There is only a week or two left of school holidays. Then it’s back to school. Back to the daily struggle of waking the kids up early, preparing their breakfasts and lunches, the drop offs and pick ups. Then there’s the homework and school activities, the neverending notes that get lost in the chasm of the school bags.
The best way to deal with the return of school days is preparation. It is the key to everything. Here we have some tips that may help you prepare for the next school term.
Shop like a pro
Make a list of things that the kids will need at the start of the year. It’s almost the same each year so just check the list from last year. If this is your child’s first year, just wait until the teacher gives you instructions. Usually, they give it during the Kindy orientation, or you can call the school. Buy in bulk and hide the extra items somewhere safe for when they need more during the school year (they will always need more). If you can, don’t bring the kids with you so you finish shopping faster. Write down other stuff you’ll need too like permanent markers and small ice blocks to go in the lunchboxes when it’s a really hot day.
If you organise yourself ahead of time, there’s a lesser chance for you to freak out later on. Some things to remember are:
- Get the app/e-newsletter that the teacher/school uses so you are constantly updated with what’s happening in your child’s class and school.
- Prepare their uniforms and keep an eye out for the second-hand stall or school buy / swap / sell pages. Instead of buying the official uniforms for $20 you can get usually get them for less than $5.
- Write their names on everything because they will lose it. Eventually, all kids lose something. It is inevitable.
- Buy proper school shoes instead of the cheap ones that only last a month.
- Do lunch prep if you can and just stack them in the freezer/fridge.
Train the kids (and yourself)
The ultimate goal is to make your kids independent enough so that they do a lot of the work. Train them to wake up at the right time by getting an alarm clock and putting it somewhere they can’t reach. Train them to put on their uniforms and make their breakfast (surely they can put cereal and milk in a bowl by now) before watching something on TV. Let them know that if they are not dressed and haven’t had breakfast by the time you’re ready to drive them to school, they are going hungry and in their pyjamas (and mean it too!). Let them know that homework is their responsibility. If they don’t do it and get in trouble with the teacher, they have to face the consequences. And finally, you as a parent need to learn and understand that you don’t have to be responsible for everything all the time.