moving-school

Should You Move Your Child to Another School?

Finding the best school for a child can be a stressful experience for the child and their parents. This can make some parents reluctant to ever move their child from the educational establishment they are at. Some parents have no choice to move their child, because of a new job or a new home.

Here we look at reasons why some children may have to move schools and whether it may be in your child’s best interests to find them a new one.

One key point to remember is that children can be very changeable. One day they are best friends with one child and the next day they have fallen out – never to speak again.

This is the nature of childhood and it is important to remember that children can make new friends. Moving them due to one falling out is never a good idea, unless in exceptional circumstances.

Bullying

Bullying happens in most, if not all schools – sometimes it is dealt with effectively and other times it goes unnoticed. If your child is one of those who does end up being picked on, ensure to contact the school. Many establishments have policies in place to try and tackle such issues and would prefer to be notified if a child is being bullied. If it isn’t sorted out and the bullying eradicated after a few months, it’s probably time to find a new school.

Grades

Parents sometimes move a child’s school because they feel that their child will get better grades somewhere else. Before any rash decisions are made, be sure to discuss this with the school. Not only can they offer suggestions as to how to bring a child’s grade up, it also saves any unnecessary trauma for the child.

Go back

If moving a child is unavoidable, be sure to limit the impact it will have on their life. Children make friends and moving them away from these can be stressful. Be sure to take your child back to visit old friends. It expands the friendship circle and helps keep a form of stability in a child’s life.

It’s also essential that you don’t end up in the same position again – moving schools regularly is a great interference to your child’s education. If you need to switch schools, do lots of research to make sure you pick the right school for your child, which will address the issues you are worried about.

The majority of the time these issues can be sorted and saves parents and children alike a lot of (sometimes unnecessary) stress.

secondary-schools

How Parents Can Help with the Transition from Primary to Secondary School

Attending a new school can be a very exciting time for a child. A chance to make new friends, learn new subjects and experience a whole new educational environment. However, it is worth recognising that some children may need extra support during the transition from primary to secondary school.

Taking the child to visit the new school, talking about how to make friends, assisting with homework and helping them get to grips with a varied schedule are all ways that parents can help guide their child into a successful transition period.

Visiting the school

One of the easiest ways to help ease a child’s possible anxiety about a new school is by taking them to visit it before they begin. In fact, it’s better to visit a few local secondary schools and then decide together which ones to apply to attend. Before doing this it’s also a good idea to check out some independent reviews of the school, to make sure it will provide the right education and extra-curricular challenges for your child.

Whether a child mentions being anxious or not, parents should consider travelling to see the new grounds and local area where their child will be spending the next five years of their lives.

If a visit isn’t possible, take the time to drive past or travel past the school gate. Not only does it help show a child the way to the school before summer ends, it also makes the experience of passing through the gates on the first day less intimidating.

Making friends

In secondary school the number of children compared to a primary school increases drastically. This can make the idea of making friends a scary prospect for many children – especially those who may have gone through primary without meeting new students or friends.

In order to help with this it is important for parents to take charge. Enrol a child on a summer school, forcing them to meet new children. Parents could also role play with their child, starting conversation and seeing how they would act when meeting potential new friends in class. By doing this a child is more likely to feel confident when meeting new friends at secondary school.

The varied schedule

Secondary school can be a shock for many children. In primary school there is a lot of structure. The same thing is done on the same day consistently. In contrast secondary schools’ varied schedule means that children are required to change classes and teachers as regularly as every 45 minutes – 1 hour.

In order to help a child get used to this, parents should make sure that their little one frequently changes activities to help them get used to the hectic secondary school schedule.

There is a variety of ways how parents can help their child with the transition to secondary school. The best thing to do is keep an eye on your child and support them as best you can. It may take a while for them to settle in at secondary school, but as long as they have someone to talk to if they have any problems they should be fine with the transition.

tips-for-de-restressing-students

Tips for De-stressing Students During Exam Time

Stress and anxiety aren’t just issues faced by the adult population. In fact, the latest statistics released by the Office of National Statistics have revealed that one in ten children now suffer from mental health problems. Issues such as stress, anxiety and depression can pop up at any time, however they’re particular prevalent during exam periods when students feel pressure to perform. So what can you do to help your kids make it through exam time without being crushed by stress? Read on for some tried and tested stress-busting tips.

Help them draw up study schedules
When studying for a handful of different exams it can be difficult to know where to start. Helping your child draw up an exam study timetable will make the task seem much easier and more manageable.

