The start of the academic year is a transition for everyone, so whether your child is going to a new school, starting kindergarten for the first time or going from primary into secondary, Sassy Mama has some tips for beating back-to-school stress.
1.) Role playing can help children starting a school for the first time. Letting them play teacher and you the student allows them to answer questions from a position of authority, helps you find out what concerns they may have and helps confidence levels.
2.) Go over school routines so they are mentally prepared. Do the kids have to lay out their clothes the night before? Get their bag ready? Walk to school? Take the bus? Put on sunscreen and mosquito spray? Practicing can make these routines second nature by the time school gets underway, while a chart with everything listed can help older kids keep track of what they need to do.
3.) Establish a routine for yourself, too! Make sure you know what you need to do in order to get everyone out of the house on time. Does laying out your clothes and getting your bag ready the night before save time? How about planning a weekly school lunch menu with your helper?
4.) Make sure you and your kids understand the school rules. Are electronic items allowed? What is the school policy on cell phones? What’s the dress code? Toys at school?
5.) Get input from your kids. Find out how they like to wake up as this involvement will make them feel invested in the process and will help keep excitement levels high.
6.) Plan back-to-school breakfasts and make sure the menu consists of things they actually like eating. There is enough to do in the morning without battling over eggs and cereal.
7.) Keep an eye on how many ECA’s you schedule, as no matter their age, all school kids need unstructured time to blow off steam before settling down to do homework. Especially the first few weeks after a long summer break.
8.) Have a homework plan in place. Help younger kids break down nightly assignments into manageable steps, while planning a set time for their homework over the weekend makes sure it isn’t a rushed job on a Sunday night.
9.) Stick to an agreed bedtime, studies have shown that kids with strict bedtime routines do better in school especially in subjects such as maths, languages and reading.
10.) Be available. Make sure each child gets one on one time with one or other parent to chat about their day, so whether it’s over dinner or while cuddling before bed all news good or bad can be shared and dealt with.
And while we’re pretty sure you’re darn near set with back-to-school gear, here are a couple must-haves we’ve got on our list this year which may not have made it to yours yet:
*Send the kids to school with Klean Kanteens. The first BPA-free stainless steel water bottles on the market are just plain cool, and Pottery Barn Kids has some of the best patterns and colours out there. Plus they ship to Hong Kong now!
With-it mothers like stylist Rachel Zoe stay ultra organised with the Mom Agenda. Keep track of the kids activities and your schedule with their super stylish planners in gold, zebra or hot block colours complete with monogramming.
Keep mosquitoes at bay with Burt’s Bees Herbal Insect Repellent, a super effective, all natural product that is kind to sensitive skin. Not only does it smell of lemongrass but it’s eucalyptus oil base formula means a little goes a long way. Available at Mannings.