In the Philippines, the long, seemingly endless summer holidays are finally drawing to a close, and the new school year is about to begin in June.
If you are like many Filipino parents working abroad while the rest of the family stays home in the Philippines, you may feel you are missing much of your children’s growth and education. Having the right approach to your child’s education is very important, as it determines how seriously they will take it. Making sure your children have everything they need and are mentally prepared to start a new school year plays a big role in the process.
Here are a few things you can do to make sure your children are ready to go back to school. These are especially important if you live in a different country, as your children need to know that you are still involved in their lives and their education.
Make sure that all tuition fees and school costs are in order
There are many payments to be made even before the school year has started. The worst thing you can do is to let your child become aware of the fact that you haven’t paid the necessary fees. If you live abroad, you can transfer money across borders. Therefore make sure that all due fees and payments are in order. If you aren’t nearby, provide you children’s caretaker with enough finances needed to pay any other small amounts that might arise within the first week or two of the school term. You want your child to have the smoothest ride possible.
Make sure they have everything they need
The school would have either released a list of things needed for school in the weeks building up to the start of the year, or they will send it home during the first week. It is important that you ensure all the items on the list are bought or acquired well before they are needed. You don’t want your child showing up at school and not having the necessary books, pens or other equipment.
The same is applicable to uniforms. If you live far from home, but you visited your children during their summer holiday, make sure that you buy their uniforms, sports wear, shoes and even hairbands for the girls while you are with them. Otherwise, ensure that their caretaker has the necessary funds to do this well before the term starts. Rather transfer the money in advance and rest assured that your child will look the part and not cross any school rules during their first week.
Start getting them back in a routine ahead of time
Many children struggle to adapt back to their daily routine once its been broken by a long summer holiday. Start a week or two before they go back to school to get them out of bed and dressed at the same time every day. Also reintroduce breakfast, lunch, dinner and healthy snacks on a daily basis to help them become accustomed to an eating pattern again. If you live far from home and you’re used to sending them a message every day before or after school, start doing this during the last week of the holidays already to slowly work toward getting them back in a normal routine.
The importance of homework
Establish a time and place where they will do their homework every day. Your life, and your child’s life, will be made much easier if homework also becomes part of their routine. If they know exactly when and where they will be doing homework every day, it will become a habit. If you live far away, try and tap into your child’s routine. Make Skype time directly after homework time – it may give them something to look forward to – or simply remind yourself to send them a funny picture of you (or let them send a picture of themselves to you) as soon as homework time is over.
Familiarize yourself with the school and teachers
Make sure you know the names of all your children’s teachers and find out what you can about them. If you child is starting school or going to a new school, make sure you know where it is and you’re familiar with the setup. It’s much easier to be engaged with your child and his/her school career if you are familiar with the people and surroundings that they encounter daily.
If you live abroad, familiarize yourself with the online face of the school as much as possible. Ask the caretaker to send you all the details of the teachers and remember their names. This will show your children that you are interested in their school life and it will either guide them in taking their studies seriously, or it will create a meeting ground for you to talk about their school day.