The new school year is just around the corner! Kids are getting excited about seeing old friends and making new ones. Teachers are getting ready to help children engage with their learning and discover new skills. Meanwhile, parents are tasked with keeping organised, creating solid routines, and supporting children to be their best.
To help, we’ve put together some tips on everything from morning strategies and homework helpers to lunch box solutions and easy organisation tips that will end up moving you to the head of the class.
1. Get all the gear
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Find out as early as possible what the school requires the kids to have in terms of books, stationery, and uniform. It will make it easier for them to get a great start to the school year if they have everything they need ready for their first day.
2. Make mornings organised …
Trying to get out of the door on time when a school bell or work commitments beckon can make for a stressful start to the day. A morning routine is the key to calm! Take some time to create a morning routine for each member of your family. You might need to make one for each day so you can incorporate things like packing gear for after-school activities.
3. … and afternoons
Embedding an afternoon routine can help take some of the pressure off the routine for the following morning. Include getting their lunchboxes out and into the kitchen as soon as they come in the door. Set aside time for homework, a snack, and some reading.
4. Keep time
The key to a successful routine is knowing the time – and this is where simple-to-read clocks are essential. Showing the children how to read the time for themselves will give your kids the power to stick to their routine and get themselves organised (without nagging from you).
5. Ready, set breakfast
A healthy nutritious breakfast puts kids in the right mood for learning and gives you peace of mind that they have the best start to their day. Kids as young as four or five years old can get a bowl of cold cereal for themselves and as they get older they can learn to safely use the toaster or microwave.
Try these breakfast ideas for quick, healthy starts to the school day.
6. Keep lunch boxes easy
While we all want to love and nurture our children by packing the best and most exciting lunch box possible, we also need to balance our aspirations against reality. Consider packing the lunch boxes the night before and pop them in the fridge – remembering that it takes some time to find the food the kids will actually eat and that you will find easy to prepare.
7. Share the load
A busy school year means less time for housework as you’re busy balancing other priorities such as homework help, after-school activities, or packing lunches. Share the housework load around everyone in the home with 36 easy chores that kids can tackle.
8. Problems are a learning experience
Term time at school isn’t always perfect and our children don’t always behave like angels or the genius we had hoped they would be. School rules, expectations and social pressures can be too much for our kids and it’s not uncommon for problems to rear their head once children settle into the school year. It can be anything from bullies to learning problems to physical problems that come up and unsettle us – be ready to embrace them!
Even though your child is away at school every day you are still very much part of their learning team. As you already know, each child is different and the way they learn and interact throughout their school years will be too. Try to gain an understanding of the different ways that children learn, general milestones, and how you can support their learning.
10. Labels, names, and ownership
Label all your child’s belongings including the library bag and especially the school hat. Encourage your child to dress themselves so they can manage things like taking jumpers or coats on and off at school. Explain the concept of “lost property” to your kids, so they know how to find lost items on their own. Then cross your fingers and hope they have listened to you!
11. Rules and behaviour
Schools have a range of approaches to reinforce the good behaviour measures taught by parents – so learn what they are and make sure you can back them up at home! For students in the early years, the focus will be on learning to work cooperatively with others and to follow instructions from the teacher. It’s a parent’s job to remind and reinforce the school rules at home so kids understand why certain actions are unacceptable.
You can be certain that the school year will go a lot more smoothly if your child is getting enough sleep.