I have reflected on Reception already so this post is just a last day of term offering, of top tips. Tips for ensuring your child (particularly if that child is not neurotypical) has a good year at school.
Tip 1: Preparation is the key - visual calenders marking down the days to the next change. Talking about school, talking about expectations positively (even when you know deep down there may be some difficulty in achieving them).
Tip 2: Work with the school - if they are great and helpful co-operate. Ask what you can do, offer ideas from home. If they are not so helpful... well, this is a situation that sadly many people struggle with but I am not qualified to offer advice as Little Bear's school have fallen over themselves to be accomodating.
Tip 3: Broad shoulders - easier said than done. Cultivate the broadest shoulders you can manage. It is hard to hear people criticise you or your child because of their behaviour. It becomes a problem when you are taking the criticism onto yourself personally. This leads to some level of resentment towards your child, and a vicious cycle begins. They do know when you are embarrassed and ashamed of their behaviour, and for a child like Little Bear the shame was a hideous knock to his self-esteem.
Tip 4 The only way for me personally to manage the above, was to leave all problems at school. No recriminations at home for behaviour in school. School had disciplined and apart from a brief relaxed converstaion so that he knew we were aware and had the same expectations, what happened at school stayed at school. The following day was always "another day".
Tip 5 Have a sense of humour. My sense of humour is rather silly, I don't mind admitting. It helps me not to take myself or any hard knocks too seriously.
Tip 6 Now I realise for this one, a person needs to be keen on the God fella to be comfortable but I am and these are my tips! So tough! :) Prayer! Never forget to pray, as I walked away from the school each morning after drop off, I prayed that God would be with Little Bear that day. This is not something reserved for kids with difficulties either. Everyone could do with a few arrow prayers on their behalf at the start of a busy day. Myself included.
So we have come to the end of my no means exhaustive and very personal list of tips. Thank you to all who remembered Little Bear and indeed my family as a whole in their prayers this year. We hope for a happy transition into Year 1 for my bear and school have certainly been working with him to help achieve this.
My thoughts and prayers are with all those in transitional periods of their lives. Particularly thinking of new schools, new year groups and new teachers.
Have a lovely summer!