Getting ready to start or go back to school with the kids can be a pretty hectic and stressful time for a family.
I have my youngest daughter, (Texas) starting school for the first time, this September and my oldest moving to a new school, so we are fully delving into the ‘everything is new’ world of back to school. Everything I will talk about here, I will be doing myself and I hope this guide will aid you in making it a lot easier.
Organisation is key
I say this as someone who has to forcibly make myself be organised. As a creative it does not come naturally and if left to my own devices I would be much more inclined to ‘wing it’ than ‘plan it’ and we all know what happens when we do that?
Yep, utter chaos!
So just like you guys I shall be getting organised (somewhat begrudgingly), because I know it works.
Now before laminating your seriously organised spreadsheets and tick lists, let’s get down to the basics. Going back to school can be a big change for your children, whether they are brand new, or going back after a long and fun summer break, so you need to make sure they are feeling Ok about it all.
Age dependent, sit down with your children and do a check in. Are they looking forward to going back? What are they looking forward to? Who are they looking forward to seeing?
Getting your children talking about it all can eliminate any worries that could be building up and create a level of excitement.
While having this talk it would be good to start discussing a plan of action, because children, like adults, like to know where things are going, we aren’t all that keen on the unknown and so discussing your plan of action with them will be very useful.
Things to think about before heading back to school:
Who got big over the holidays? Who needs new shoes? Winter coats? School bags? PE kits and trainers? Once you have accessed this, when are you going to go out and get these things, where from and are the children coming with you? I think it’s important to include children in the buying of the uniform in some way, they have to wear it after all and even if you can give limited choices, that’s a great way of them feeling part of it all.
Do the kids have any homework to complete before heading back? Are there any letters that need to be handed back in, or anything that you need to give to the school in the first week? Again, I am THAT Mum, the one who hands the letters in late or forgets to bring the letters back, so I have to plan, or spend the whole school year apologising to teachers.
Next up, let’s discuss how to mentally prepare for heading back to school:
New school year resolutions
It’s a brand new, fresh start and whatever happened in the year previous, this year you can decide how you want it to run. Sit down with your children and talk about what they want to do better in the next year? What do they want to learn? Is there a new club they would like to go to? Do they want to work harder in a particular area of their school work?
Whether your children are new at school or they are just nervous about going back, it’s actually a fun exercise to ‘practice’ speaking to people. With my daughters I sit down and pretend I am a new kid in their class and I get them to generate a conversation with me.
“Hi, my name is Brooke, what’s your name?”
“My name is Texas.”
“How old are you Texas?”
“4, how old are you?”
“6, do you like playing skipping rope?
“Do you want to play with me?”
And off they go. Practice little scenarios and sometimes make it an easy conversation, sometimes a tricky customer. Kids like the play element to it, but it is also teaching them excellent life skills and getting them ready for those real life conversations that they may have in the new term.
Holidays are of course a time of fun and frolics, but often a time when the rule book goes out of the window slightly and routines shift. Start getting your children into a more ‘school like’ routine at least a week before them heading back. That means meal times at a similar time to what they would be at school, getting dressed in time for ‘school’ (even if you aren’t going anywhere) and bed times strictly at the actual bed time.
*Perhaps even introduce a rewards chart for those that stick to the routine.
If you will be walking to school, it might be fun idea to do that walk before the school starts, so they can be familiar with everything on the route (check out my previous ‘school walk blog’ for some fun games to do on route)
You also need to start mentally preparing for the school run again and being in that organised frame of mind, so start getting yourselves into a better routine.
If your child is going to school for the first time you might find you are feeling anxiety in letting them go, so that is something to address now. When they start school, how are you going to fill your time?
Getting back into a routine for both you and your children can be a tiring process. If you’re trying to get away from the nasties of caffeine and sugary foods but still want that ‘boost’ to pick you up out of a slump then try GLUCOTABS, fast acting glucose which is full to the brim of the good stuff – that’s Glucose, and available in four delicious fruity flavours.
Finally children will be led by you, so if you show a calm, yet excited approach to the new term, they will follow. It’s a fresh start for all and this year, I will be the Mum who hands in the money for trips early, the Mum who remembers it’s the school photograph day and does it all with a smile on my face and you can all check in with me on Twitter & Facebook to make sure I pull it off.