It’s just a little more than a week before kids will head back to school. Although some students might be excited to hit the books again, for others it can be a little more stressful.
Eliana Walker is going into Grade 5 this year and already feeling the pressure of getting good grades. “It’s actually scary because especially with math, I’m not doing that well and that’s scary.”
Chair of Psychology at UNBC, Cindy Hardy, says the pressure to get good grades is most common among children. “A lot of children who struggle with the academic work dread the return to school because they don’t like to go back to that experience of failure of difficulty that they have.”
However, programs at the YMCA of Northern BC help kids relax before that first bell rings. Community Childcare Coordinator, Candace Spyker, says kids are able to learn different ways to adjust to their new school setting. “We’ve been working a lot with the children on their social emotional skills and their relationship building, building friendships, learning how to express what they’re feeling and their thoughts.”
With one week to go, preparing to go back to school can be as simple as getting back into a new routine. Whether it’s setting an alarm a few hours early, laying out your clothes, or packing a lunch the night before. Hardy says a solid routine can help keep kids focussed. “That’s really important just to give the body that time to adjust physiologically to the change in schedule and to the upcoming change in routine.”
Hardy also reminds kids to remember the good times that come with getting an education. “Help the child remember the fun things about school, like they get to see their friends and participate in whatever activities that they’re involved in,” she said. “Remind them of those things and help them look forward to that.”
No matter what kids are going through this school year, most kids like Eliana Walker say they’re excited to go back. Walker has even set some big goals moving forward this year. “To learn more stuff and be creative,” she said.