Back to School 2022
Instructions on how to order Back to School 2022 gifts are at the bottom of this page!
Children across our territory are returning to school throughout January and February 2022. For some children and their families this is a very exciting time, for others it’s a difficult time. After two years of lockdowns across our four nations, it’s not surprising for children to have mixed feelings or anxiety about returning to school in 2022.
We’ve put together some resources that families can use to help their children communicate their worries and help prepare them as they return to school in 2022.
Tips for Managing Back to School Anxiety
- Establish a routine. Re-establish school-time bedtime and morning routines a week or so before school starts so your child doesn’t have to adjust to a complete change of routine all at once.
- Reacquaint them with the space. If possible, walk around the school property a couple of times before school starts again. Let your child know which classroom is theirs and show them where you or anther caregiver will be waiting to meet them at the end of the school day. Alternatively, if your child will be walking to school by themselves or with friends, walk the route home with them and remind them who will be there to greet them when they arrive back home.
- Listen. As adults, parents, and caregivers we often want to lead conversion with our children. Let your child lead the conversation instead, practice active listening, and affirm their feelings.
- Comfort objects. A comfort object could be a smooth stone, a fluffy pompom, or any small item that is nice to touch which your child can carry on their person. Focussing on a tactile object can help calm overwhelming feelings of anxiety. It’s good to help your child practise focussing on the object before they return to school. We also recommend letting their teacher know about the item so they don’t confuse it with a toy.
Some feelings can be difficult to define, especially for children. This printable feelings wheel helps your child identify and communicate their emotions. Children often find it easy to identify their core emotion – angry, sad, happy – but have difficulty going deeper. The outer circle lists secondary emotions that give greater insight into how your child is feeling.
You can use the wheel when asking your child about their day, when you can see a meltdown coming, or after a meltdown to debrief what happened to upset them.
It’s also a great tool to help your child understand their feelings about returning to school.
You can find one we've created below to download for yourself!
Prayer is a powerful and can be a great comfort for people of all ages. It’s great to pray for your children as well as encouraging them to pray for themselves. Here are some ideas to try:
- Go on a prayer walk – walk around your child’s school or the route they take to school and pray for their concerns and wellbeing as you go.
- Praying in colour – this website encourages people of all ages to doodle their prayers. It’s an excellent way to pray when you aren’t sure what to say.
- Practice a simplified version of examen with your child. Ask your child to tell you something about their day, how they feel about it, and what they would like to tell god about it. And then pray that together. This is a great activity to do on the ride / walk home from school or at dinner time.
Back to School Celebrations
Families and friends often like to celebrate a new school year with fun activities and caring gestures. Here are some ideas that you can do with your family, or for others to celebrate a new school year:
- Back to School Bucket List. We have a template you can use with some ideas to get you started.
- Chalk bomb blessings and caring messages outside the homes of your friends and family.
- Learn a new hairstyle for your child to wear on the first day back.
- End of holidays dinner or picnic with family and friends.
- Special lunch with a caring note for their first day back.
Every year the Children’s Mission produces a Back to School gift that corps and centre can purchase at cost to give children at the beginning of the school year as a reminder that not only does their faith community care, but that God is with them in their return to school. This year we have mini colouring pencil pack. Each pack contains 6 small coloured pencils in a cardboard case with Philippians 4:13 “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength” printed on them.
Pencil sets cost $2 each, shipping is covered by the THQ Children’s Mission. To order your set please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the quantity required, delivery address and the name of your corps or centre. Costs will be journaled.
Unfortunately, due to shipping issues we will not be able to send this years’ gift to Fiji, Tonga, or Samoa.