Summer, a time of transitions
As we count down to the last few weeks of term, many of you may be starting to think of transitions. It may be that you will have a child starting school in September, or your child may be moving to a new class or a new school. Or you may be thinking about returning to study in September, starting a volunteering role or a new job. Here are some suggestions for the summer, that can help to ease these transitions.
It can be easy to forget that things that seem familiar or straightforward to us as adults, can be confusing and scary for children. If your child is starting a new school or childcare setting you will be invited to visit. However, why not also look to see if they have a summer fayre, coffee morning or other event. It can be an extra chance for your child to familiarise themselves with the new environment in a fun and relaxed way. You could also consider joining the PTA or governing body - two volunteering options that not only help you feel closer to what is happening at school but also provide valuable volunteering experience! Visit your local library together and borrow some books about starting school; these can help you to have a discussion and reassure your child about any worries they may have.
With any transition, knowledge is power! Making sure you know where you drop off your child now that they will be in a different class, what uniform is needed, or what time to be at your job interview, will help you to feel more relaxed and in control. Older children may find it helpful to have a list of what to pack in their bag. If the route you will be taking is new or unfamiliar it can help to practise it. If you need to take public transport, you may like to have a back-up plan in case there is a diversion or other issue. Use time over the summer to practise your morning routine. Anything that helps to start the day smoothly and not in a rush sets everyone up for a good day! Getting into the habit of reading daily to your child is good practice for when homework tasks are set, and by starting early you can work out when this best fits into your schedule.
The library Summer Reading Challenge
The library Summer Reading Challenge can be a great way to keep your child interested in learning over the summer, and can help to make that transition back to school a little easier. 1 in 5 parents said their child was less engaged with learning by the time they go back to school in September following the long summer holiday, so learning activities can help with this. The library Summer Reading Challenge for 4 - 11 year olds starts on 13th July and this year's theme is ‘Space Race'! Get stickers and rewards for reading 6 books over the summer. Libraries are also looking for volunteers to assist with this. Speak to your library for more information as volunteering is a fantastic way to give back to others and to add to your CV!
The Woodland Trust Nature Detectives website has a wealth of free activities to download to get learning outside! Make the most of any nice weather (remember sun hats and sun cream) or pop on your wellies to splash in the summer rain. Support your child with exciting learning ideas while they also enjoy the benefits of fresh air and exercise. These activities are free, and if you take a picnic too you can have a brilliant budget day out at your local park or woodland, and have a great time learning together.
September may be a time for a new start for you, especially if soon you will have more free time with children starting school or childcare settings. Take some time to consider what your next steps could be. We encourage our learners to ‘dream big'! Perhaps you are on the first steps of your learning journey. You might want to see if your local children's centre will be running our ‘Confidence and New Directions' course, or if your school are hosting ‘Supporting your child with Maths and English'. You may be considering studying for a qualification, such as Functional Skills Maths or English or support with employability skills. Or you may be further along your journey and ready to take the step into further or higher education with a college or university, start a volunteering placement or a new career. Whatever stage of your journey you are at, your tutor can support you with information, advice and guidance to help you achieve your goals. Remember to follow our Facebook page for information about courses, events and activities.
We are gearing up for our end of year Learner Celebration Event, which is generating lots of buzz and excitement! Like last year, tutors have been busy nominating learners for different awards, and invitations have been sent to learners who completed courses this academic year. This event looks set to be a fantastic celebration of all the hard work and dedication of our learners over the past year. It is always a wonderful moment when learners realise we do see how much effort they have put in, the struggles they have overcome, and the impact they have made on their own lives and the lives of others around them.
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