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Supporting your child’s learning as they return to school

Supporting learning at home

As your child returns to school, you might be worried about how they’re going to settle back into school life – including how to keep up with school work in the classroom and at home. We know that everyone’s situation is different and you’ve already done an amazing job to support your child through what’s been a really uncertain time for them.  

We’ve put together this page to give you some information on what you can do to support and reassure your child now and in the future.

Settling back in

We are living in very unusual times and going back to school is a big change for you both. It’s natural for you to worry about things – like will they need to catch up with their learning, or how your child will adjust to having homework again, but try not to worry too much at the start. The wellbeing of your child will be their school’s number one priority as they reopen. This will help to support your child’s emotional needs, including any stresses they have as they settle back into school life. 

You can find more advice about children’s mental health and worry about returning to school here.

Set up a space

Once they’ve settled back into school life, you might find it helps to set up a separate space in the home for your child where they can focus on homework. This could even be the same place they used for learning during lockdown, to create a sense of familiarity. It also makes it easier to keep everything from school in one place, so nothing goes missing.

Try a structure

It can be helpful to try to structure evenings, so that you all make the most of your time together to have fun and play games. Routines help children feel secure as they get to know what is happening and what will happen next. If it’s helpful, you might want to sit down and talk through their timetable together, and help them keep on top of any schoolwork.

Flexible home working

We know that many parents will be balancing working with looking after the children, home work and looking after the house… superhero capes at the ready! If you are working from home, it's probably going to be easier if you can be flexible about your hours. Head over to our working from home page for more info.

Take time out

It’s really important for both you and your child to have time to enjoy together. Evenings and weekends are a good time to take their minds off school stresses through playing, relaxing and exercising. There will be times when you and your wee one are struggling with the back-to-school change. When that happens, try to stop and do something fun

Making homework less of a chore

No doubt there will be times when it will be difficult to get them motivated about completing homework. If they are losing interest, try to think about things they like. If you follow their lead and join in, they’ll be more motivated to keep going. Love LEGO? There are loads of great YouTube videos on how playing with LEGO helps you to learn maths and building skills. Trying these could help make homework time more social and fun, rather than a chore. 

Back-to-school flashpoints

Feelings of uncertainty about going back to school might mean your child behaves differently than usual. This might result in more conflict at home, which can be stressful for both you and your child. One way that could help with this stress is by remembering to talk. Just knowing that you’re there to listen can help your child get pent-up emotions and worries off their chest if they want to. It’s also a good opportunity for them to share any questions they might have, which their school might be able to give you answers for. 

For more advice, see our dealing with behaviour page.

Change is difficult

We are living in very unusual times and this will be a big change for you both. So don’t be hard on yourselves. It's probably a good idea to chat to them about how different it is as they go back to school. Ask them how they are finding it and make sure you take some time to listen to any worries they have. Our page on helping your child with worries about primary school has more tips.

Praise effort

This will all be as strange to them as it is to you. Make sure and reassure them and let them know they’re doing great settling back into school life! Try not to get caught up in worrying about marks on school work right now. Instead, make sure you are pointing out all their hard work and be there to talk to if they have any worries.

Staying positive

We know this will be very difficult but we're all in this together. Going back to school after so long is a big change in routine for everyone – so try to remember, you are doing a fantastic job. 

Stay connected

If you have family or friends that live close to you, why not meet for a walk in the park if you can? Just remember to follow the rules for the level you live in and the physical distance and hygiene guidance. This can be a good chance for you all to chat about how you’re all coping with going back to school, and you’ll likely feel reassured that you have similar feelings. But most importantly, it’s an opportunity to relax and enjoy yourself. You can find the latest information on meeting up here.

Mental health support

If you're worried about your child’s mental wellbeing, speak to your GP or your child’s school. We also have a page on the things you can do to support your child’s mental health.
The online Solihull course contains information about your child’s development and support for forming positive relationships. You can access the course for free using the access code ‘tartan’ here.

Home and blended learning

If your child’s school has to introduce home or blended learning, their teachers will give you resources to help them study at home. Find out more about home and blended learning and how you can help support them.

Being a parent is the best job in the world, but it can also be one of the most stressful. There will be days when it all feels a little too much. To help you manage the challenges ahead, Parent Club has some tips on coping with being a parent and keeping calm with your wee one so you can build a rewarding relationship together.

Animation of cartoon character frustration meter

Animation of cartoon character frustration meter