I know most of us haven’t broken up for the summer holidays yet but with so many friends having children starting school in September I thought it might be an idea to share some Back to School #TipsAndTricks. Trust me, the key to going back to school or starting for the first time is being prepared!
Monkey will be joining Year 1 in September and we should be seasoned professionals at moving classes now, as he’s already started in Nursery and then moved from Nursery to Reception. So here are a few tips for you if you have children starting in Nursery or Reception.
- Buy their uniform now, then you will have plenty of time for labelling. I’m going to be working with Stamptastic this year and it’s going to save me so much time – no ironing or sewing. If you have a mud magnet like my Monkey, buy more trousers and tops than you think you will need or you will be washing every day! Label everything, including vests, drinking bottles, snack pots and sun hats.
- Don’t leave buying school shoes until the week before they start school. I made that mistake last year and will never make it again. My local shoe shop was totally manic, this time I’m thinking early August, get shoes bought, marked and put to one side. Another job done.
- Even if you have a fussy eater I would really recommend trying school dinners. It’s great for kids to work on their social skills, and you might end up with a surprise. Monkey would invariably only eat with me in the week so I wanted him to experience eating in a wider group. It may not have improved his cutlery using skills (well, at home anyway) but he now eats potato and I’d tried forever with no success!
- If your child is starting school for the first time and has no school age siblings I would suggest reading books about the subject to help with any anxiety your child might have. We reviewed a lovely book last year on the subject and I’m sure libraries would be a good source for information too. We’re really lucky that our school is close by and Monkey was aware of it long before he started in Nursery. But he was and still is anxious about changes to his routine, so I’ll be talking to him about what will happen in September at regular points throughout the summer, so it’s not such a shock on the day.
- I’m lucky in that being a SAHM I only have to concentrate on getting out of the door in the morning in time for school. I really feel for those working Mum’s with the extra pressure of getting to work, or children to childminders too. To ease the morning rush, I prepare as much of the breakfast things as I can the night before, make sure shoes have been polished (I never knew one boy could make such a mess of a pair of shoes), book bags ready, I will have decided on which fruit snack he will take in etc, so in the morning it’s all less to think about.
- Be prepared for a very tired child after school, certainly for the first half term, but in Monkey’s case, every day! Plan after school excursions and activities accordingly. Be patient, trust me, school really does take it out of even the most robust child.
- I’ve always read to Monkey every day, pretty much since birth. We’ve always read a number of books each day but he hasn’t been so keen to read to me. I’ve found breakfast time the best time to get him to read to me. By the time he comes home from school there is no chance of him reading to me, even though he loves books.
My biggest tip for anyone whose children are starting school in September – enjoy every moment with them beforehand. They are about to start on an epic adventure, a steep learning curve, there will be wonderful highs and probably some tough times too. If you are a SAHM like me, make sure the first few days your child starts school are packed with things to keep you occupied. I didn’t last September and I was totally lost.
Good luck and enjoy the summer! Worth noting that M&S have a 20% off promo until the 14th of July 2015 too!
disclaimer: I’m being compensated for this post, but my thoughts are still my own.