As the start of a new school year approaches, uniforms will be ironed, school bags will be dug out from the back of the cupboard, and the tingles of nerves will start to build – for both children and parents. Whether your son or daughter is just starting school, or they’re returning for a year of exams, you’ll want to make sure they’re fully prepared for the year ahead and that they’re happy to be heading off to school.
Following the long summer holiday (which many parents thought would never end!) it can often be difficult to get everything organised and ready for the approaching back to school day. Luckily, here at Wilko, we’ve put together a handy to do list that will help to make your child’s first day back at school an enjoyable one.
Getting into a routine
One of the first major hurdles to overcome when your child goes back to school is getting back into a routine, which is why it’s beneficial to start adjusting back into this at least a week before they go back. Setting a bedtime for them will help to prevent any unruly outbursts the night before school starts and will help them to adjust back into their regular sleeping patterns. Try to get up earlier too, so the alarm clock isn’t a rude awakening on that first morning of school.
As your child may have homework to complete after school, it’s also worth trying to set regular times for tea, studying and ‘fun’ time. Starting to put these schedules in place will help to build consistency and will make sure things run smoothly when they are back at school.
A perfect way to establish routines and to provide rewards and incentives for completed homework, good behaviour and so on, is to create your own reward chart. The chart will depend on your child’s age but here are some tips for creating your own reward chart:
- Use a large piece of card or a corkboard as a base.
- Divide this into the days of the week (including Saturday and Sunday) down the side.
- Place all of the tasks your child needs to complete across the top, including things like homework, going to bed on time and any chores that they need to help with around the home, e.g. tidying their bedroom. Include a column at the end for the total number of stickers awarded each day.
- When your child does something, you can then place a sticker in the relevant column to reward them for their behaviour. Set a target number of stars / stickers for the day and if they get to a certain amount over a week, they receive a special treat!
Alternatively, you could set all of this up on a whiteboard, allowing your child to add their own to dos! Why not get the whole family involved too, with parents having their own tasks that they have to complete; e.g. Dad has to do the washing-up on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays!
Some children may have had homework to do during the summer break so try not to leave this until the last minute. You can also prepare your child for the upcoming homework that they’ll have to do during term time by keeping their brains active with homework books and creative projects during the summer break.
Furthermore, if homework is something your child is going to have to start doing more regularly, it’s a good idea to create an interactive workspace for them. Providing them with this designated working area will help them to concentrate, engaging them with their projects and providing an escape from the distractions of the rest of the home. Use cool stationery sets and wall decor stickers to bring a fun element to this area.
Go stationery shopping
One fantastic way to get the kids excited about going back to school is to go shopping for some new stationery. From pencil cases to cool pens, we’ve got every aspect of the stationery shop covered so all children from avid dinosaur fans to little princesses can find accessories that will inspire them at home and school.
Don’t forget to check what requirements / restrictions your child’s school has when it comes to stationery.
Have a dress rehearsal
If it’s going to be your child’s first day at school or they’re moving to another school, why not have a dress rehearsal so you can time everything in preparation? Making a fuss of them trying on their uniform will also add to the positive anticipation of starting school too. You could also try having a practice school run, either in the car or by showing your child where they’ll be catching the bus from. This will help to put their mind at ease when it comes to taking the journey on the day.
You’ll want to make sure your child is smiling all day at school too and packing up a great lunch is one of the ways you can do this. Bring a stimulating twist to their lunch by letting them pick a new lunchbox, with lots of their favourite characters to choose from, including Elsa from Frozen and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Allowing them to decide what they’d like to have included in their lunches (all healthy, of course…with the odd treat) will also help to increase their awareness of foods and their positive association with certain healthy vegetables etc.
You could also make fruit fun by using one of our fruit infuser drinks bottles – these make plain water taste fantastic and will give them a sweet, delicious drink with no added sweeteners or preservatives.
Finally, don’t forget to charge up your camera ready for the big day so you can get those all-important snapshots that you can dig back out when they turn 18!