Back to school hacks for supporting your child through the new term

The return to school can be emotional for parents and children

The return to school can be emotional for parents and children - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

How to boost your child’s achievement at school in the new term

Pupils achieve the best at school when their parents are supportive and place a high priority on education. With the return to school you may be considering lists of back to school essentials like new stationary or school uniform. What you may not think about is the emotions you and your child might be going through as the end of the school holidays approaches.

The return to school can trigger a range of feelings in parents and children. Parents may feel sadness that an extended period of quality family time is over, mixed with relief that they don't have to provide all-day care while their children are at school. Children may feel excited about the new term and seeing their friends, or apprehensive about having a new teacher or more difficult school work.

Good organisation is the key to a happy school life according to charity Family Lives. It is particularly important for those who are approaching a change - going from nursery to primary, primary to secondary, or those starting a significant year with important exams.

The charity says: "Children benefit from encouragement and reassurance from their parents about going back to school, and from having anxieties listened to and taken seriously."

A good homework routine is also essential. You can help your child handle their studies in a number of simple ways, such as setting aside a place away from the TV for studying, helping them find a homework routine that suits them. Talking to your children about their homework task and what they are learning in school, will also encourage them.

Praising them for working hard is also really important, as well as making sure they get some homework free time each week.

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Family Lives advises parents, "not to get too stressed out - if you are, your child will be too."

A balanced diet is also vital for your child's health, and some parents find that too many high-fat, high-sugar and high-caffeine food and drinks (such as cola, sweets, chocolate, burgers and chips) make their children hyperactive, irritable and moody.

Good sleep will improve thinking and concentration. Most children need ten hours' sleep a night.

Exercise can help boost energy levels too, clear the mind and relieve stress.

To find out more about Family Lives services in your area visit