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Dreading the start of the new term? We’ve got some tips for going back to school that will help get the whole family back in the old routine.
Getting ready for school takes more than a morning – you’ve got to get the kids back in the routine from day one.
So it’s about more than getting the morning routine for school right, it’s about preparing them to be up, ready and keen to learn with their friends.
Here's our advice …
Talk it through
You’ll remember the lurch in your stomach as the last days of your summer holidays ticked away when you were at school.
There were new teachers and new classes to worry about, plus classmates to catch up with – some of whom you’d rather not have encountered. You never wanted that stress, so get rid of it.
Your kids will be feeling exactly the same. Sit them down for a chat about what they’re looking forward to and what worries they may have.
There will be school pals they’ve lost contact with over the holidays that they’ll be desperate to see. Get them to reconnect before that first bell of the school year, even if it means you have to drop the pal’s mum a text.
Knowing there'll be laughs, jokes and good times ahead – as well as the hard work – makes easing back into the term-time routine a little easier.
And getting a window into your child’s worries will help you learn what might be the problem if they come home from school with a furrowed brow.
Of all our tips for going back to school, this is the one that'll help keep your child happy throughout term.
Weekday mornings need to run with military precision. Every moment from the second the alarm goes off has to be accounted for, as you will be preparing for work and the kids will be getting ready for school.
The more preparation you can put in ahead of that alarm on the first morning of term, the better.
First off, get the kids to make sure they’ve got their uniforms ready for the week, from shirt to socks, jacket to shoes. Then check they’ve done it.
Dish out those new rubbers, rulers and pencils and ask them to fill up their pencil cases and pack their schoolbags. Then check they’ve done it.
Get them to root out their gym bag – hopefully, there’s no long-forgotten sweaty socks in there – and put their clean trainers and kit inside. Then check they’ve done it.
Now, tell them this is what you expect them to do every Sunday evening – to spent 20 minutes getting ready for school for the week. If they keep it up, get it right, there’s a treat in it for them.
Getting organized ahead of school restarting not only starts getting the kids into that term-time psyche, it makes things less stressful on that dreadful first morning.
Early to Bed, Early to Rise
The kids have been kicking back for weeks. Bedtime has slowly crept later and later. But you’re going to need them at their most alert. So reach for your earplugs and start getting them back into a morning routine for school.
Edge them closer to their term-time bedtime in the run up to the return to school. They’ll protest – hence, the earplugs – but by getting them to bed that bit earlier, they’ll be more prepared for those early rises. It’s one of the top tips for going back to school that we’ve picked up.
Remember, they’ll need time to wash, dress, eat a good breakfast to set them up for the day, brush their teeth and brush their hair. That’s a lot to get a sleepy head around. And it’s all on a tight schedule so you can all get out the door and off to where you should be, with everything each of you needs.
So why not try a dry run? Head off for an early morning swim at the pool with the family to see if you can make it in time for 9am, or get the gang down to the park for a session on the play equipment – they’ll soon get in the swing (sorry!).