How to help your child settle back to school
It looks like everyone will be back to school in September, albeit in some places part time, and local lockdowns permitting. We all are breathing a collective sigh of relief, but now we must face the challenge of making up for lost time and helping children to catch up quickly with their school work.
This will be most challenging for those going back to school and into Years 11 and 13 because they have missed a significant amount of GCSE and A-Level work. However, younger children will have fallen behind too.
So how can you help?
Remaining calm and positive will be extremely important. Try to be reassuring, because there is likely to be some anxiety, especially for those year 11s and 13s who may well feel they are facing a mountain to climb.
There may also be some resistance from children who didn’t much like school in the first place and who have now got used to being at home full time.
Remind them that everyone (pretty much) is in the same boat. It’s not that they have been the only one at home – so has the rest of their class. Remind them they are not alone in this!
There may be some help coming their way. Currently in various forums and news reports there are rumours that the exams may put back in 2021, to allow students to catch up and complete the courses. There is also the National Tutoring Programme, which might be operating in their school, giving them access to catch-up tuition.
If your finances allow, you may consider hiring a professional tutor for your child. At The Tutor Team we have been working consistently with our students since the spring, making sure they are not dropping behind and teaching them the next section of the course.
We have made cheaper alternatives available for younger children and we have learned that just 30 minutes of Maths, English or Science a week is enough to keep children’s skills up to speed when it is delivered one-to-one online.
What if you want to help your child but are unable to fund a professional tutor in these uncertain economic times? There is a great deal you can achieve by helping them yourself.
First, know the syllabus.
For GCSE/IGCSE and A -Level students, if you can get to understand the exam specification for each subject, this will allow you to come up with an action plan. The best place to find the specification is on the website for the relevant exam board.
Once you have the specification you will be able to work out approximately where your child is at in the course, what is likely to be coming up next, and what skills they need to use. If you also access the past papers and mark schemes for the website, that will give you an even clearer understanding of what needs to be achieved.
For younger children there is a great deal of information on the skills and abilities they will need to acquire on the internet. BBC Bitesize is a particularly good resource. If nothing else, focus on keeping maths and English skills up to date. If you can also add in science, so much the better.
Second, encourage them back to school by working steadily.
A lot can be achieved with regular, small blocks of work. It’s going to be tempting to stop doing anything for August. Indeed, this is what normally happens in the U.K.
However, this is not a normal year! A little bit of work now is going to pay dividends when they go back to school. This is especially important if they have not been in a pattern of regular study during the lockdown. If you can help them to get back into a pattern of regular study – just an hour or two a day will make a big difference and when they go back to school it will make the transition easier for them.
Older students can reacquaint themselves with their textbooks, go over the notes they took when they were in school, and they can even attempt questions from past papers.
For younger children, remember it is those maths and English skills that are most important. To help with English, encourage them to read, ask them to write stories and help them with spelling. In the case of maths there are a lot of free worksheets available. We sometimes post links to these on our Facebook page, alongside other maths resources.
With a bit of planning, a calm and structured approach, the transition back to school should be easier and less stressful for you all.
Are you looking for a professional private tutor to help your child back to school?
You can contact a tutor here
Or contact our friendly and knowledgeable office team to get a bespoke tutor match