Across school threshold for the first time


Elvira Kadyrova

On 1 September cheerful school bell will announce the beginning of the new academic year, responsible time period in the life of every student and their parents.

School time, especially in primary school and particularly first term, lasting two months, after the summer holidays, is a kind of stress and adaptation. And the task of parents is to help the child in the transition to the new day schedule.

It is not only for help with homework.  It is necessary to take care of diet, dream time and duration of rest.

This year my son begins study in the second grade. The first grade, starting from the age of six, had already created some basis and experience regarding educational process. By the way, the process of education, should go in parallel at school and home.

So, here are some tips and advices for parents in diet, daily regime and studying certain subjects, based on my own experience:

  • “Students Tea”. Start of new academic year coincides also with the beginning of autumn season, when the organism is preparing to move to winter season. At this time, different climatic allergies, colds, coupled also with stress, would occur. To strengthen the child’s immunity, the so-called student tea is recommended. The recipe is simple: small quantity of finely chopped ginger root + black or green tea + any chopped fruit: apple, kiwi, banana, or you can use dried fruit, such as dried apricots. Just put everything into a small teapot and infuse, not boiled water, but hot water of 80-90 degrees. This tea is for single use. It is recommended to drink a cup of students tea in the morning and at lunch. Ginger stimulates good blood circulation in the brain and has immunomodulatory effects.
  • In nutrition, better to prefer products that feed the brain, and also aimed at increasing immunity. These are citrus fruits, kiwi, green apples, walnuts, dairy products, cheese, boiled / stewed meat, buckwheat, oat, rice porridge.
  • Homemade breakfast vs. School cafeteria. If your child asks money for lunches in school cafeteria, in my experience it is better to allow the child him\herself to make a choice between homemade breakfast and school catering.
  • ‘Second’ breakfast at school. Between breakfast at home and the next meal, should be no more than 3-4 hours for children at age of 6-10. Therefore, in our school, kids have second breakfast at 10 am. To send a lunch to school, small plastic box with a tight fitting lid is suitable. Second breakfast can include sandwiches with boiled sausage, cheese, cucumber, cake, muffins, apples and bananas.
  • A few words about the dream time. Child at age of 7-8 years should sleep daily near 10-11 h in average, including 1-1.5 h daytime sleep to recover after the school day.
  • Leisure time. Let your child every day or several days a week to deal with their own “important privacy” things for 30-40 minutes, without invasion. No matter what it is – creative activities, dancing, reading, or any activity even it seems futile for parents. Give your child an individual time space.
  • Study is work that can be paid. This principle I have tried with my son in the first grade. And I absolutely do not agree with those who say that it instills greed for money. The difference is that my son gets pocket money not as “mama must”, but he earns it by his brain work. For homework (school+extra lessons), I mark his works according usual five-point system, and then up to average score I give him pocket money. We have bilaterally agreed on the correlation between average mark and payments.
  • We are teachers ourselves. Dear parents, we are also capable to be excellent teachers for our children, not relying only on school curriculum. It is not just about the control for doing homework. Especially, in elementary school it is important to foster the desire to get additional knowledge. After all, at our disposal are Internet, rich encyclopedias, our own experience. Me and my son apply the system of mutual appraisal. He had daily evaluated my teaching abilities in five-point scale.
  • Ball game – learning foreign languages. Our curriculum includes the study of foreign languages ​​from the first grade. Moreover, first-graders mostly are focused on stocking of basic vocabulary. How we have learned new words? We used to play a ball. With each delivery I named a word in Russian or in foreign language. My son, returning the ball, translated this word. In fact, the words are learned effectively on the way to school / during a walk / on the way to market. In lively environment child better calls familiar surrounding items in a foreign language.
  • Writing whatever you think. In acquiring writing and calligraphy skills, at home we always used to go beyond the usual worksheet. During the second half of the first grade, when he started writing more or less suitable, I asked him to write me a note. And he wrote…He started noting his own thoughts, even blank verses. Please, don’t criticize your child for spelling errors.
  • We read everything we see. By learning to read, the child discover the world anew. He begins to read the headlines, street signs, billboards, slogans. You can choose with your child book, and he\she can read it every day (for 5-10 minutes). Reading is the foundation of literacy.
  • Counting everything all around. The first mathematical skills are well fixed in the home. It is easy to ask the child “help” in counting dishes in the cupboard, cars/dolls, dresses/shirts, pens/pencils on the desktop.
  • I don’t want to do my homework and I will not do it. All the kids are small individuals with emerging character. How often parents can hear such capricious statements: “I do not want to do homework, I don’t want to learn, it is difficult, I will not do it. I am tired!” In my opinion, parental permissiveness at such phenomenon is impossible, but the pressure is inadmissible. I heard the answer of one of the mothers: “He\she is still a child and we can not force him to make unwanted homework”. First, of cause, the child has the right to be capricious. Second, we should understand that homework became undoable only because of the difficulty level or even tiredness. It is necessary to overcome the difficulties and set the child on the idea that it is possible. I’m in such cases, say: “Ok, you can take rest a little bit and then we will go on, you have already achieved good results, I believe that you will subdue it, you are my most clever and good boy, I will help you”. It is appropriate to tell some stories from your childhood, describing how you overcame difficulties in doing school homework. Finally, responsibility is not the default setting in our personal set. The responsibility is cultivated trait. And school is one of the areas of realizing first responsibility skills.

It is just a few tips from my own experience. Remember that threshold of elementary school we step across together with our children. And best of our companions will be parental love, patience, responsibility for the future of our children and respect for the small developing personality.