Back to school checklist
The first week back to school is always hectic and I always like to be as organised as possible but sometimes it is difficult to remember exactly what is needed and who does what and when!
This back to school checklist will keep you on the right track.
1. Out with the old, in with the new – Get rid of any old school uniform that doesn’t fit. Pass it on to good home by donating anything still in good condition to a charity shop or a younger child. Clear out old pencil cases and school bags of pens,pencils and rubbers that are past their best.
2. Write a to-do list – Uniform, school bags, lunch boxes and stationery need to be purchased before the big day so your child feels organised and ready for the new term. Try and get to the shops at least 3 weeks before term starts, just in case you have to wait for a size to be ordered in. Don’t forget about the P.E kit.
3. Stationery - If your child is in the lower primary the school will usually provide you with a list. If you have an older child let them lead the way. Take them shopping and let them pick a pencil-case, pencils, (get good quality HB pencils – the leads last longer than the cheaper ones so will cost you less in the long run!), pens, rubbers, calculators etc.
4. Family calendar - If everyone in the family knows where they should be and what they should be doing each day your life will be a lot easier. Get used to writing after school activities down and make a point of looking at it with your children every morning so everyone knows where they are going to be each day and who is going to pick them up.
5. Packed lunch or school dinners – This will require a proper discussion if you want your child to make healthy choices this term! Talk about what sorts of healthy foods will be included if they are taking packed lunches and make sure it is all food they will eat. Compromise is the key! Try to make choices that will keep you both happy. A full stomach is important so they have enough energy for work and play.
6. Bedtime routine – If you are anything like me your children’s bedtime routine may have become a bit lax over the summer months. However, it is really important that a routine is established that ensures your child gets the sleep they need to allow them to perform to their best abilities. Talk about what time they will be going to bed on a school night and make sure you stick to it. Encourage a wind down period that doesn’t involve too much stimulation. Read to your child, or even better – have them read to you if they are old enough.
7. Morning routine – Getting out of the house in the morning without World War 2 erupting can be a challenge in most houses. I have found that giving my children a bit of responsibility for ensuring they are ready really helps. Get them to pack their bag the night before and set it by the door ready to go so you are not scrambling around in a panic before the school run. Give them a time limit for getting organised and let them know what they have to achieve within this time so you don’t end up repeating yourself. Iron and set out uniforms the night before so all they have to do is dress themselves. I always used to laugh at my mum for setting the table for breakfast the night before, but now I understand why she did it. The less you have to think about in the morning the better!
8. Homework – This is definitely something most parents and children don’t look forward to returning to. Talk to your child about what you expect from them when they get home from school. When will the homework get done in the week and how much time will they be allowed to spend on activities like watching T.V or playing on the Wii. If you set the ground rules from the start it will be much easier to get everything completed.
By Clare Rimmer