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Tips for a better school year

Nothing is quite as thrilling, or challenging, as the beginning stages of a new school year.         While your children might be worried or excited about new friends and new teachers, parents end up being stuck with the tasks of keeping organised, creating solid routines and supporting children to be their best.

Below are a number of various simple tips on how to make everything from morning strategies, homework helpers, lunch box solutions and easy organisation skills that will end up moving parents to the head of the class!

#1: Keep lunch boxes easy –

While we all want to love and nurture our children by packing the best and most exciting lunch box possible, we also need to balance our aspirations against reality. Making sure morning routines are achievable and easy is the key to a successful lunch box, not the fanciness of your sandwiches! Take the time to find the right snack ideas that the children will not only love, but that you will find easy to prepare while there are other priorities to attend to.

#2: Create a laundry routine that works –

 Washing and ironing can be a pain to stay on top of! School often requires the implementation of new laundry management routines in order to stop dirty clothes baskets from exploding before you get the chance to wash all those stained uniforms and socks. Involving the whole family and finding the right routine can help you to save hours of wasted laundry time.

#3: Make mornings organised –

Trying to get out the door on time when a school bell or a work commitment beckons makes for a stressful time before 8am. Clever parents know that a morning routine that works is the key to starting the day happy, prepared and ready to leave the house with a smile for all involved.

#4: Housework during term time should be eased –

A busy school year means less time washing the floors and tidying so that you can spend time where it really counts. That might mean making extra minutes for homework help, looking through the reader or sorting out the sports gear.

#5: Keep time –

Whether you’re trying to speed your children up to get them out the door, or slow them down as they practice reading, clocks become a useful device once the kids reach school age. Explaining time, routines and showing the children how to read the time for themselves will give your kids the power to keep themselves organised, without any nagging from you!

#6: Ready, set breakfast –

A healthy nutritious breakfast not only puts children in the right mood for learning, but blesses parents with a righteous feeling of success that they managed to have their children eat well at the right time of day. Children as young as four or five can get a bowl of cold cereal for themselves and as they get older they can learn to safely use the toaster or microwave.

#7: Problems are a learning experience –

Term time at school isn’t always perfect and our children don’t always behave like angels or the genius that we had hoped they would be. School rules, expectations and social pressures can sometimes be too much for kids to all handle at once and it’s not uncommon for problems to rear their head once children settle in to the school year. It can be anything from bullies to learning problems that can come up and unsettle parents – be ready to embrace them!

#8: You are the best teacher –

Learning always starts at home and your child’s mood affects how well they learn. A positive outlook is the best thing you can inspire in your children to help keep them performing well at school and willing to tackle their homework.

#9: Labels, names and ownership –

Label all your children’s belongings including the library bag and especially the school hat. Encourage your child to dress themselves so that they can manage things like taking jumpers or coats on and off at school. Explain the concept of ‘lost property’ to your kids, so that they know how to find lost items on their own. Then cross your fingers and hope they have listened to you!

#10: Rules and behaviour –

Schools have a range of approaches in order to reinforce the good behaviour measures taught by parents – so learn what they are and make sure you can back them up at home! For students in the early years the focus will be on learning to work cooperatively with others and to follow instructions from the teacher. It is a parent’s job to remind and reinforce the school rules at home so that children can understand why certain actions are unacceptable.

#11: Remember the night before –

Murphy’s law states that if something can go wrong, it will! Avoid the stresses of school mornings by laying out all clothes (including underwear, socks and shoes) the night before. Don’t forget to make sure that lunches have already been made and then remind children to pack their own school bag for the next day.

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