8 Original Back to school tips that will change your life
For all children the first day back at school is a daunting one, they have had weeks off from school playing, staying up late and if you're like my family and not having much of a routine of bedtime and having lots of lie-in’s it does not make a happy child come the first day of school. Over the years I have found a few tips that have really changed the first week back at school from tantrums and exhausted grumpy faces being picked up from school to happily telling me all about what has happened with their day. Hopefully, these tips will help you and your family have a happy time going back to school.
1. Be prepared: You know the first week back at school is going to be chaos and the only way to change that is plan what you need to do and buy before the big day arrives. Involve your children with everything and not only will it help you, but it will also help them understand that they will be back at school soon. I always plan to have everything ready for the week before they go back so no last-minute rushing.
2. Uniforms: Running around the day before the first day back trying to find every ones uniforms and shoes and backpacks is one of the most stressful things for you and your children. The week before the end of the holidays check what uniforms fit and what don’t. Wait until the last week before going back to school to buy the uniform as I once bought everything the first week of the holidays and by the time September came round everything was too small. (See my what to buy for school guide...) Label everything !!!! I have lost count of how many jumpers, P.E. pumps, pencil cases etc that have been lost at school over the years. New uniforms are expensive so help to make sure your kids don't lose theirs even if all you do is get a sharpie pen and put their first name, it helps those jumpers and cardigans that were "lost" return home.
3. Routine: Over the holidays it’s fun to let the kids stay up late if you having days out and seeing family, it may be hard to stick to a set bedtime but before going back to school try and help them get into their old routine. Start by getting the kids in bed at their normal (school day) time I start two weeks before the first day back at school, Even those who protest every night will find it easy to settle down come the first day of school.
I start the first week by saying you don’t have to be asleep but you have to be in your bed by ...... and them the second week your bedtime is ...... I found my son will get up at 5.30 am no matter what time he goes to sleep so as you can imagine he gets really grumpy when he stays up late. We also set an “out of bedtime” not a wake-up time but a time where they need to be out of bed say it 7 am and your son/daughter gets up at 6.30 they can relax in bed until 7 am or if they sleep in they will be woken up at 7 am by you and if they get “out of bed” at 7 am and you're still in bed they get to wake you up!! I have pretended in the past to be asleep to hear the excitement of my son trying to wake me up.
4. Plan dinners: This only applies if your child has packed lunches you already probably know what things your children like but ask them anyway. Try and stay away from the high sugar items, I find that if something high in sugar it tends to have cartoon characters on it or be bright colours. I try and keep dinners to one cartoon branded item as too many times have I been present when kids been on a sugar high and then tantrums when they are on the comedown.
5. Limit electronics: All kids seem to be to love anything electrical from mobile phones to tablets and laptops but getting back to school I’ve found that limiting them to an hour a day and every time any chores are done or when “homework” is completed they get an extra half hour or hour depending on their age and what the reward is for. The last week before school I always ask that no phones or tablets are taken in their bedroom at night as the temptation to play with then always seems to ruin bedtime.
6. Let your children go shopping; Give your kids the opportunity to choose and buy their own stationery, lunchbox, water bottle and backpack. your five-year-old daughter may love dinosaurs, have dinosaur bedding, dinosaur posters but if none of her friends at school like dinosaurs she might like taking a dinosaur backpack to school every day. I normally go somewhere like Poundland or the supermarket for their stationery as they can choose anything they like without it costing a fortune. Of course, if your child has their heart set on a bag with a backpack with a pink roller skating dinosaur holding an umbrella and there in none in any stores then the fact that they can choose something themselves should help diffuse the situation. I normally let them choose the breakfast for the first week back weather pancakes with bacon or simple cereal and normally they have anything they want for tea the first day back at school surprisingly it's normally spaghetti with garlic bread. giving a child choices encourages confidence and self-worth.
7. Talk to your kids : Even the most excited child who can't wait to go back to school will still be a little unsure once they get threw the gates of the school, so talking to them the night before about their new classroom and new teacher will really help. I like mine your child goes to a morning club then it's especially important to make sure they know they will be dropped off early as after spending weeks with you they understandable will not want to be excited about leaving you.
8. Homework: If your child has been given homework make sure it is finished off and they understand what it was about. If they have not I pick up a couple of workbooks on maths, English, ect and work through them over the last week holidays I know it sounds boring but it helps them get used to sitting down and working again. A couple of pages one day and a couple of pages the next to make a difference and I always gove a reward so for every three pages they get a snack of when they complete a full book they get a present or a trip out to the beach.
8 Original Back to school tips that will change your life:
6. Let your children go shopping
I hope these tips help to make the going back to school process a bit calmer and a bit smoother for you. if you have any more ideas that would help let me know over on Twitter, Instagram or I have some other posts on Pinterest to.