Oh no! I mean… oh yes! Finally, the holidays have ended, and the kids go back to school. But before we get peace and quiet between nine to three, we’ve got to get them ready. Now that is stressful.
Shoes, books, stationery, bags, tantrums, and waking up at seven AM! The weeks before school starts back can be a nightmare for parents. There are so many things to organise and so much to do! On top of everything else in life, it can seem impossible. Not just for parents, but for students too.
There are always nerves surrounding the return to school each year. Sometimes a new school, but always a new year level. This poses more, unprecedented challenges. But getting back into that routine is actually a good thing. Students not only get to see their friends again, but they also get structure. However, sometimes students can put up a fight, especially if they are young.
Taking them shopping for books can either be quick and easy or an all-day ordeal. It can be fun or torturous. As a result, students and parents end up leaving things to the last minute and put it off for as long as possible.
But with some easy tips, this stressful time can become a whole lot easier!
1. Sleeping Routine
We know how it goes… the kids are used to being up until eleven or twelve o’clock at night. Well, this isn’t going to cut it when they have to wake-up for school at six or seven AM. However, getting the kids to agree to an earlier bedtime the night before school starts again can be difficult.
To make this transition a little easier, start making their bedtimes a little earlier each night a week or two in advance. This won’t cause too much disruption to their holiday fun but ensures they will be right on track by the time school begins.
For the older students, make sure their intake of caffeine and energy drinks is limited (especially before bedtime). It is also important to check that they aren’t working too late at night or juggling too many jobs.
This, in combination with a bedtime routine, will make sure there will be no cranky and overtired children on the morning of the first day of school.
2. School Supplies
For this one, organisation is key. Start getting ready for the new year early, like in the first week of January. This ensures you’re ahead of the last-minute crowds and don’t miss out on supplies that your child really needs for the new school year.
Now we know how most of our children have stationery and books left over from the year before, and often times never use them again. But check with your child first, before you go buying all new things, and make sure you don’t double up! Similarly, uniforms from the year before often still fit, but make sure you check that they are the right size. You don’t want to get to the morning of the first day, and their uniform no longer fits!
When buying exercise books, don’t simply get what’s on the school-issued list. Buy at least two exercise books per subject per term. This will save an extra trip later on in the year!
Finally, ensure all technology used in school (laptops etc.) are in good working condition a few weeks prior to the first day. This will enable you time to get any necessary repairs or updates in!
When it comes to giving up the holiday snacks and eating healthy, children can be stubborn. That junk food they’ve been allowed to indulge in for six weeks isn’t going to help feed their brain when it comes to going back to five intense days working hard at school. The chocolate needs to go, and the apples need to make a return!
The school routine doesn’t just apply to waking up and being on time. You need to make sure your children are eating properly. Most senior school-aged students skip breakfast or just have a snack before school. This is far from ideal when it comes to needing long-lasting energy for a big school day.
If you and your children are lacking time in the morning, choose quick on-the-go but healthy breakfasts, like oats and grains. Always try and combine it with some fruit for nutritional value. Another quick and healthy option is toast with some avocado or spread.
As for lunches, make sure that your child has some good healthy food to eat. If you don’t have the time to prepare their lunch, teach them how, and check the final product to ensure it is school appropriate. This will teach them independence and how to be responsible for what they put in their bodies. Some simple ideas include carrots, celery sticks, ham sandwiches, and fruit.
Getting back into a sleeping and eating schedule isn’t all that your children should be doing, organisation is also paramount. Make sure that once all the books and stationery are collected, your child organises and preps them for the term ahead.
A fabulous idea is to have them write in a planner each week to manage their time and keep track of important dates. Another ‘must-do’ is labelling. We’ve all been there, your child comes home from school and whines about losing their pencil case, their hat, or favourite eraser. Label every item with either a permanent marker or using a label maker to ensure nothing goes amiss!
The morning before school starts can be stressful. To avoid this, have your child pack their school bag the night before. This will ensure that the morning runs super smoothly, and your child doesn’t forget anything. If necessary, book in some sessions with an Academic Personal Trainer (APT) to ease the transition back to school!
The last thing a student wants to do in their final week of freedom is schoolwork. However, to start with a good footing from the get-go, some revision of the previous school year is necessary. During the last week of the holidays, have your child revise work from their previous subjects. This will get their brain back into the swing of things!
Revision and a little bit of practice will help them land on their feet, racing to go for the school year. This will give them a chance to understand difficult or complex concepts that they need to know for their subjects. This is super important for senior school ATAR students, as revision is a key element of this system.
Most importantly, if you or your child is struggling to get into the swing of it, utilise an APT to help you plan and get all that revision done! Once finished, students can go back to enjoying that last week of holidays, knowing that they have everything ready for the new school year. Now, students can go watch some well-deserved Netflix!
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