Back to school 2023, what if we made it our ally?

Back to school

While we have both feet firmly anchored in the start of the new school year, some parents and some children feel the stress invading them. But what if back-to-school stress was more of a strength and represented a great opportunity to carry out projects?

For several months, we have all had to make great efforts to tame the change: telework, the mask, washing our hands, no longer having access to the usual services, school at home, etc. But just when we have learned to get used to our new normal, we have to adapt again to face the start of the school year.

For many families, this is a stressful time. Also, according to a survey, 52% of parents with children aged 5 to 16 say they are stressed about preparing for the start of the school year*.

But Richard Robillard , educational psychologist who is entering his 53rd year in education, remains cautious about these figures. “What is the distribution of this 52% of parents and what is the amount of mildly stressed or severely stressed people? Personally, I don’t really like these kinds of statistics. Moreover, when we look at the scale of Holmes and Rae (the stressors), the start of the school year is at 26 on a scale of 100 for the parent. In comparison, the loss of a spouse stands at 90! Children, on the other hand, occupy position 39 out of 100 according to the Elkind scale.

Richard Robillard nuances. “I often say that a person is not stressed, they are not anxious, they experience stress or anxiety. Stress is not bad in itself, it prepares us to act!”

What if we put forward the beauty of the beginning of a school year with all the opportunities to learn, to achieve, to develop our strengths and our qualities? —Richard Robillard

The summer slide: should we be concerned?

What researchers call the learning slide or the summer slide is a phenomenon that particularly affects students with learning difficulties. Thus, studies show that the delay that some children take is equivalent to two months of teaching.

The educational psychologist is reassuring. Knowledge is put in a library of the brain. At the beginning of the year, the teacher makes reminders of this knowledge, puts it in a context and now the notions come back to the child’s reach. You have to explain to the child that when he goes back to his books, he will have a reminder. Ask the child what content he would like to be reminded of. We can use books, the Internet, friends, etc.” For Richard Robillard, dramatization is the worst handicap. More than that, it’s a signal that tells us that we need to come back to the content to solidify it.

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