Now they are going to secondary school. Today, meeting the exciting challenge of moving up from primary to secondary school.
First the challenges. The secondary school is probably bigger than last year’s primary, with a different culture and philosophy.
If it is further away, getting to school and back home could mean different transport options. School uniform requirements – what to wear and when, might be an issue.
School timetables, different teachers for different classes, the books and materials needed for each class and moving from room to room will be new. Homework and knowing what to bring home, and what to leave at school, will need to be thought through.
This is all happening at a time when children feel the need to belong and be accepted by others. They are at different stages of physical maturity, often self-conscious and subject to mood swings. At the same time, they want to achieve and are idealistic, hoping to make the world a better place.
How do schools help? There are induction programs so students understand what the school expects of them and social support activities to help them settle in.
Schools don’t forget parents. They run information nights and parent-teacher interviews to keep in touch with families. They encourage parents to be part of school events and to join parent committees. Talk to your school if you are worried about anything.
What can you do? To help your son or daughter enjoy this new experience, be a good listener so your children know that you are interested in what is happening at school. Encourage them to ask questions if they don’t know or understand something.
Now they are at secondary school they feel older and want to be regarded in a different way so accept, or at least understand, the changes in their behaviour. Establish and maintain constant schedules at home to balance new responsibilities at school.
It is their school life so you cannot live it for them but it’s also an exciting and important time for you, so enjoy the experience.