It’s that time of year again that most parents dread. The big rush before the kids goes back to school. Every year is usually the same, with most parents stressing up until the last minute about preparing their kids for the new school year. And it isn’t easy, having to prepare for all the things that they are going to need over that year. But don’t stress, because there are a few ways to make things a little easier on yourself before the big day rolls around again.
1. Start getting ready early
It is so easy for parents to get to the end of the school holidays and forget how much time they have left until school goes back. However, if you start to prepare for the new school year earlier on, then you won’t have any last minute panics about forgetting things. Most people don’t like to start their shopping until the back to school sales start so that they can save money, but to be prepared, you need to get in quick. As soon as the sales begin, which is usually a month before school goes back is when you should begin your shopping.
This way, if you forget anything in your first shop, you will have time to go back and get anything else you may have overlooked. Clothes are another thing you should get on top of quickly, especially if your child wears a uniform to school because buying them again throughout the year will be more difficult. Even if you have a limited time to get your child ready for school because of time is taken up by family trips or vacations, it is always a good idea to start planning for school as soon as you possibly can so that you will be prepared when the big day comes.
2. Organization is key
Making sure that you are organized will help the children to be more organized as the year begins. If you don’t have any clue about what is happening at school and what your child will be doing, then you won’t be able to prepare them for what is to come. Not only does this involve stocking up on stationary and school supplies, but it may also be a good idea to keep track of school events on your calendar so that you never forget an important day. This also helps your child to learn the importance of organization and time management by keeping track of big events with you.
3. Get a routine going
Something that children respond well to is routine. Children that don’t have some form of routine in their home life can struggle when a routine is placed on them at school. Most teachers will do certain subjects at certain times of the day every week, and you should be enforcing this at home by giving your children specific times to do their homework, have dinner and go to bed.
Starting the ‘school routine’ a week early is another excellent way to help the children adjust to the change more comfortable. Dr. Deborah Linebarger of Iowa University suggests allowing kids a small window for play and relaxation after school, but making sure you enforce a specific time for homework every day to help them get the most out of their work before dinner and bedtime. Routine can also include kids sports events and having a tutor work with the children during the school year.
4. Read to your kids
This is especially important for little ones because they need you to set an example for them when it comes to helping them form healthy learning habits. Children who have parents (especially fathers) who read to them on a regular basis are more likely to develop better language skills early on. You should also enforce reading time with your older children as well, even if they don’t need you to help them anymore. Reading is an excellent way for kids to break away from their homework, while still broadening their minds and engaging with something that doesn’t revolve around a screen, which is always a good thing.
5. Trial ideas for healthy snacks and lunches
School holidays are a great time for different trial ideas for your children’s lunches because they spend most of their time at home. Because of this, you can try different things and ask them directly if they like them or not before you send them off to school. When trialing these new snacks, you should be mindful that some schools have health codes for other students with allergies. If you have any doubts about some of the food that you are giving your children, check with the school beforehand to see if your kids can take things like peanut butter sandwiches or egg salad with them without any issues.
Planning and preparing for your kids to go back to school as early as you can is the best way to keep on top of everything that you need to get done before their first day. If you have some extra time off while you’re on holidays, then take the time to try and get ready and make sure that the kids are not only physically, but mentally prepared to go to start school. If all of you are in sync and understand what you all need to do to get ready, then you will have much less stress on the day, and the children will make a smoother transition on their first day.