Back-to-School In Malta: A Must-Read Open Letter To Parents And Guardians
by Tiziana Micallef
It's that time of the year again – and no, it's not Christmas! It's back-to-school season, with all the moments of anticipation, hectic days of adjusting to new routines and mixed feelings for both parents and kids. Every academic year brings about new beginnings and new possibilities for every parent and child to conquer and make the scholastic year better than the previous one.
So, as a follow-up to our back-to-school survival kit, we've penned down some simple yet important reminders in a short letter addressed to you, dear parents and guardians. Read and re-read it before school doors open and let the back-to-school experience be free from anxiety and full of excitement.
Dear Parents / Guardians,
September is in full swing, meaning the start of school is only a few days away. It also means that the reality of back-to-school has hit together with a mix of emotions about what's to come. It's alright if you are feeling anxious, unprepared and overwhelmed with the never-ending schedule you have to keep up with to fit your kid's school routine back into your life. It's okay if you have a teenager who isn't looking forward to the start of school or if your little ones are already fearing separation anxiety as if back-to-school is a one-way ticket to somewhere nobody knows!
Be A Guide
Every new scholastic year is a significant change for every member of the household – that's why it's crucial to keep your cool and go with the flow. The lighter you take things during these last few days before the start of school, the easier it will be for your kids to follow and adapt to a new scholastic year. If they're transitioning from childcare to kindergarten your little ones won't only be in a new environment but will need to trust new faces and follow new rules. So, explaining this new experience through play could help them visualise and increase their curiosity about the new school. If you're parents to a not-so-enthusiastic teenager, don't increase pressure on them. The best thing you could do is to look out for their needs and stick to being their moral compass so that you won't end up suffering a mental breakdown.
Create A Routine
Although you'd think that a routine might be mainly for younger students, keeping older students on a schedule could equally be of great help for your back-to-school experience in Malta. After an entire summer of waking up late, longer nights out and flexible hours of watching TV or playing on the tablet, it's good to set a schedule. This helps all the family with gearing up for the school year routine, including traffic, yes! Once school starts bedtime should be earlier, as morning wake-up calls will also be earlier. So, it's important that your kid's body clock starts readjusting to the school routine slowly and instil in them the importance of a good breakfast unless they will be taking it at school. Sticking to a daily morning routine ahead of school will avoid (or at least reduce) daily morning battles with your kids to get them out of bed.
Prepare Stationery Essentials
Moving on to school stationery, this is perhaps the one thing that excites kids ahead of the school year – and it's a nice thing. The colourful pens, markers, themed notepads, attractive lunch boxes, backpacks, pencil cases and whatnot stationers have – back-to-school is simply fun because of the stationery supplies students get to have. But, don't get carried away too much. Rest assured that, looking back, kids won't remember the brand-new backpack you bought for them or those fancy stationery items that most probably won't make it to the end of the scholastic year. So, seek to stick to the essentials your kid requires and once school starts purchase according to what the teacher requests. Just keeping this little tip in mind could already lower the back-to-school stress levels for the whole family, and you'll save money too. Which links to the next tip to keep in mind – encourage independence!
Instead of taking a whole load of back-to-school preparations on you, involve the kids. Your kid can play an active part in preparing for the new scholastic year by choosing their school bag and the necessary stationery supplies themselves (without exceeding the set budget). See what they like and listen to their interests, because feeling involved could make them more excited about returning to school. Although this might not work with older kids in the house, let them participate in house chores even if they don't do them as 'perfectly' as you do, or let them cook you dinner if they are eager to impress. You might think this has nothing to do with back-to-school, but unknowingly you're helping them become more independent and confident – two crucial qualities for school.
Spread The Excitement
Show you're excited about the new scholastic year. Your kids indeed need the education, but they also need to build new relationships, make new friends and engage with a different environment that's not home. Make back-to-school a fun one for your kids as it's their chance to grow and have any questions or concerns sorted. Be there to help them prepare and if needs be, engage yourself with the school. Volunteering in your kid's school activities shows them that you care about their education as an active participant and not as an enforcer. You'll create a relaxed atmosphere at home and strengthen your relationship with the kids, as you'll have more things in common to talk about.
May you have a great scholastic year in Malta!
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