Making back to school time less stressful
It’s almost time for the kids to go back to school but there are ways to make things easier.
Summer holidays are almost over and the kids will soon be going to school. That means you have a big checklist to tick off. Uniforms, stationery, transport – it all needs to be taken into consideration and it’s common for parents, especially those of first-timers, to feel overwhelmed and underprepared by the time day one rolls around.
Don’t panic; here are a few tips that will make your childrens’ back to school experience a little easier:
1. Meet the teacher and scope out the right classroom before the first day of school rolls around. The more prepared your child feels before school starts, the more likely they’ll hit the ground running.
2. Second-hand is good. Kids out-grow just about every piece of clothing they wear in less than a year, particularly when they’re younger. It makes sense to exchange old uniforms with your neighbours whose kids go to the same school as yours. Use neighbourly.co.nz to sell your old school uniforms that are in excellent quality to neighbouring families, or ask around for ‘new’ threads for your own children.
3. Shop the sales. These days many schools provide the parents of their students with long lists of stationery and other back-toschool paraphernalia that kids must take with them on their first day. Be organised and don’t leave kitting out your children to the last minute. Make the most of sales at the big department stores, or if you’re really organised, order everything online.
4. Create a mini home office. The older your children get, the more homework they’re going to be given. Encourage studious habits from a young age by creating a little person’s home office. Your children will be more likely to want to do their homework if they have a purposebuilt space that’s just for them.
5. Create a calendar. It’s not always easy to manage life when one kid has rugby practice three times a week and a game on Saturday morning, while another has ballet on Monday, Girl Guides on Tuesday, piano lessons on Thursday and netball on Saturday afternoon. Maintain control over your life by keeping a close eye on your children’s schedules and making it visible to the whole family. Have a lot going on? Slot in family time at least one night a week too.
6. School routes. It’s always a nightmare trying to negotiate pre and post-school traffic, so think about alternative ways to get your kids to school. Can they walk? Ride their bikes? Take the bus? If the kids on your street tend to go to the same school, think about organising a carpooling roster or a walking school bus.
7. Treat your kids. Parents might regard the return of the school term as a knight in shining armour, but that doesn’t mean your children do. Make a big deal about them the week before they go back to class – particularly if they’re feeling uneasy about it; starting at a new school, or have never been to school before.
How to get the kids to and from school? Just one of the things you’ll need to give some thought to over the next few days.