Getting ready for your children’s new school year

The summer holidays are finally over, autumn is well on its way and that means a new school year has begun. The term is but a few weeks old but already the mind of a parent might be close to meltdown – there’s so much to remember! Here’s how to prepare for the new school year ahead…

Establish a set routine

The school day is structured around lessons, break times and lunch sessions but children also need a routine at home, too. By all means, allow them some down time when they first return from school; half an hour or so to have a drink or snack and to relax by watching something on television or going outside to play. But there should be time set aside to do homework, a regular meal time and, most importantly of all, sensible bed times. Holidays may have encouraged more relaxed rules but, as this article by the Child Development Institute details, a good day starts with a good night’s sleep.

Get organised

Parents are usually bombarded with a wealth of information when a new term starts and it’s a lot to process in one go. Nevertheless, there’s really no other way around dealing with all of this than to get organised. Spend a good few hours putting diary dates for plays, trips and after school activities on your calendar at home or into your phone so that you can stay on top of everything you need to know – if you have more than one child at school, co-ordinating schedules can be a logistical nightmare. Thankfully, many school are increasingly benefiting from the use of digital correspondence – online school payments with ParentMail are an easy and convenient way of making sure you don’t miss a deadline.

Connect with the new school teacher

A new school term means a new class teacher, and a fresh relationship to develop and nurture. The teacher may be aware of your child but probably won’t have worked with them a daily basis before so the partnership is starting from scratch. As a parent, you may choose to have an informal chat with the teacher to introduce yourself, tackle any concerns you might have (not about the teacher as such, but a particular aspect of your child’s learning or character) and generally begin to establish a rapport. You could wait until the first parents’ evening of the year, of course, but a meeting gives you a head start and shows a pro-active attitude. Communication is key, as this article on Scholastic discusses.

What to wear – get a checklist

A new school term inevitably means new uniform is required. But this inevitably means more than just a pair of trousers, skirts, shirts, sweaters and cardigans. The term ‘school uniform’ extends to more than just the official dress code. Some of the other things a parent needs to have covered include a PE kit, and different versions thereof depending on the season – indoor or outdoor trainers, a warm tracksuit top or bottoms – a safe and secure backpack, lunchbox, drinks beaker and stationery supplies such as pens, pencils, rulers and eraser. Make a checklist and work through it to ensure you haven’t missed anything.

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