Eat healthy
Fuelling kids with healthy, nutritious food plays an integral role in helping them de-stress and perform at their best. They may crave sweet, processed junk but the reality is that sugar highs are seriously counterproductive when it comes to concentration. Nourishing your little ones with fresh fruit and vegetables, protein rich meats and healthy carbs will fill them with energy and keep their minds active and alert. Breakfast is also a must to kick-start the day!

Be supportive
Simply letting your child know that you’re there for them is one of the easiest and most effective ways of helping them deal with pre-exam stress. Sometimes a cup of tea, a heart to heart and a good laugh is all it takes to help them unwind and get back on track. You can also encourage them to write down their concerns, then actively address each issue on by one.

Encourage them to take up a hobby
It’s important to commit to study however it shouldn’t be all consuming. Encouraging children to enjoy other activities during exam periods is an important part of helping them maintain a healthy school/life balance. Exercise and sports are particularly helpful as they let kids burn off steam and also release feel good endorphins.

Teach and practice relaxation techniques
If your child is really feeling the pressure it’s often a good idea to teach them relaxation techniques, or enrol them in a class. Practices include deep breathing, visualisation and other mental tasks that will help calm the mind.

By adopting these stress-busting tips you’ll be able to help your kids tackle exam time, head on.

student-exchange

Student exchanges: The pros and cons

Exchange programmes are a fantastic way for students to immerse themselves in new cultures, make new friends and generally gain invaluable life experience. However some parents are wary of sending their youngsters away to a new home where they can’t keep a watchful eye on them around the clock. To help you decide whether or not a student exchange programme is right for your child we’ve put together a list of the key pros and cons.

Pros

  • Teaches independence – When children are plucked out of their comfort zones and thrown into a brand new environment they’re forced to learn the art of independence. While student exchange programmes don’t leave children to fend for themselves they do teach kids to be proactive, conscientious and autonomous.
  • Fosters new friendships – Student exchange programmes are a fantastic way for kids to form new friendships with fellow pupils who may live on the other side of the country, or even the other side of the world.
  • Allows children to experience a new culture – Whether you’re sending your child to a different county or an entirely different country, student exchange programmes are a wonderful way for them to experience a new culture. They’ll return with an enriched understanding of how other people live, and will also learn how to respect and communicate with people who may not share the same lifestyle as themselves.

Cons

  • Can be distracting – Parents are often concerned that sending kids away on student exchange programmes will distract them from their schooling. This isn’t an unjust anxiety as the upheaval from home, family and friends can often throw students off when it comes to their studies.
  • Is often expensive – While some student exchange programmes are more or less free, others can be very expensive. If there are airfares and student board involved costs can quickly skyrocket.
  • Children may lack support – Many parents worry that when living away from home children won’t receive the support and assistance that they need, be it educational or emotional.

At the end of the day most students return from exchange programmes with nothing but positive experiences. The key is to take the time to choose a suitable school, secure a supportive host family and ensure that your child is 100% ready to take on the responsibility of living away from home. Thinking about timing is also an important part of ensuring that your child enjoys a positive experience. Programmes range in length and can be anything from a few weeks to several months or even a full year for older students.

kids-supermarket

Hometime Tips for Success at School

School is obviously where children go to learn, to develop and to get their precious education. But learning shouldn’t stop at the school gates – parents can get involved too! There are a multitude of ways in which parents can enhance and supplement their child’s educational experience and help them tap into their potential. Check out our top hometime tips for school success:

Involve games as much as possible

When children get home, many think it’s automatically playtime – so why not turn learning into a game? The ‘gameification’ of learning can actually help improve engagement within children, and it can be really useful in helping youngsters improve. Instead of forcing children to work through textbooks or tests, get them to play Scrabble or Hangman instead. Download a brain-training app to your smartphone and let your children play on it, or get them involved in basic memory games while they help you cook the dinner or shop at the supermarket.

Encourage relaxation

Many children don’t have that instinct which tells them they need to relax – quite a number of them will just keep going until they burn out! To help with their education overall, parents can help teach their children how to shut down and chill out. Have an hour before bed without any TV or digital communications – no smartphones or tablet games. Enroll your kids in a youngster’s yoga class, or go through some breathing exercise that they can do every night.

Let them follow their passion

A rounded and balanced education is important – but if your child shows clear talent in one area, be it science, humanities or music, allow them the space and the time to pursue that passion. It’s not possible to be good at everything, so encourage your child to devote time and effort to the things they are good at.

Teach them about failure

There are many great quotes about failure that you can use to motivate your child. Winston Churchill famously said, “Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” As they progress through their educational journey, your child will experience failure in some capacity – whether they don’t get the predicted grade on a test or whether they miss a deadline for an assignment. Use the opportunity to teach them that failure is an opportunity to progress and develop.