Back To School
Well the countdown is on, yep it’s back to school time.
Man I can hear the sighs of relief from here!
Officially this is the last week of the school holidays, although with pupil free days and staggered start dates mine actually don’t hit the school playground until Thursday next week.
This leaves me plenty of time to get the girls back to school items sorted for the new year.
It feels very strange. Only 3 of my girls are headed back to school.
Miss E will hit year 10, Miss T year 5 and Miss G year 2. Miss M however is getting all set to tackle her first year of university and won’t start there until the end of February.
In an endeavour to be organised, the girls class teachers from last year sent home a list so students can be all ready for when the school year starts (that’s why I leave it to do until the last week of the holidays).
Anyhoo, better late than never, here are my tips to make back to school time easy and stress free and hopefully a little lighter on the hip pocket.
- Go through their pencil cases, desk drawers and any pencil boxes you have, for items that can be used. I can’t count the number of times I have found scissors, glue sticks and erasers, all waiting at the bottom of the container. This will save you money when purchasing stationery. And stick to your list, as much as your child tries to convince you that she really needs that new Monster High Pencil Case…she doesn’t.
- Double check their school shoes. I have found that high school kids just don’t wear down their school shoes like they did in primary school, especially girls. Their feet don’t grow as fast and sometimes you can get an extra 6 months, or even another year out of the same pair. A bonus if it saves you a bit of money.
- Label EVERYTHING. Hats, pencil cases, jackets, even shoes and bags. That way at least you have chance that some things eventually will make their way home again. Hippo Blue has the “Ultimate Back To School Value Pack” to sort out all your labelling requirements.
- Get them back into routine well before school returns. We all know how easy it is to slip into late nights and sleep ins during the holidays. The Organised Housewife has some great tips to get your kids organised and in that all familiar routine again here.
- Have a family organiser. I have a calendar in the central part of the family room. It has a column for everyone where they can write their schedules. It makes it extremely easy to see at a glance who has band practice, netball training, work commitments, university, parties and play dates and on which days…..when they remember to write it in of course.
- Do some early baking to get your lunches and recesses sorted before those first hectic days. Some great freezable school lunch ideas can be found at Mums Grapevine here.
- Get your “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) sorted before school starts to try and get some great deals. Most high schools now require children to bring in each day their own laptop or tablet from year 7. Something that can fit into the school bag is ideal.This obviously is an expensive investment, so you want to be sure you are making the right choices early on, do your research. Kogan has some great deals on laptops, both Microsoft and Apple products.
- Get back into the reading, especially if your child is not keen. If they start getting used to this as part of their routine during the holidays, then the mandatory ‘school readers’ won’t seem such a trial when they start coming home.
- Start cutting back on the screen time that the kids have been having over the holidays. Maybe restrict “Minecraft” to weekends only, yep like that’s gonna fly!
- Get a family roster going. Once everyone is back at school and work, it seems that the whole house goes to pot unless everyone knows what needs to be done. If all chores are written in back and white, then there shouldn’t be any excuses.
- Check that uniform hems are still OK, sometimes there tends to be a bit of a growth spurt over the holiday period. No one want to go to school first day back showing their undies.
- Get them to tidy their rooms at the end of each day. During the holidays kids tend to absolutely trash their rooms (some do in school term time too). Make it part of their daily routine to clean up their mess.
- Buy some head lice treatment to keep in the bathroom cupboard. Sure enough once school starts they will probably bring home these nasties. It’s always handy to have some treatment on stand by to avoid that mad dash to the chemist.
- With back to school time, comes the inevitable fees that follow. Have a talk with your school and see if you can stagger the payments, especially if you are paying for multiple children. Don’t be afraid to ask the question, most schools are pretty flexible.
- Check out your schools uniform shop. Sometimes you can pick up 2nd hand items that look practically brand new at half the cost.
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