Back To School Preparation

Preparing To Return To School

School Uniforms, school bags, books and often shoes are all a part of the preparation of the return to school after the long summer holidays. So how do we prepare our children for the return to school?

If you are anything like me, the will regular bedtime routine will have been lost, somewhere in the first week after school finished. With that comes long morning lie-in's (well 8.30am at least). I never complain about that! So now, the summer is over and the children are about to face the culture shock of re-learning how to sit in their seats for long periods of time, pay attention, get up before noon, have breakfast and get to school on time! Thats quite a lot for a little person!

In order to prepare my children, I usually do some online shopping, giving them the opportunity to choose a new lunch bag. They may choose something with their favourite character on it. They get really excited as they wait each morning for the postman to arrive with the parcels. This helps to bring a sense of excitement into the back to school preparations.

Two weeks before school begins we set up a countdown calander and we cross off the days until the girls return to school. On this we write some of the things that need to be done before they return to school. This may include shopping for pencils, schoolbags, new socks, haircuts. This helps to make each day exciting. .

Plan and Observe to create a smooth routine!

Going to bed on time will always be difficult at the start of the new term. Try taking the children for a long walk on the day before school starts and then winding down with a good DVD.

Your child may have forgotten the small amounts of time that are allotted to snack time and lunch time during the school day. It is a good idea to try to schedule snacks for your child around the time that they would have them in school and encourage them not to daydream or delay. Observe the amounts of food that your child needs at these snack times so that you will know how much to pack. Keep an eye on your child's lunch box over the first few weeks to make sure that they are actually eating the food that is packed. it can help to cut sandwiches up into small pieces, slicing and peeling an apple etc. This can make it easier for your child to eat their food in a small amount of time.

You will also help your child be encouraging them to dress themselves and get everything they need within an allotted time. Try to keep the morning routine pretty much the same every morning so that the children know what to expect but allow yourself a little extra time for mishaps! I have always found it easier to lay out all items of clothing the night before. This saves time hunting for things in the morning.

Travel To School Safely!

Responsibilities!

Remember to check that your children's car seats are strapped into the car correctly. Some stores such as Mothercare and Halfords offer a free car seat checking service. You can also check out road safety information for children on how to walk, cycle and travel in a car safely on www.RSA.ie

Try to give your children a little responsibility in the mornings but remember to supervise. Last year I told my four year old that it was her responsibility to take her backpack to the car each morning. It took until about Christmas before she realised that I was not going to do everything for her but she got the idea. This year I will ask her to place her lunch into her lunchbag.

School can be fun!

Take it Easy

Remember not to be too hard on yourself or the children during the first few weeks back to school. It will take at least a week or two to get into a good routine. Allow for tiredness in the evenings too as even the excitment of meeting old friends again, finding new classrooms, and getting new schoolbooks is exhausting. Pretty soon this will all be just be part of the day.

Be good to yourself too. Why not plan a get together with some of the other parents to share holiday stories once the children are settled in on their first morning back at school. After all this is your chance for a break!

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