I love school holidays! We don’t have to get up and ready for school every day. We get to do fun things that we can’t do during term time. The kids catch up their sleep and routine goes out the window. Last week we even managed to get to the beach!
Going back to the first week school? Not so fun.
There are some things you can do as a parent to make that first week easier on you and the kids. Some simple preparations can help the week go smoothly and be as stress-free as possible.
Get some sleep
My kids tend to stay up later and wake up later during school holidays. So the weekend before school starts, I start encouraging them to get into bed earlier again. In the morning, I start banging around in the kitchen a little earlier too so they wake up. This helps to get their little bodies back into the school sleep routine.
Buy new school supplies
A few days before school starts, check whether the kids need any new school supplies. Although there may not be a booklist to fill, I find that often coloured pencils need to be replaced and extra glue sticks sent in, plus I check whether they have lost anything during the previous semester. I often send an extra box of tissues at this time of year as well.
The night before school starts, make sure that all their uniforms are ready to go. We often lay these out on the bed – something we don’t do usually but has been a life-saver when we sleep in! I even find socks, shoes and hats because if we’re going to sleep in any day, it will be in the first week of school.
Make lunches special
It can be tough to go back to having a packed lunch after eating special lunches at home for a couple of weeks, so make those first few lunch boxes special. Special doesn’t have to be unhealthy. You can roll sandwiches like sushi, slice fruit differently (e.g. cubes or balls) or use tools to shape boiled eggs or carrot.
Write surprise notes
Grab a cute notebook or some sticky notes and add a little note to their bag, lunch box or pencil case. A funny joke or picture will bring a smile and a giggle to their day, and give them something to share with their friends to break the ice.
The first week back is usually when all those after school activities start too, so afternoons can be extra hectic. Try to plan some meals ahead, make good use of your slow cooker or make double one night to cover the next to make things easier on yourself. I also try to have dinners ready a little earlier than normal in the first week, especially on Thursday and Friday when we are all getting tired.
Make Friday fun
Treat yourself and the kids with a little something special on Friday afternoon to celebrate the end of the week. One friend has movie night each Friday, while another always serves take-away dinners on a Friday. Perhaps you could meet a friend after school or swing by the park for a play.
Enjoy a quiet weekend
Finally with the first week down, try to have a quiet weekend if you can. Younger children can really get worn out by the extra energy they have used in having to concentrate on learning for the week, so a little time to just play with their toys or curl up on the couch with a book could be just what they need to recharge for the rest of the term.
What do you do to get ready for school?
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