Can you believe it’s back to school this week? It’s incredible how one misses that extra week we normally have in the December holidays. I don’t know about you, but nothing irritates me more than a back to school TV advert. I guess one advantage of still having builders here at home is that there is no TV connected, hence, no subjection to back to school ads! Are you ready for school yet? Those words always make me feel anxious and no matter how ready I think I am there’s always something I leave out. I’ve sourced some tips to make the transition into the school term a little easier for you, especially if you have younger kids. I hope they help a little:
1. Re-establish Your Morning Routine
In the last few days of holidays, get your children to start going to bed and waking up earlier. You can go one better and plan outdoor activities or outings in the mornings, so they get into the habit of leaving home after breakfast. This will get your kids out of their PJ’s and back into the routine of getting ready for school without them even knowing it.
2. Make a Launch Pad / Command Centre
Call it what you like, it’s essential to have a central point where school bags can be hung up, letters for mom from school can be pinned up, etc. Anything that needs to go to school in the morning or any communication from school which is for your attention. It’s also nice to have a container for pens, scissors, envelopes and the like for signing off reply slips or sending money to school for outings. I’ve pinned a few of my favourite Command Centres to give you some inspiration.
3. Cultivate Independence In Your Child
Once your younger child is at school, he will need to manage a lot of things on his own. Explain this to him and help him by giving him certain responsibilities at home. In my opinion, children are never too young to help with marking pencils or covering books. Even if it’s just cutting the sticky tape for you. Allow him to take some ownership of his possessions, you might find this encourages him to take better care of them when at school. Teens, on the other hand, should be able to handle the marking and covering process on their own.
4. Establish A Time And Place For Homework
Find a place in your home where both you and your child are comfortable with doing homework. For younger kids this might be at the dining room table or the kitchen counter – the busy mom life, I understand! For older kids having a desk in their own bedroom is ideal. The area should be well ventilated and as distraction-free as possible. Your child should know for certain that at a specific time every day, he will be doing his homework here.
5. Decide On An After School Timetable
Play is important for young children, but so is homework, and getting your child to do both in an afternoon is sometimes difficult and the start of many arguments between kids and their parents. Have you thought of involving your child in drawing up an afternoon timetable? Have your child suggest what he would prefer to do first when he gets home, play or do homework. Then agree on a time limit and draw up a timetable together. If your child has had a say in his afternoon routine, he might be more likely to stick to it with minimal fussing.
6. Have A Sound Backup Plan
We all know the feeling of getting that phone call from the school office to fetch a sick child, and you can’t get away from work. Most moms are working because of our economy. Have a backup plan before school begins, a granny or an au pair on standby, maybe a trusted circle of friends who can help each other out in the case of emergencies. Make sure your child knows the list of people who might possibly fetch him from school when you aren’t available. Have a look at The Dating Diva’s how to start a Babysitting Co-Op. These moms could be on standby during the day as well, and not just for date night.
How do you get your children back into their school routine?
If you’re also going back to school this week, good luck! Hope it all goes off well with little tears and many joyous moments.