Whether you’re sending your littles off to school for the first time this year, or old hat at organising for a new term, September always heralds beginnings and a fresh start. From the smell of new school books and stationery, to the shine on patent leather shoes, everything is clean and crisp and waiting to be filled - with words and numbers, and little feet too!
Regardless of my experience in readying my three children for school, each year there’s always a last minute dash for something we’ve missed (an eleventh hour supermarket trip for a missing school shirt or some pencil case essential!) I’m yet to completely crack the Back to School organisation thing completely! Nevertheless, there are some top tips that we have been fortunate to acquire over the years and they definitely help in easing the transition.
I mean, if there’s ever a time to put your best foot forward…!
All the manuals will tell you this but we’ve learnt to take it to a new level. There’s no end to the things children can lose. (It’s definitely possible for your child to come home with two matching shoes. But one a size smaller. It took me a good hour to work out that he’d evidently grabbed someone else’s right shoe in the jumble after P.E. Boys!!) From pinafores to plimsolls, shoes to shirts, and even pencils – it’s worth spending time now to save it later. The best labels we have found are from here, can be put onto anything and require no sewing or ironing!
Parent friendly technologies…
Anything that saves time (especially on a Sunday evening!) is a winner and so we’re always careful to buy uniform that offers non-iron, crease free or permanent pleat options. It’s also not half as soul-destroying when the kids come home mid-week with half of their school dinner on their lap! A quick whizz in the washing machine and they’re good as new without major fuss.
Plan, plan, plan
When your kids have a busier social life than you, it’s crucial to start noting things down, particularly when it comes to birthday parties, after school clubs and when extra-curricular fees are due. We have a noticeboard for invitations and important school notes as well as this family planner to keep us all on track. It ensures that we’re (usually) on time and (mostly) never forget important events and occasions.
When my youngest daughter started in Primary school she was still very much used to being helped with little things like organisation and putting her coat and shoes on. I distinctly remember the teacher telling us to encourage them to do these things themselves as independence is such an essential part of learning. Little things can help with this, like having specific or named coat hooks in your hallway for them to hang their bags and coats on, or a school bag checklist that they can refer to every evening. Establishing organisational skills early and hoping that they stick!
The Lunch Debate
What to do with fussy eaters? School dinners might not be for every child, and we’ve all been on the receiving end of soggy packed lunch sandwiches too. Not so appetising!
We have loved these bento boxes in the past and they allow you to balance lunches whilst also making them anything but boring. Everyone loves a deconstructed meal, don’t they? (It’s worth checking out here for some brilliant Bento ideas!)
Have a wonderful new academic year!