Preparing Your Kids to Go Back to School

Preparing Your Kids to Go Back to School

flat lay photography of blue backpack beside book and silver MacBook

It’s always better to be prepared for your kids to go back to school once everything kind of-sort of gets back to normal. Indeed, some kids across the country are still finishing their current weird year, but this is what makes now an ideal time to start thinking about next year. 

This year has been wild and unusual as it is, so thinking of getting the kids back to school will, at least, bring some normality to the proceedings. You want to enter the next school year as normal as possible, with no Zoom calls, Google Classroom projects, or break times spent starling wistfully out the dining room window. To get back to normal, you need to remember how you prepared before all of this strangeness occurred. 

Looking the Part 

For parents of kids who can’t seem to stop growing, you feel like you’re spending any leftover pennies on new school uniforms. The jumpers don’t fit anymore. The trouser rides a little too high above the ankle for anyone’s liking. It’s not a good look for anybody, even if your mum still buys your clothes. 

So you’ll need to buy more uniforms (although admittedly, who knows if your children will grow again before everyone goes back to school). You’ve got three options here: 

  • risk it and hope they don’t grow
  • wait until the week before to purchase a uniform, 
  • buy clothes a size too big because they’ll grow into it. 

If your kids have stuttered in their growth, you might feel you’ve gotten off scot-free. Not so. Kids are kids, and therefore, there are likely to be stains, tears, and frays. You want them to look their best on their first day, so get out the needle and thread and get to work, and a haircut will also be on the cards at some point, but this won’t be until a week before. 

Medical Needs Met 

During your homeschool experience and the summer holidays, you’ve been able to attend to your children’s every need. If they have been hungry, you have given them a snack, if they have been sad, you’ve cheered them on, and if they’ve been poorly, you have nursed them back to health. 

But, as they leave your top-quality educational care and return to the established place of learning, you won’t be able to keep an eye on them throughout the day. You need to make sure that all their medical needs are met without you imposing on the classroom. 

If they need to take medicine regularly, make sure to get enough for them to take with them. You can also give them reminders to make sure they take medication on time or contact their teacher to remind them. Glasses are something else to consider, too, so check out if you feel they could do with an upgrade, so they’re able to focus on the lesson, rather than straining their eyes trying to see the board properly. 

Research the Curriculum 

One of the best ways you can prepare for the school year is to understand the curriculum, and if you don’t understand it entirely, you can at least get a decent idea of what topics and modules are set to be covered throughout the year. 

School curriculums are readily available for you to check out. If you’re unable to find one, you can check out a recent example of the curriculum, as it will be close enough to what’s being covered in the coming year that you can follow along and be able to help your children out when they need help. 

You can also speak to the teacher and see if they can provide any information. Teachers, however, are pretty busy, especially at the start of the year, so you might not get a response. You don’t want to be that parent, though, so just do what you can to help your children with their schoolwork without trying to steal their teacher’s thunder. 

Super Stationery and Supplies 

From pens to backpacks to books and everything else they’ll need (much of which you never know about until the day before), stationery shopping is always fun for the children but not so much fun for you. 

Because top-quality stationery, rather than a 20-pack of Bic pens, are pricey, and if your kid is at that age where they want to copy their friends and have the coolest pens in class, you’re likely to spend much more than you did when working with chalk and a slab of slate. 

But, you don’t want them to be without all the essentials, so you’ll buy them anyway. It might, however, be useful to purchase that 20-pack of Bics for when they lose their nice pens, which could happen anywhere between the first class of the day and the last. 

Back to a Routine 

What is a routine anymore? It feels like nobody has a suitable habit in the current environment. Even the most disciplined person has likely strayed from theory daily routine, and instead embraced the lazy comforts of the sofa. 

So, the idea of trying to get your kids back into a routine could be a little intimidating. Even if you’ve tried to teach them at home, you’ve also likely been lax with the bedtime schedule. However, if you want them to get back into school life with success, then the routine is the key. 

You can start by easing them into the typical routine. Each night, give them 10 minutes fewer than the day before. They can also get back into doing chores for rewards so that they can get back into the zone. With this, they will feel like home life is normal again before they go back to school, making the transition much easier for them. 

A Thinking Space 

Your children are probably sick of doing schoolwork at home after weeks and weeks of lockdown and homeschooling. However, you can make this experience better for them by creating a dedicated space for homework and other activities. 

Doing their work at the dining room table, on their bed, or in front of the TV might seem appealing to them, but it can hinder their concentration, meaning their school work will suffer, and they won’t reach the school success they are capable of. If you have room in the house, whether a spare bedroom or an area that you just don’t know what to do with, a homework station could be the answer. 

The more they use it, the more they will associate the space with creativity and learning, and this can help boost their abilities and ensure that each piece of homework is completed the best it can. 

Keep Them Energized 

Whether you’ve got one child, two, children, three, or even more, lunches are a huge part of ensuring they stay energized throughout the day. But even before that, you should start with a hearty breakfast. Cereal is usually a winner, as it’s quick, convenient, and there are plenty of options, whereas pancakes, while delicious, should perhaps be restricted to a treat. 

But, getting to lunch, you must pick this meal carefully. Focus on something nutritious and delicious to prevent your children from getting sluggish after their lunch. Remember, they have not been at school properly for months, and those first few days back could be exhausting. 

By giving them a packed lunch that covers all the major food groups, you can feel confident that they can tackle the last few lessons of the day. This will allow them to concentrate and participate more effectively. With this, they can hit the ground running when they get back to school, allowing them to start the next school year as they should finish it. 

Squeeze In More Fun 

It’s not all about the boring back-to-school stuff, though. You and your family can celebrate the end of the holidays by taking one last adventure together. A few weeks ago, this didn’t seem like something that could happen, but with a reduction of lockdown restrictions, you can start thinking about going somewhere nice if you feel comfortable doing so. 

Even if you don’t feel comfortable just yet, you can still make the most of the summer holidays. You might have gotten a little sick of having the kids in the house during lockdown and homeschooling, but by removing the cloud of educational responsibility, you can have some of the fun that families should have. 

Think about things you could do as a family at home. It could be playing endless games of Monopol to working on some home improvement and garden projects together. If you’re kids want to 9ndulge in their creativity, they can put on a show for you and your partner. Just try to keep them off the Xbox. 

Getting Ready Early

Some parents might still consider it a little too early to think about the next school year, but it’s important to remember you don’t need to do everything right now. Instead, consider this a checklist to tick things off over the next month and a half. By doing so, you’ll make sure there’s no mad dash to get ready a week before the school bells start to call your kids back to their desks.