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Here are some top tips for returning to, or starting school in September! Whatever you and your child are feeling, we hope these will bless and support you as the adventure of a new academic year is about to begin.

1. Talk about school

Try and focus on the positive and exciting things ahead. Perhaps set goals or dreams for the year that they put away and look at again at the end of the year. If there are any worries think about how you can support them to feel in control. When speaking about school or teachers, make sure your child hears positive things only, even if there is a difficulty, as this will help them settle back into school life.

2. Be organised

Ensure that you help your child get their things ready for school. It’s important to do this together as they need to know what’s in their bag and will be expected to take responsibility for their things at school. Label everything, even for older children and teenagers. If they misplace something it’s much more likely to come back if it is named. A suggestion is to put out the uniform the night before to be prepared. Help your child to organise their week including where and when they will do their homework (it’s worth remembering not all children work best at a desk).

3. Get involved

Take opportunities to get involved with the school community and encourage your child to do the same. Connect with your child’s teacher, this is much easier at primary school, and read communications from school so you know what is happening.

4. Encourage

Look for opportunities to encourage your child, particularly in the first weeks, and look for little things that you are proud of them for. Perhaps write a note to your teenager with their favourite sweet treat or have something ready when you collect your child from school. When they come out of school or arrive home, greet them with a smile and make sure your phone is away. Encourage and foster independence whenever you can and also encourage your child to take responsibility for their school work and resources even from an early age. A routine really helps with this; help them to know where to put their bag when they get home and empty the rubbish from their lunchbox and put it ready for the next day.

5. Look after yourself

There’s a phrase ‘You can’t pour from an empty cup’ and make sure you have something to give your children when they come home. Plan your week so that you can rest and do the things you love. Put your ‘oxygen mask’ on before helping your child.

6. Pray

If you know Jesus then pray for your child’s return to school. Pray as a family and pray for your child, and their teachers, during the day.

We pray you and your family have a fantastic start to this school year and that it will be a joyful time.

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