When the services of London tutors are sought to assist with a child’s primary education, parents often ask what they can do to help smooth the transition from primary to secondary. This is, of course, perhaps the single biggest step any youngster will ever take in their education, suddenly finding themselves thrown into enormous, complicated and uniquely challenging environments.
The simple fact of the matter is that to expect any child to move to secondary school without a fair amount of apprehension and fear is unrealistic. Nevertheless, there are plenty of things the average parent can do to help ensure things are as painless and smooth as possible – before, during and after the big move.
So for those who are already anticipating what could prove to be a tricky transition next school year, here is a quick overview of just a few tips from the experts guaranteed to help when the time comes:
Table of Contents
1 – Pay a Visit
First of all, even if the child has requested it personally and appears to have no real interest in doing so, it is nonetheless important that you go along to their new school and check it out. It often tends to be a lack of familiarity that really packs a punch when it comes to kids struggling to come to terms with their new surroundings and their new lives in general. And while it’s not as if you’ll be able to spend a great deal of time soaking things up and getting used to the place, it at least means that when they do finally move there, it won’t be the first time they’ve lay eyes on it.
2 – Build Confidence
While kids with high levels of confidence will almost always manage the transition with relative ease, those of a shy and retiring nature tend to find it considerably more difficult. This is precisely why it is a good idea in the run-up to the big move to do all you possibly can to continually build your child’s confidence and self-esteem. Praise them, reward them and help them to recognise and appreciate their own achievements, in order to benefit from a good sense of confidence when taking this pivotally important step.
3 – Listen
Try not to fall into the trap of simply assuming that you understand all of your kids’ fears and reasons for apprehension – they may in fact be considerably different than your own preconceptions. Some will be scared of the idea of moving to a new building, others will fear their new teachers, others are made nervous by the prospect of the sports they may have to take part in and so on and so forth. There are countless reasons why different kids become nervous and apprehensive about the move to secondary school, so make the effort to listen as intently as possible.
4 – Lead by Example
You will of course need to demonstrate a great deal of empathy and sympathy for any child struggling to come to terms with such an enormous change. However, it is only by seeing exactly how positive and excited you yourself are about the whole transition that they will be subconsciously inspired, influenced and reassured by your positivity. Casting off their fears and concerns is never a good idea, but at the same time it’s crucial to lead by example – make them see and contemplate all the positives, rather than dwelling on the negatives.
5 – Test Their New Route
Assuming that the child in question will be taking a new route when travelling to and from their new school, it can be helpful to practice the route a couple of times with them. Whether they’ll be getting the bus, going by bike or walking, it’s the little things like these journeys that can be extremely intimidating and disconcerting in their own right. So if as a parent, you practice the route a few times with them beforehand, things won’t be nearly as overwhelming when the time comes.
6 – Stock Them Up Well
Last but not least, one of very best ways of taking kids’ minds off things like moving to secondary school and indeed going back to school at the beginning of any term is by kitting them out with all manner of essential bits and pieces. Even kids that aren’t particularly in love with the idea of school in general simply cannot resist a good shopping spree for pens, pencils, bags, folders and so on – all of which they’ll be itching to both use and show off. Of course the novelty tends to wear off pretty quickly, but by the time it does, chances are the worst will be over!