“I’ve learned the ‘r’!” “We've got fish in the classroom!” “My teacher does kickboxing and she's very sweet!” Last week I was bombarded with the enthusiastic stories of my daughters who have started in group 3 and 5 this year. In Hilversum the school year had already started again. In Soest, Huis ter Heide and Soesterberg they also started this week.
A new school year is always fun and exciting: after six weeks of no school, getting back into rhythm and seeing all your classmates again. At the same time, learning lots of new things and getting to know a new teacher... That’s quite exciting! During this time, relationships in the classroom are shaped. What were the rules and agreements again? In short: a lot of impressions that can come quickly at your child after a long time in the familiar environment at home.
During the holidays, children spent much more time at home. With some children we spent whole days at the out-of-school location during the summer holidays. This allowed us to work even more intensively with the group and respond to their interests. The holidays are therefore golden moments for our pedagogical staff: we spend more time together and get to know each other even better. This deepens the bond we have with each other.
We realise that, after the holidays, things can suddenly be very exciting and different for your child. That's why we are extra alert to see whether he or she is comfortable in his or her own skin. Going back to school is quite tiring and we notice this in the group. It can manifest itself in listless behaviour, but sometimes also in very active conduct. We try to help everyone in the group to deal with this by relaxing, releasing and processing.
How do we do this? We look for everyone's needs, by ‘reading’ their behaviour, for instance. Who needs movement to release all the new impressions? With these energetic ones we go exercising, in the gym or outdoors. And who just wants to read a Donald Duck on the couch or play a game together? We make sure to stay close, but give them the space for their choices. In this way we allow them to process the day.
After school, we also expressly offer the space for free play. The child's brain has gained new impressions throughout the day and is busy giving everything a place. During free play in, for example, the doll corner or block area, the children don’t have to something new. It’s especially then that space is created in their heads to put everything in order. Did you know that in this period we often see children doing role-playing, thus being busy processing information?
Sometimes children also take their fatigue home with them. Your child possibly behaves different than usual. Perhaps this tip can be useful: don't impose too many activities, but provide peace and quiet and space for free play. In this way, together we can help children relax, release and process.