make new friends. Everyone will be doing the same thing.
Set a routine for homework
It may not be the most fun thing that they can do when they get home from school, but the sooner it gets done, the more of the weekend they can enjoy. Encourage good homework habits early on so that they know what to expect as revision and projects approach.
It can help to be attentive and to listen to them once they’re at school, too. Make time each day to listen to them, and show an interest in what they’re doing at school. Let them know that they’re not alone and that you will help them as and when they need it. Perhaps you could proofread essays and homework, give them a hand with taxing projects or help them to revise when the exam period draws near. A supportive home life will help to keep them in the right frame of mind throughout their time at school.
Secondary school can be daunting for youngsters (and you!) but if you provide plenty of support and instil confidence into your kids in the run up to September, the move should be a smooth one.