It’s that time of year again – time to send the kids back to school. Here are 10 things we’ll be doing to slip into this year with ease (we all know we need it).
Get back into a sleep routine
After a string of sleepovers, sleep-ins and just generally not sleeping, it’s time to get the kids back into the school bedtime routine. To encourage the earliest bedtimes, you need to have earlier dinners and ban electronics before bed to minimise the impact of their blue lights on your children’s ability to sleep.
Make a weekly chart
Many kids have a lot to do in the school week. Between extracurricular activities like gymnastics, flute lessons, netball, drama club… oh, and learning, there’s a lot going on in our kids’ worlds. A weekly chart outlining all of their school and extra curricular activities will keep them (and you!) organised.
Use intelligent technology resources to help with tricky subjects
There are certain subjects which can cause anxiety for many students and, as a result, lead to difficulty with class participation and keeping up with their studies. Never fear – there are some fantastic educational resources out there which can really aid children’s at-home learning, helping to increase their confidence and engagement with trickier subjects. Here are just a few we’ve found!
If you’ve got a child who is nervous about starting (or returning to) school, role play can really help children deal with anxiety-inducing situations and make them feel more confident about coping with them when they arise. Have your child act out stressful scenarios – for example, like the part of a student who isn’t understanding class work or a strict teacher – and help them model appropriate responses and copying techniques. This will help them relate these into real life situations.
Prepare and familiarise
Think of everything you can do in their first few weeks of school to help your child feel in control of their experience: take them shopping for school supplies, walk them or drive them on the route to their new school so they get used to what the trip will look like, and think about arranging playdates with their peers in the first week or so – research shows that the presence of a familiar peer during school transitions can improve children’s academic and emotional adjustment. Every little bit of preparation helps relieve their anxiety of going back to school.
Pack a yummy lunchbox
A well-packed lunch box won’t just ensure your kids are consuming nutritious foods at school – helping them use their brain all day to think and retain knowledge – but they also help make heading back to school a little more palatable (literally). We have compiled some nutritionally delicious snacks and meal ideas below for kid’s lunch boxes.
Audit their apps
Maybe your kids have picked up a few new “cool” apps to play over the holidays, and maybe you don’t want them using these newly introduced apps/games/platforms – especially during the school term. Try doing a quick audit of what they have on their phones and if you don’t recognise some, ask your child and then do a little independent research also to see if you’re happy with these new features. You may be, you may not be. An audit on everyone’s devices now and then is a good thing.
Have ‘the talk’
Whether it’s your kids’ first time going to school, their turn to transition to high school or they’re nervous about having a brand new teacher, it’s important to talk positively about the school year with your kids and open the dialogue early so they will tell you what’s happening at school.
Enforce an after-school routine
While they’re still in their school headspace, get the kids to complete their homework as soon as they get home. Use this time to make sure bags, shoes and library books are put in the same spot every day – this makes getting ready for school in the morning easier without one of them howling down the hallway “I can’t find my shoes”.
Create a ‘launch pad’
One way to ensure your family’s organisational success this year, set up a ‘launch pad’ in your home – i.e, a locker with everything each of your children needs for school. With a launch pad, all the gear is laid out there the night before – uniforms, bags, homework, notices, sporting equipment and a copy of their timetable. The mornings are a lot smoother when there’s a launch pad, as it saves running backwards and forwards to bedrooms for forgotten items. It’s not perfect, but it will make a big difference to your days.