With Ontario elementary and secondary schools starting back next week, students who have persevered through 18 months of stop-and-go schooling may be wondering: How can I achieve academically and stay mentally healthy? And how do I carry that momentum throughout the year?
Western News has tapped some of Western’s top minds in child development, academic success and mental health, and distilled their expertise and advice into one practical – and quick – top-10 list.
And if you’re really pressed for time, the tl;dr (too long; didn’t read) version is this: empathy and effort go a long way.
“Be patient with your children as they readjust to a more typical school year,” explains education professor Jacqui Specht, director of the Canadian Research Centre on Inclusive Education. “Be patient with the schools as they deal with the issues that have occurred that were also out of their control. The more schools and families work together for the best outcomes of the child, the better it will be for everyone.”
Scroll through the images below for our experts’ top 10 keys to a successful return to school – for kids and parents. You can also download an accessible text-only version here:10 tips for return to school.
Thanks to our experts for their insights:
Daniel Ansari is a Canada Research Chair in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning and a specialist in developing numeracy among children
Colin King is director of Western’s Child and Youth Development Clinic, a child psychologist and professor in the Faculty of Education.
Jacqui Specht is Faculty of Education professor and director of the Canadian Research Centre on Inclusive Education