Be school-ready

August 16, 2016

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With the summer holidays in full swing, the end of term a distant memory, and unlimited amounts of time to be enjoying the outdoors, there comes a time when families have to look ahead to the new school year.

For many, September arrives out of nowhere and with it comes a seemingly never-ending list of jobs to tick off in preparation for the children starting back at school. To help make this as stress-free as possible, we’ve put together a helpful checklist of the vital things for families to remember.

Set a routine

No doubt the summer holidays mean later nights than normal or sleepovers at friends’ houses.  However, by September the challenge is adjusting back into the school routine and reminding the children that bedtime is likely to be a lot earlier. To get around this, why not reset the routine a week in advance by bringing forward their bedtime.  This way, by the time the first day of term arrives, the children will be feeling fresh and ready to go.

Buy new uniform

Whether your child is starting a new school or just moving up into the next year group, it’s likely that the new school year means new school uniform. Starting the shopping a few weeks in advance gives you the perfect amount of time to ensure you’ve bought everything on the list as well as having it ironed and ready to go the night before school starts.

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Do holiday homework

As most children would probably testify, the start of the summer holidays signifies the end of a tiring year of hard work; the time to unwind and enjoy the summer. However, research has shown that many children’s academic abilities drop over the break, therefore undermining all the hard work they, and their teachers, have done over the year! There’s nothing worse than realising (a couple of days before the first day back at school) that the teacher actually set holiday homework. Why not get ahead of the game and ensure it’s complete at least a week before term arrive? It’s also a great way to get back into the work mind-set. Extra tuition can also be a great way to keep the kids’ minds ticking over and keeping them engaged with learning before going back to school.

Familiarise yourself with the school run

It’s a journey that becomes almost second nature over time; twice a day, five days a week.  That’s until your child starts at a new school, and suddenly you have to adjust the route that you’ve had for a long time. It’s helpful to practise it a couple of times ahead of the new term to give you an idea of what time you need to leave the house – don’t forget to allow for any morning traffic jams. Maybe there’s even a quicker route that you didn’t even know existed…

Buying new supplies

At the end of the school year, it’s almost guaranteed that your child’s pencil case supplies will be depleted and will need replenishing. Use the summer holidays as a way of starting a list of supplies (as well as uniform) that need buying and tick them off in the preparation for the new term. Whether it’s a new geometry set, a new lunchbox or even a new sports bag, start buying little bits along the way and keep them  all together. That way, the night before school starts, everything is ready to go, including your child! It’ll be like school never stopped…

Written by Jonny Simmons, Assistant Director at Explore Learning Merton.

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