Yes, yes I know that it’s only July and we haven’t even broken up yet… but as a seasoned school mum I know that preparation is key. Come September I will have one child in year six, one in year one and one in preschool. So that’s three different uniforms for three different schools, and three different drop offs each morning too. So I NEED to be prepared. And organisation unfortunately is not my middle name! So I’ve put together a few ideas to make September a little easier… Back to school: top tips for the new term.
LABEL LABEL LABEL
And label some more. If it has a label inside it, get it named. There is nothing worse that spending a small fortune on your (3) uniforms ready for the new term, only to find that you are two jumpers, one tie and three school coats short by the half term. We buy our uniforms from M&S and ALWAYS label everything- you can even get name tape at the same time, and someone will do it all for you! My advice:
- Buy some labels for everything! It will save you having to write inside everything (and that washes off over time too) and it will help your child recognise their things quickly and easily. Imagine a sea of 30 identical jumpers after PE… a blue label with a football on it will stand out like a sore thumb! I love Name it Labels for this very reason, and always make sure I get my order in before school breaks up so I can label things as we buy them.
- Make sure your child knows where the labels are! Again, that sea of 30 jumpers can be daunting when you’re five, but if your child knows where their label is, it’s going to save a lot of time.
- Label shoes! There’s bound to be another child with the same style shoes. One year my eledest came home with her right shoe in a size 3 and left in a size 1. Don’t ask. M&S will also label your shoes for you, so just ask.
- Keep spare labels! Your child is going to grow. Keep spare labels to label new garments and for the summer uniform you didn’t know you were going to buy after Easter.
TEACH YOUR CHILD HOW TO DO UP BUTTONS
I have my teacher head on here. We teachers like kids to be able to dress themselves after PE. Don’t get me wrong, we do help the kids… but there’s 30 of them, there’s a sea of jumpers to wade through, and there is most likely only five minutes before break time. Do your child a favour- spend this summer teaching them how to do up the buttons on their shirt, and if you have the patience of a saint, try shoe laces too.
And as a parent- teach your child how to do up buttons. The pride you feel on that first morning as you help them get ready for their first day at school is soon replaced by feelings of panic and despair when you are trying to dress them at the same time as feed them breakfast, iron their skirt and brush their hair in three minutes flat- all to avoid a late mark in the register. Believe me, a child that can do their own buttons is worth their own weight in gold when it comes to the early morning rush.
INVESTIGATE THE SCHOOL LUNCH MENU
If you have fussy eaters, like me, taking a moment to investigate the school lunch menu is well worth doing. Are there foods you know they won’t eat? Are there enough choices to cover all potential meal disasters? Are they better off on packed lunches? If the government continue their free lunches for reception kids in September, you might be tempted to book them in anyway, but remember that the school day is a long one for a four year old. And without food in their belly, they are going to get tired quickly. So talk to your child about the options on the menu and decide whether school dinners really are for you.
DON’T UNDERESTIMATE HOW TIRED THEY ARE GOING TO BE
This is such an important tip! Lots of us forget how tiring it is being at school. And it’s worth making sure your child knows they have to be there every day too. And not only are they now expected to spend all day every day at school, but they are spending most of that time meeting new faces, speaking to new people, listening to new things and moving around a new building too. That’s pretty exhausting.
Try not to plan too much for after school and get some early nights in before the new term starts.
ENJOY YOUR SUMMER
Yes, yes the summer holidays can be hard work. If your little one is finishing pre-school and you have weeks and weeks stretching ahead of you before September, don’t despair. Make the most of this summer, and enjoy the time with your child. They seem to grow up so quickly when they start school, and this summer really will be the last chance you get to have them all to yourself too. Enjoy it.
This is a sponsored post for the M&S Kids Back to School campaign. You can get 20% off school uniform at m&S now until the 14th July.