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Because family life matters

Back to school

Getting back into the swing of a new school schedule can seem daunting and take some adjusting. Here are some top tips to help you prepare towards getting back to school in September.

Plan ahead and get organised!

Through August

  • Don’t wait until the last minute to go school shopping. If you do, it can be stressful and you may not find what you want. Take advantage of any early sales to save money.
  • Make a list of supplies and clothing that your child/ren will need.
  • Check through your cupboards to tick the things you can reuse from last year’s school clothing and supplies off your list.
  • Work out your budget before going shopping.
  • Include your children in shopping trips for school supplies. Encourage them to choose their own supplies working within the budget. It’s an opportunity to show them that by saving on one item, they can spend a bit more on something else – maybe on the branded pencil case or lunchbox they really want.
  • Ask around to see if anyone would like to share the school runs with you. Sharing the load with another parent helps with time and finances.
  • Plan something special for the last week. Create a list with ideas that are affordable and fit into your budget, and book something fun to look forward to.

The last week of the holidays

  • Get back into a routine. It can take a while for children’s body clocks to adjust to returning to the schoolday schedule. Encourage your children to go to bed and wake up as they would do on a school day and start this up to a week before they go back to school. To aid this along, plan a few fun things that you can do first thing in the morning together such as a special breakfast or an outing with friends.
  • Create a family calendar for the autumn, ready to place all those after school events and appointments on.
  • Set up a homework station. Create a space where your child can store all their school supplies and tech when they are not in use. Create a box where children can leave notes that have come home from school. This can be made together as a fun arts and crafts project.
  • Arrange a play date with some of your children’s classmates to rebuild social ties before the first day back at school.
  • Look over any information that was sent out last June/July, especially if your child is starting at a new school. Check the school website for any updates or equipment shopping lists.
  • Doublecheck your afterschool childcare arrangements for the children if you are unable to pick them up from school or are working late.
  • Create a countdown to the first day of school with paper chains or a chalk board.
  • Run through your house termtime rules on technology and screen time to refresh the children’s memories on what is allowed and when.
  • Take some time to chat to the children about how they feel about going back to school and reassure them if they are feeling nervous.

The night before

  • Lay clothes out and make lunches the night before ready for the first morning. Pre-fill snack containers with healthy options.
  • Encourage the children to pack their backpacks before they go to sleep.
  • Set your clocks forward by 10 minutes. This can help make it easier to be on time on the all-important first day!

The first day back

  • Take a first-day-of-school photo each year. It can show the children that this day is special and that we as parents are proud of them! It’s also fun to look back on how much they have grown from previous year’s photos.
  • Take a moment to stop and enjoy the moment as you wave goodbye to them.

Ideas from:

https://www.care.com/c/stories/3192/101-back-to-school-tips-for-families/en-gb/, 101 Back-to-School Tips for Families. Accessed: 05/06/19

https://www.teachhub.com/how-parents-can-prepare-back-school-time, How Parents Can Prepare for Back to School Time by: Janelle Cox. Accessed: 05/06/19

http://www.sylvanlearning.com/blog/index.php/how-to-get-kids-excited-to-go-back-to-school/, How to Get Your Kids Excited to Go Back to School by Kim Vij. Accessed: 05/06/19