Sometimes even the brightest students can find the classroom setting daunting. New environments and working with strangers can sometimes influence a child’s ability to express their best selves. Developing a strong confidence in these situations is important for helping your child retain lessons and perform to the best of their ability on test days. Below are some tips and strategies to keep in mind when introducing your student to a new classroom setting.
1. Help Them Overcome Feeling Overwhelmed
As adults, we’ve come to expect our lives to be busy and stressful. Because of this, it can be surprising to realize that so many kids are overwhelmed by their own young lives. With swim practice, French lessons, chess class, and not to mention trying to make friends at school, kids are more than ever feeling the stress that their adult counterparts have been feeling for years. However, most kids have not developed the emotional maturity to learn how to cope with the stresses of a busy life.
In the classroom, some kids can become overwhelmed by new lessons or from the vast amount of information they have yet to learn. Children can feel so overwhelmed by the pressure to get something “right” that they lose all motivation to try their best, unless the answer is clear to them. Helping your child understands that it’s okay to answer incorrectly, so long as they try their best, can help ease the pressure on your student.
If your child is still feeling overwhelmed by recurring information, change up the pace. Practice the lesson in a new way and incorporate it into one of their favorite games or themes. Find a way to play and practice with the concept (such as multiplication or reading) that you can both play while running errands, in a park, or while cooking dinner. Make it a game for both of you, so your student doesn’t feel alone in the process.
2. Support Secure Attachments
If your student is still very young, they may have experienced some level of anxiety when you try to leave them at school or daycare. Separation anxiety is a normal part of a child’s development. Regardless, it can be very unsettling at times and difficult to manage. Below are some tips to help your child feel at ease when you leave.
It’s completely understandable for the child to feel anxious when you leave. You’re their source of life and protection. Show your child through practice that they can trust you’ll come back. The most important part in this process is to stay calm and relaxed. Your child will be able to tell if you’re stressed or anxious yourself about leaving them. When at home or in a familiar place with your child, develop a routine for leaving. Choose a phrase such as, “Okay, I’m leaving. But I’ll be back!” Step around the corner and out of site and immediately step back into view exclaiming, “I’m back!” Continue this process, extending the length of time out of the room slowly for as long as it takes for your child to understand that they can trust you’ll return.
Once the child has become comfortable with this in a familiar place, practice the routine in new locations, leaving them with familiar people. Eventually, your child will be able to trust your return even when you leave them in a new location with a new person.