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Back to school – are you ready?

Schoolgirl sitting in primary class

With the summer holidays whizzing by, the new school year is creeping up and parents are starting to prepare  for ‘Back to School’ school season. The start of the new school term can be challenging for families who have to juggle calendars, homework, school runs and extracurricular activities. Whether kids are starting for the first time or entering a new year, going back to school brings about a new routine after an entire summer of lazy mornings and unstructured days.

Organising the home to run like a well‐oiled machine will definitely make ‘back to school’ an easier transition, and is not just about getting the kids back into a routine but also preparing the family household. The Back to School season is a perfect excuse to de-clutter, get back to a daily routine and give the home a good spring clean, so here are some useful tips to get you kids ready for  ‘back to school .’

Uniforms tend to sell out quickly so shop early.  The last thing you want to do is discover the pair of school trousers you need have sold out in your child’s size and then have to drag them around endless shops.   Take them out shopping one afternoon so they try things on and get the right size. You’ll be surprised how much children grow so making sure you get right measurements the first time round will save you lots of stress and time.  Don’t worry about buying on the larger side – if you are nifty with a sewing machine take up the hem, once they have grown you can take it down again and the uniform will last longer.  Also be conservative with how many items you buy – if you find you need more you can always buy more later in the term.

Having a designated study area is crucially important. If your child has a study space that is not only comfortable but meets their individual needs, it is likely that they will get more homework done!  Creating a study area is something you can do quite easily as long as you can convert a space that they can go to which will get them in ‘work mode’.

If you don’t have a study, choosing an area in the bedroom is an alternative as long as they can differentiate the ‘work’ area from the play area. Versatile new beds like the Gautier Be Bop High sleeper are ideal as they incorporate a corner desk, storage compartments (shelves and bookcases) and a bunk bed.  Making the room a fun but workable environment is more likely to encourage them to do their homework independently as opposed to being nagged into it.

There’s nothing like a good collection of stationary to get your kids enthusiastic about the new school year. Pens, pencils, crayons, Prit Sticks and notebooks will get them all organised and prepared for study time.  Also, if you get them involved with buying the stationary they like and let them customise their study area with stickers, lights, posters etc., you might be able to conjure up even more enthusiasm about doing homework.   However, if you are on a budget and already and excess piles of stationary around, get them to choose a pencil case but don’t buy it with them.  Fill the pencil case with the pens they need and a few extra presents such as colourful erasers and a new ruler. Then wrap the pencil case and present it as a gift, chances are they will not realise that it is not all new.

As the kids will spend more time in their bedroom over the summer, clutter can build up very quickly making the room look disorganised and crowded.  Clothes, shoes and toys are the key culprits to creating a mess.  Have one massive clean-up and remove anything that doesn’t belong in the bedroom and throw out or donate to charity items your kids have outgrown. If you find that the bedroom is limited for space, invest in extra storage.  You can get a variety of storage solutions that are colourful and easy for children to reach.  Once you have the room in order encourage them to get them into the habit to tidy up as they go along.

In the final week before school starts, talk to your kids about their schedules.  Have them write out a weekly calendar which they can decorate and then post in their room. Include wake-up and bedtimes, homework time, meal times, leave the house for school time, and extracurricular activity times. This way they can feel in charge of their own schedules and maybe even get them excited for the school term.  As soon as term starts, make sure they add in any days they should be getting homework and the day they are due so you can keep track of days they are supposed to bring home work and when they need to complete it by.


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