Getting the kids ready to go back to school

Whether you’ve got a six-year-old or a 16-year-old, a little preparation can go a long way in smoothing the start to a new school year

Your little treasures have had months of fun and freedom, but now autumn is around the corner and the new school year about to start.

Here’s how to make sure the whole family is prepared.

Settle any nerves

The new school year is a very exciting time but it can also be the cause of a few butterflies. It’s important to talk to your child about any worries they may have and work together to find strategies, whether they’re for managing homework time or making new friends.

If your little one is getting ready for their first ever day at Big School, they may well feel a little unsure of what to expect. Small children relish familiarity, so one of the best things you can do is to try to make the unknown seem as known as possible. Can you practise the walk to school, for example? Or arrange some playdates with new classmates?

Ease back into the schedule

In a lot of families, kids seem to go to bed later and later as the summer holidays go on. Now is the time to adjust the schedule, and the more gradually you do this, the easier you’re likely to find it.

Obviously, you have a lot more control over what time little kids go to bed, but it’s still worth reminding your teen that they’re soon going to be looking at 7am starts!

Get them kitted up

Fuel your child’s excitement about going back to school by getting them sorted out with all the supplies they need, from pencil cases to folders to rucksacks.

We’ve got a handy list of back-to-school essentials

Organisation, organisation and more organisation

Now is a good time to check that your child has done any homework they may have been set over the summer holidays (yes, even if they told you they didn’t have any!).

Depending on how old they are, you either need to get them to start planning out their new schedule or do it for them, factoring in everything from when they need to take in PE kit to extracurricular clubs and homework schedules.

It’s important for parents to get organised ahead of time too. Have you filled in all the pre-term paperwork like emergency contact details? Do your kids need appointments at the opticians, dentist or doctor?

You know your child best

No one knows your child better than you. Which means that you know what preparation is helpful for them. For a shy seven-year-old this could mean organising some one-on-one playdates so they can ease back into the new term feeling ahead of the game.

If your child struggles with organisation, perhaps helping him or her to choose lots of different coloured folders or set reminders and alerts on his phone could help?

More inspiration

Don’t miss our tips on preparing for the school year and five great back to school ideas.

How do you get your kids ready to go back to school? Let us know in the comments section below.