It’s that time of the year again (children with long faces, parents dancing in the aisles) – schools back! After a fun-filled, sun-drenched six weeks (well, that was the dream at the start of the holidays) getting back into the swing of the school routine, for both parents and children, can take a while to get used to. But there are a few guidelines that can help ease the transition back….
- Be prepared – last year (the first with a Year 1 student under my wing) I decided to buy the school uniform, school shoes etc. in the last week of the school holidays. ‘Are you mad?’ I hear the experienced mums and dads cry – it was bedlam. Clarks was a battlefield. Lesson learnt. This year the shopping trip was booked for the second week of the school holidays (top tip – Clarks let you return your shoes, not worn, if they don’t fit by the end of the holidays). Shoe assistants tripping over themselves to help and every size available in Tesco’s school wear section. Bliss.
- Check it out – probably your offspring have been to their new school/ classroom but it’s worth checking it out yourselves. Many schools offer a ’meet the new teacher’ early in the new academic term and it can really help to abate any fears or worries and get to know what is planned for your child in the year ahead.
- Get back into the routine – holidays, days out, grandma and granddad coming over etc. mean that the sleep routine has probably gone out of the window. But, as I learned as a new mum, routine, routine, routine, children love it. By slowly introducing bedtime to the regular 7.30pm (lights out at 8pm) my little one is back in the routine, without him even noticing. He’s behaving better, concentrating more and smiling!
- Homework – arrghh! The bane of parents and children alike. But, as Mrs. Schofield said many a time to my 6 year old last year, ‘get it done and then have your fun’. The best approach is to calmly do a little over a few days rather than have a mad panic the day before returning to school.
- And last but not least, make it fun – I don’t mean to sound like a ‘kill joy’ (although the list above may disprove this!) there are some huge benefits to returning to school for both students and parents alike. New uniform, choosing their own school bag, catching up with friends, new teacher and classroom and a fresh start. Plus, after six full on weeks, mum can have a hot cup of tea in peace…