The summer holidays seem to stretch out forever in July, but by the end of August, there’s no escaping it – a new school term is fast approaching. However, even with the inevitable return to school looming, getting your kids back into the groove of education can be a bit of an arduous task, especially after six weeks off.
While few children and no teenagers will admit to looking forward to the return of early mornings and homework, there are ways to make going back to school more acceptable, and even exciting. Here are our eight back to school tips:
1. Retail therapy
Getting all their new stationery and school bag can be the epitome of going back to school for some kids. There’s something intoxicating about those shiny new pens, pencils and erasers – even choosing the right folders and dividers will leave you spoilt for choice. Doing the big pre-school shop with your child can be a great way to start building anticipation for their first day of term.
2. Clear a space for study
Decluttering your child’s bedroom so that there’s space for all that shiny new school stuff can be a great way to prepare them for a new school year. Clearing away mess will also help to prepare them mentally. Allowing them to choose where they want to have their desk, so they can really make the study space their own, will make it that little bit more fun for them.
3. Create a homework haven
Now reward all that clearance work by buying some fun, new accessories for their desk or study area – perhaps you could start with some trays, colourful pots for pens, and Post-It notes of all shapes and sizes.
4. Summer scrapbook
Don’t lose all the great memories you made in the summer – the holidays, trips to the beach or park, playdates and water-fights. Get your child a scrapbook and a glue stick to capture it all – this makes a great souvenir to show their new teacher and helps keep their mind active too.
5. Perfect new lunches
Start planning out some new ideas for school lunches – there are lots of tips online. Ask for their advice on what they’d like and give them a few tasters before you pack them for real. Let them choose a new lunchbox too – getting a box with their favourite cartoon character on is bound to keep them happy!
6. Countdown to school
This works particularly well if your child is just starting school. Put a simple planner on the wall and get a supply of stars to make a very visual reminder of how many days there are to go until the first day of term. Let them peel off a star a day to add to the excitement.
7. Practice early starts
Don’t be alarmed by a sudden transition to early mornings – gradually ease your kids into the idea that pyjamas are for night-time and that breakfast happens before 10am. Start setting an alarm in the run-up to the big day, but reward them with tasty breakfasts and day trips to make it seem more fun.
8. Back to school party
The weekend before school starts, invite some of their friends over for a ‘School Year’s Eve’ party – after all, it’s something to celebrate, especially if they are just starting primary school, or taking the step into secondary school.
By preparing your child for school, you can minimise the stress and make it a fun experience for you all. Just don’t forget to set your alarm the night before!