It’s nearing ever so close to when the kids are back to school, and amidst all the chaos/play dates/beach days, you probably haven’t had much time (or desire!) to shop and prepare for their return/first day. So, as part of our †˜Back to School Edition,’ I thought I'd share a few helpful tips and tricks that I learnt last year to get your kids (and you!) ready and excited for their first ever day or back to school needs. My most important tip is 'be organised' so you create a framework and routine in which your kids feel comfy, confident and safe to learn & play in.
Before School Starts:
- Make sure you have the essentials. Most schools provide a supply list at the end of the last year with all the necessary requirements for the year. Make sure to include pens, coloured and normal pencils, pencil cases, glue, safety scissors and necessary books. And don't forget the bag, library bag, excursion bag, painting smocks etc
- Uniform! Make sure clothes still fit – if not, take a trip to your local Lowes or Target to top up on polo shirts or shorts for school uniforms. Most schools have uniform shop + seconds available thru fundraising or 'friends' – check what you have against what you need to purchase. And of course sports uniforms and SHOES .... proper fittings can take ages.
- Lunchboxes (Make sure you got one!) – Have a browse through our Beauty Kitchen for how too's and yummy recipes for your kids.
- Schedule a quick doctor and dental check-up. It’s a mighty good feeling knowing that your child/ren will be perfectly healthy and in good spirits for their first day back. If they are starting pre-school or school their immunisation shots need to be up-to date
- Get your calendar ready! With kids back to school, that means extracurricular activities start up once again. Make a note of who will be taking the kids, who’ll be picking them up, if you’ll need a babysitter, etc – as well as, adding to the calendar with important school dates, such as fundraisers, excursions and the like. It's a good idea to get a weekly "what's for dinner' fridge chart going that corresponds with the 'what's on / who is where' timetable. I also run a chalk board in the kitchen so we ALL know what is happening as seriously it is easy to forget to pack library books or pop the little ones in their sports uniform.
- Re-establish after-school, dinner and bedtime routines immediately, so your kids are well prepared for when school starts up once again. Let them know what is going to happen as it’s better for them to get used to the routine before school begins, so you’re not feeling frazzled with all the chaos happening.
- Don’t forget to set alarm clocks! Make sure you leave plenty of extra time for breakfast and the trip to school.
- For those with younger children, make the time to take your kids to school and meet their teachers – watch them get settled before you leave. (it's very different to day care & pre-school...far more cut and dry!) If they feel anxious on their first day, let them know you care by reassuring them that it’s okay to be nervous anytime you start something new, and that they’ll be fine once they become familiar with their new classmates and teacher. (It may take all term tho) You can also include pictures or personal notes (tho not many can read in kindy) to leave in their lunchbox as a cute token of affection.
- Establish a clear homework area for your kids. If you have older kids, they can study in their room or in a quiet area of the house, but if you have younger children, they need an area under your supervision in the case of help and encouragement.
- Forms, forms and more forms! This time of year is when you need to sign excursion slips, address checks, allergy forms and the like, so sign them asap and send them on their way. Don’t leave it to the last minute. It’s also a good idea to designate a spot for these school-related forms. PS - They don't stop all year.
Good luck & enjoy this precious time of their life!