Text by: Priya Narayan
The month of June heralds the beginning of the rainy season and also the beginning of a new academic year in schools and colleges. The pleasant breeze, cool raindrops, splashing gumboots, colourful raincoats and umbrellas are all a wonderful sight, isn’t it?
Back to school is about chaddi buddies, backbenchers, friends, quarrels, exams, studies, tiffin sharing and the list is endless. I am sure you would have already taken the trip down memory lane and are smiling to yourselves while remembering your carefree days.
The beginning of the new academic year is often plagued with nervous anticipation and at times last-minute rush preparation too. Here we explore the feelings of different age groups associated with the transition from vacation to back to school. This will help add the fun element to the process rather than making it a dreaded and mundane task.
Archana Bargi is a primary school teacher in Vibgyor International School, Mumbai for the past eight years. She has a bubbly eight-year son Mehan Bargi who studies in Grade 3. As a teacher, Archana has noticed that primary school children often have a laid-back vacation with practically no or very little time devoted to studies. Hence, when school starts they find it very difficult to cope with the sudden flow of academics that sweeps them and their parents off their feet. To avoid this she suggests that even during the holidays, regular time should be devoted to reading and writing. It can be as simple as reading the newspaper or a storybook as well as just writing 5-10 lines daily. This increases their reading and comprehension skills to a great extent.
Archana also adds that often children find it difficult to remain awake during the initial periods of school. They doze off in the bus or in class and have to be woken up. A healthy sleep and wake up routine in the vacation builds discipline in children. Early to bed and early to rise is the key mantra to prevent this problem. Though this may seem to be a very common tip, many don’t follow this practice. For complete rejuvenation of body and mind, an optimum of eight to ten hours of sleep is required daily. If this is inadequate, the body and mind tend to get fatigued, leading to irritability, lack of focus and host of other physical ailments.
Deepa and Kapil Lonikar run their company Pestcease Pest Control Services in Mumbai. They find themselves on toes during vacations as both their sons are home and need constant attention as they get bored easily. They end up enrolling their children in various summer camps or arranging for play dates to keep them engaged. The onset of school is a great relief for both of them, as they get a lot of time to devote to their business. They skillfully divide the work and chores according to the time slots convenient to both of them. A full-time domestic help has been hired to manage the household as well as the children and a trustworthy bus service to pick up and drop the children to their doorstep has proved to be a blessing in disguise for them.
14-year-old Verona Teresa shares how during her vacations, she misses her friends a lot, especially when completing her holiday homework, playing badminton and when her younger brother snatches her snacks from her hand. These incidences remind her of similar situations in school and break time. She also looks forward to getting back to school so that she can have lots of fun with her friends and teachers too. Amusingly, she also adds that her mother scolding her reminds her of her strict chemistry teacher doing the same.
Let the back to school process be smooth sailing and a positive one for parents, children and teachers alike. By being organised and following a routine, it does help parents and children to easily slip into the back to school routine after a long vacation.
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