The summer is coming to an end, many children have been homeschooled by their parents since the lockdown began in March- gosh... that seems an age ago.
For children starting school, this can be a nervous time and for children returning, this may almost feel alien. This school year will be different. Almost like a new environment but schools are ready to welcome back pupils and get education back on track.
I have put together some tips for getting first-time pupils ready. As I previously worked in a primary school, I used my experience to make these relaxed tips, helping you ease your little ones into the change. The most important thing to remember, is that this isn't scary, make it fun and exciting for your child.
Number One: Teach your child how to spell their name
They may know their name by sound, but get your child used to seeing their name on a page. Start by drawing dots, make it a game, when the dot are together, they form their name. Your child doesn’t have to know it perfectly, Reception child usually learn with a teacher in the first term. But even having practise holding a pencil will give them a start. This will just reassure them that they will be able to read and write soon. Some children could get upset if they see others know how to do something they can't, but just continue enjoying learning together and having fun.
Number Two: Getting toilet trained
If your little one hasn't completely mastered this yet, don't panic. Just inform the teacher. Have spare underwear in their school bag, so they don't feel embarrassed or have to be wet all day. Just practise a routine with them - how to use the bathroom, how to wipe, flush, wash hands and how to use their new school inform properly, show them any buttons they should use when in the toilet etc. Hygiene is very important, share your knowledge about germs and Coronavirus.
Number Three: School Uniform
For most children going to school for the first time this will be their first uniform. So make it exciting to wear, get them to try it (maybe only a few days or night before). Going shopping together, pick out a fun packed lunch box, water bottle or pencil case. This can really help them prepare mentality for the change ahead.
Number Four: Relax and Communicate
Ask your children about how they feel and if they have any worries talk to them. Make them feel confident to come to you for anything. Tell them you'll be super excited to pick them up afterwards and you will want to know everything that has gone on in their day. This can also be a difficult time for you, especially if this is your first child going to primary school. The house will now feel rather quiet, so don't forget about care for yourself. Maybe speak to other mums or find time for a hobby you always wanted to try.
Number Five: Photography
Take some photographs, make them feel like this is a fantastic opportunity and a positive change! If you can, show them your photographs and talk about your experiences. This is a big step for them, they are going up - don't forget that these moments, so capture them.
I hope these tips help you and your little one prepare for the big day! Just remember to be positive and listen to your children. This is going to be a fun and new experience for them, support is all they need.
Over the past 10-11 weeks I have been working on a little film project to capture my Lockdown. I love shooting on 35mm film but also wanted to experiment more with 120 film after receiving a large format camera for my birthday. I loaded my two toy cameras with out of date film - which expired in 2002. I wasn’t sure how the images would come out until the shops opened again.
So, with my trusty Diana and New Holga in hand, I used my daily outdoor exercise to capture my walks, nature or objects which caught my attention. During the cold and rainy weeks, my flatmate and cat became my models and I would capture the candid moments, ones which we don’t normally photograph.
This project is very personal to me, I wanted to capture my emotional journey, not all the images are crystal clear but this is why I adore the toy cameras, the movement and softness of the images add a sense of my mental health. I hope to one create a book for myself, having something tangible within my hands will help the memories become an object to document my days in lockdown.
One day, this will be like a terrible dream, days spent separated from family and friends will be a distant memory. However it wasn’t all bad, we had hours and hours given back to ourselves, time to think and time to reflect on what is important in life.
I would love to see any photographs from your lockdown or if you just wanted to chat about your experiences. Words are better spoken.
Have a lovely week and stay safe.
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