3Do’s & To-Dos to Start a New School Year Right

Setting off to a great start in school.

By Families for Life        18 December 2020

2021 is just around the corner. The start of a new year also spells the beginning of a fresh school cycle. As the school holidays draw to a close, parents find themselves busy helping their school-going children prep for the next academic year, ordering books and buying uniforms.

For students, another year older is another year wiser. Greater responsibilities await them as they level up in their educational journey.

Here are some tips for parents eager to get their kids off to a great start in school.


1. Do Review

Reviewing the past school year’s learning is a good way to identify gaps in knowledge. The sudden switch to Home-based Learning (HBL) when Covid-19 hit meant that some topics were dropped from this year’s curriculum and may not be well-learnt. While this is no fault of your child, it means that the foundation for next year’s learning is not as strong as it could be.

To Do: A quick look over junior’s past work will help you spot his weak areas. There’s no need to throw assessment books at the problem; just get him to rework the same questions to check if he understands. Spacing the work out over the long school break also means that your holiday homework will not be too burdensome.


2. Do Set Goals

Setting goals encourages a growth mindset. It links effort to rewards by showing your child how achieving small targets lead to incremental improvement and eventual success.

Goals need not necessarily be academic. They can be in areas that you feel that your child can develop better skills in. For instance, if your kid usually prefers to stick to the tried-and-tested, how about encouraging her to try out a new CCA or extracurricular activity next year?

To Do: Sit down and set realistic targets together with your child – it will help her know the specific areas she needs to work on. Goals should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.


3. Do Support and Walk With Them

Got a child who’s starting Primary or Secondary 1 next year? Or maybe it’s the all-important PSLE or ‘O’ Levels year? Kids who are in transitional or crucial academic years may feel considerable anxiety and worry over moving on to a new environment or taking a big exam.

To Do: Here’s where Mum and Dad can come in with loads of encouragement and support to walk them through this period of uncertainty! Grab the chance to visit the campus or meet the teachers if your youngster is starting a new school. If it’s a major exam, do a mental walk-through of the preparation work and key milestones – as well as the sweet reward of a well-earned rest waiting at the end!

This article first appeared in Families for Life article segment at https://familiesforlife.sg/discover-an-article/Pages/3Dos-&-To-Dos-to-Start-a-New-School-Year-Right.aspx