Motherhood Today: Prep for Back to School


It’s that back to school time of the year again and we can hear the school bells ringing already! How time flies!

Although it can be so hard to adjust from the restful slow days of holiday to the busy and fast days of the school year , but the reality is that the first day of school will be here before you know it and you definitely want to be ready when it comes. The more prepared you are , the easier and more fun it becomes .

Let’s dig into the important things you need to do to get in the back-to-school mode fully and start this school year off on an amazing note..

  1. School Supply List:

It’s not easy cracking on that lengthy school supply list early but sometimes it helps to start as early as just after the holiday starts , because four weeks holiday is not forever and buying school items alongside paying school fees doesn’t work so easily. So here are some of the lists to consider before resumption:

  • Back to school uniforms , socks ,tie : For returning students , check for items that needs to be replaced totally; bad zippers to be fixed , slacken sock that needs replacement etc .With  new school starters , uniforms may be sold by the school or gotten from a different source in good time before school starts.
  • Lunch box and Water bottle: I advice you take the kids with you when going to buy this to show them how to open and close it and ensure they can do this with ease before buying it , reason is (1) You may not be able to return or exchange it if you change your mind   (2).You do not want food and liquid spilling all over books and clothes if it’s not closed properly bearing in mind that a teacher will more than likely have at least 15-20 children in their class and really won’t have the time to open and close lunch boxes and water bottle for each and every one of them. You want your kids to be as independent as possible all day long.
  • Shoes: It is important that these are practical options either straps or with lace. Know what best suits your child. It is advisable for you to double-check with your child’s school to ensure you buy what is compliant with their dress code.
  • School bag: Sturdy , durable , washable/wipe-able should be your watchword when choosing a school bag. I also check the padding around the strap so that it is comfortable to wear.
  • Groceries, Snacks and Food List: What is school resumption without grocery and food shopping anyway. It is important to stock up on items you will need for their lunch or snack box. It is also advisable to make a two weeks balanced food list ahead of time after which you can now recycle and change things up a bit .This is because waiting to decide what to fill their lunch bag with every morning can be such an overwhelming chore especially if you have picky eaters and not a lot of time on your hands.
  1. Adjust bedtime and wake-up schedule

The days of going to bed later and sleeping late are fading fast. Children needs a lot of sleep especially in the early back to school days .  At least one week before the first day of classes bring back bedtime a little earlier , this help the kids ease into the early wake up days and help ensure optimal school performance . This may initially be a struggle, but with time, they will adjust and be fine.

  1. School Fees : This is the one thing to not leave till last minute (when children are going back to school) especially if your child’s school require payment before school resumes because they are running a business. Depending on how many kids you have to pay for and the total value of the fees , it is advisable that a school fees trust / plan account be opened where you can set an amount to put aside every month (either from your salary or business profits) towards paying school fees so that the pressure and anxiety can be reduced whenever the payment is due.

4. Immunisation
There are immunisation requirements for school entry to maintain high vaccination coverage and protect school children from vaccine-preventable diseases . Although some schools arrange for immunisation officers to come and immunize children while the school is in session , it is better to make appointments to get your children immunized before school resumes especially if they are babies just starting crèche (for moms going back to work) or toddlers starting preparatory classes.

5. Update Contact Details : It is essential the school has up to date contact details for you (the parent/guardian) and an emergency contact in case you cannot be reached . It also does a lot of good if your kids know your number by heart.

6. Notify The School Of Any Medical Conditions : To ensure your child get the full support they need to learn , the school needs to know if there are any medical conditions or allergy of concern so that ugly situations can be avoided, most especially if the school authority are the ones who handle the preparation of the food .

7. Meet the class teacher
Get to know your kid’s new teacher if possible before the year begins because the academic goals that are set will be accomplished as a team. By discussing with the teacher if the student has trouble grasping a lesson can help your children reach their full potential. Also you need to discuss your child’s developmental phase with them so that all the work you may be doing at home is not undone at school because the teacher isn’t following up from where you paused .

8. Make studying a priority
One of the most valuable things one can do to encourage the children to get back to school is to read with them and encourage them to read widely . Also depending on their age it is important to establish some well-defined academic goals and hold your children accountable. The path to achieving this includes but not limited to: paying attention in class and taking the time to carefully complete homework assignments.

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