9 Top Tips for Starting back at School
I wrote this post originally when my daughter was about to start in Year 2. When she returns to school in September she will be in Year 6 and her little brother will be starting at Pre-school.
1. Make a note of all the important term dates
I don’t know about your kids but Isabelle likes to do a count down in days to practically everything.
2. Early nights
We all let the daily routine slip during the school hols so about a week before gradually return to normal bedtimes/wake-up times so that it’s not too much of a shock.
3. Name Labels
Schools encourage all parents to labels their kid’s clothes and it’s much better in terms of getting things back should they leave them behind. We used My Nametag Name labels with little Hello Kitty’s on them which made it much easier for Isabelle to find.
4. School Bags
Again there are popular bags that a lot of other children will have so either choose one that will immediately stand out or make it more unique by adding a key ring to the zip which may have their name on. When Isabelle started one mum had actually made little laminate labels with her daughter’s picture on for her bag and her packed lunch box.
Again I would recommend either trying to find one a bit different or personalising it as they usually all go on a trolley which then has to be collected at lunchtime.
6. School Talk
Isabelle was really shy and the things that worried us the most was her not asking to go to the toilet or telling somebody if she was hurt or upset. Whenever she was unsure about something she would usually stand and not speak or join in. We talked to her about which people she should ask for things i.e. If she needed to go to the toilet ask any grown-up in the room and making her familiar with her things so she knew what she was looking for.
7. School shoes
This one seems quite simple but then you go school shoe shopping and the gorgeous Mary-Jane style shoes are shouting at you from the shelf. WALK AWAY!! – Harsh I know but how many four-year-olds do you know that can do a buckle by themselves? Same for boys – resist lace-ups. Keep things as simple as possible. Go for Velcro straps so they can put them on and off as quick as a flash.
Maybe I should have put this in with the lunch box tip but Isabelle came home on three consecutive occasions where she hadn’t eaten her sandwiches but they looked a bit mangled and she hadn’t eaten her fruit winder which she loved. When I asked her about it, it was because she couldn’t take the cellophane off her sandwiches or undo the wrapper of the fruit winder and was too shy to ask for help. To make things easier we bought a little sandwich box and some pots that she could easily undo herself.
9. Try not to show your nerves
I know this is a big ask but try and transfer as much confidence to your kids as possible. It’s okay to have a few tears as you do the walk back across the playground minus your son or daughter. I, unfortunately, was that mum whose child had to be peeled off me whilst I walked away to the sounds of her pleading me to stay. It was horrendous. Don’t let that put you off, at this point, Isabelle was still the most clingy child I’ve ever known!
These are my top tips but most schools seem to make it as easy as possible for new starters by using pictures instead of words. Isabelle was a ladybird which she liked a lot so all of her school things has her name with a ladybird next to it.
Ooh, I almost forgot. Try not to make any after-school plans for the first couple of weeks as they get really tired and ratty adjusting to the new routine. I think that may be where the term ‘Witching Hour’ comes into play.
P.S – Take loads of snacks! When kids finish school the first question is usually ‘Have you got anything to eat?’
Let me know if you have any great tips in the comments below.
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