Getting your kids ready for a new school year can be a lot of hard work. As summer comes to a close it will soon be time for early alarms, a rush to get ready, tantrums and hectic school runs.
If you want to ensure that both you and your kids have a smooth transition back into the school routine, you need to start preparing as early as possible. Here’s a few simple ways:
Ensure all school essentials are easy to find
One of the main things that can slow you down on school mornings is not being able to find everything your kids need – they seem to have an uncanny habit of losing the essentials.
Make sure all lunch boxes, clothes, books and other school equipment is kept together. That way as soon as the new term approaches, you will know where everything is and there won’t be a first day back panic.
Buy new equipment and uniforms early
If you leave back to school shopping until the last minute, you could end up in trouble. Getting everything your child will need for their new school term as early as possible will save a lot of stress and hassle. If you’re looking for some solid advice or deals on back to school equipment especially for toddlers and young children then finding out about a local parenting or toddler show could save you money as well as helping you to prepare.
If your child wears school uniform it is important to get it sorted as quickly as you can to minimise the damage if something goes wrong later down the line. Otherwise just make sure your child has clothes that fit them – a summer break at their age can see a surprising amount of growth.
Know how to handle mixed emotions
Your child will likely experience a whole range of emotions as the holidays draw to a close. They may be excited, nervous or even angry that they have to go back to school. Some children like school more than others. If your child is nervous about starting the new term, talk to them about it.
Try to understand where they are coming from and establish whether there are any problems you need to be aware of. If they are really worried and upset about returning, there may be a serious underlying problem. Reassure them that no matter what, they will be ok and you are there for support.
Alter bedtimes a week before school starts
One of the main problems parents have when school starts again is getting the kids to bed and waking them up earlier. It would really help if you were to change their routine at least a week before they return to school. Ideally aim for a couple of weeks before if you can. That way, they will become used to getting up early and it won’t be too much of a shock to the system. It will greatly reduce the risk of tantrums and decrease stress when morning does arrive. Though try to ease them into this otherwise you’ll just hit the same problem just earlier.
Plan for after-school activities ahead of time
Things are bound to be so busy once the school year starts that it will be hard to find time to explore the right after-school options for your family.
Start exploring ActivityHero now to make sure you get the perfect fit for your child’s interests and your budget & schedule.
Create a meal planner
Many parents return to work as their children start the new school term. This leaves very little time to cook meals in the evening. To ensure you and your kids have a good healthy diet; think about creating some kind of meal planner. This can be done weekly or monthly, depending on whichever makes sense for you and is a life saver when you have to cook dinner after just getting in from work.
If your kids take a packed lunch to school then try to make up the kids lunch boxes the night before. Obviously things like sandwiches should wait until the morning otherwise they won’t be as nice. If you do it the night before you won’t be in a rush so there lunches won’t be filled with unhealthy snacks because you didn’t have time to make, or think of, anything better.
Set up play dates with your child’s school friends
Sometimes the anxiety of starting back at school is caused by losing touch with friends during the holidays – after all young children don’t have social media or mobile phones to stay in touch like older children. You can help to ease this anxiety by organizing play dates for your child’s classroom friends.
Catching up before they return to school can turn anxiety into excitement. You could also set up a play date with kids that they may not have bonded with yet. Helping them to make new school friends can help enormously with preparing them for their return to school.
Don’t do anything too exciting at the end of the summer
A mistake which is easy to make is to plan a lot of exciting, big activities to end the school holidays. This can make kids even more reluctant to return. In their eyes if they weren’t going back to school they could do more exciting fun things. Having a normal routine for a week or so will help them to transition without much fuss.
Preparing yourself and your kids for the new term ahead can really save you a lot of hassle. It’s never too early to start preparing so why not see what you can start doing today. Preparing like this doesn’t mean that your kids can’t have a fun and relaxed summer break but it does make things easier for you!
Written by Charlie Hickes. When Charlie isn’t at work or writing for fun he likes to think outside the box for ways to keep children out of mischief. There have been some miserable failures but hey, we live and learn!