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Canberra
Thursday, December 3, 2020
Ian Cubitts
Ian Cubitts

Back to school

We’ve rounded up a whole range of tips to get the kids back to school, stress free!

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Melissa Coulter from Bostik takes the hassle out of shopping for school supplies:

  • The ‘back to school’ period can be a busy time and often challenging for parents wanting their children to start the year fully equipped with the right products. It’s important to choose high quality brands and products that will last the test of classroom rigours.
  • Start your shopping early: put aside one period of time, like a weekend or a special shopping trip, to ensure you can pick all the essentials.
  • Shop for quality: compromising on this can result in negative experiences in both the classroom and at home. When it comes to school projects and weekend craft activities, the last thing you want is a bad experience with projects that just won’t stick.
  • Throughout the school year, ensure there are always some supplies at home for those last minute overnight projects that need to get done in a hurry.
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Tracey Bailey, founder of Biome Eco stores, offered some time-saving tips to make the mornings less of a rush:

  • Make packing lunches a breeze in the morning by creating pre-portioned fruits, veggies, yoghurt, and snacks in reusable containers on the weekend. Then simply grab them out of the fridge or pantry on school mornings and pack them into your kids’ lunch bags.
  • Keep lunches cool during the warmer months by packing their lunchbox in insulated lunch bags with a toxin-free ice pack.
  • Reduce single-use waste by packing your kid’s lunch in waste-free lunch boxes.
  • Avoid being late on the first day of school by having your kids’ school bags packed, uniforms ironed and lunches organised the night before. This will make the morning less stressful and will ensure the first day back to school is enjoyable.

Genevieve Matthews, mother of two and founder of Schools Coming, an online and printed educational resource to help parents organise the back to school routine, says the key is planning out the routine and delegating responsibility:

  • Pre-plan: this is more than a routine; this is about understanding the desired flow for the week, term, activities and timing. Communicate this in advance so the family is working together and has an action plan around making the days work harmoniously and effectively. Kids and parents should understand what they each have on. Have a family meeting before the new term starts. You can even make up your own planning chart together using different colour pens for different activities or individuals.
  • Make a list: together with your children, list all the tasks that need to be completed in order to get to school on time. Kids love to volunteer what they think so make it a fun activity! Start with night before tasks such as “lay out clean uniform and shoes”, “pack fruit in lunch-box” or “pack sports uniform”. For children still learning to read, use symbols and pictures to make it easy to understand.
  • Delegate: by involving children in the planning process, you’re giving them a voice. This way, they are much more likely to take ownership and put their hand up for tasks. Mutually agree and assign tasks so everyone knows their role.
  • Stay positive: easier said than done in the moment, especially when children are lagging and time is marching on. Check in on the progress of their routine and encourage them to refocus if they have become distracted. Ask them to advise you how they’re tracking, so they are responsible for their achievements and wins along the way.

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