Another element that contributes to our kids’ back-to-school anxiety is the fact that they may still be adjusting to their transition into Mercy Home. It’s a lot to ask of a kid to move away from their family and the environment they know. Some even start a new school when they come here. And for many of our kids, school was not an important part of their life before they came to Mercy Home.
“A lot of them dropped out of school or stopped going to school, or were really inconsistent with school,” Eddie said. “When they come here, the expectation is that you attend school every day – it’s part of their academic treatment as well. So that can be a huge struggle for them.”
Having been out of school or inconsistent with their attendance can add to the back-to-school anxiety our kids experience. Many kids enter our care several grade levels behind their peers in academic performance. Catching them back up and getting them reacquainted with academic work isn’t always easy, but we slowly try to rebuild these skills and practices to help reduce their anxiety around school.
“Some of them don’t have the specific study habits that are needed to successfully study for an exam, so that’s a skill that we help them learn,” Eddie said. “A lot of them have exam anxiety – they could study for hours and hours and hours – then when they take a test, it’s like, ‘I just forgot everything.’ That’s another skill we help them develop.”
If your child is experiencing back-to-school anxiety, we encourage you to create a dialogue with them and let them know what they are feeling is normal. Try asking them question about what they are nervous about, and if possible, help them prepare for these specific situations. Maybe share some stories about things that made you anxious about going back to school when you were their age.
Support the boys and girls of Mercy Home in their journey for academic success by making a donation today.