Back to School

10 Things to do Before School Starts

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Here are some essential hacks that will help you and your child start the new academic year on the right note.

  • Get their body clocks back on schedule. Start a couple of weeks before school by getting up with 15-30 minutes earlier each day. If you leave it for the last day, you’re setting yourself and your child up for disaster. Getting up on time for school can’t be flipped on like a switch, your child has to be physically and mentally eased into it.
  • Familiarize your entire family with the School calendar. From holidays to special events at school, to after-school activities, it is a good idea to have a large printed or hand-written calendar up on a wall in the house. Add the parents’ work trips and events to this as well. This way, the kids and you can see what’s happening with everyone at a glance.
  • Pack bags and keep the clothes the night before. There will always be a morning rush, especially on the first day of school. Ensure that the bags are packed with all essentials and the clothes are all set and laid out for easy access in the morning.
  • Prepare for the week ahead. You’ve got their bags and clothes set the previous night, but what about lunches, dinner groceries, and project work etc.? Start putting aside a couple of hours on Sunday to stock up your kitchen and your school supplies so that there are no last-minute rushes on school nights.
  • Have extras of school supplies. Project work is a regular part of school life, and most parents (and children) like to finish things at the eleventh hour. It is useful to have extra supplies of art and craft material and other supplies always in the house.
  • Label all the things they’ll take to school. School bags, bottles, tiffin boxes, notebooks, shoes, jackets, everything. If they have a school diary, clearly write your home address and emergency contact numbers on the front.
  • Plan your drop-off appropriately. First days can cause anxiety in even the most experienced school-kids. Don’t sneak off without saying bye, no matter how anxious your child may appear. And don’t elongate the good-bye either. You need to have a firm, short and sweet drop-off so your child can start coping with any separation anxiety.
  • Meet and chat with other parents. You all are going through the same journeys and will have a lot in common. It’ll be valuable to have an ally and another perspective on someone who’s going through the same process as you.
  • Prepare your child for the year ahead. Talk to your child’s teacher or other parents whose children are older to get general details on learning goals for their class. You can get their excitement built up by hinting towards exciting activities like a school trip, or a project about space etc.
  • Pay attention to your own behaviour. No matter how emotional you get about “my baby is growing up” or how stressed you feel about managing your work and family life once school opens, don’t let your kids feel your stress. Children take cues from parents in handling stress. Make sure you’re calm and confident so that your child too can handle their school year like a pro.
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Nupur Netan Sachdeva, founder of the Practical Mum blog, writes about simplifying parenting for the hyper-connected mothers of today. She has worked the corridors of financial markets for more than a decade, and may at this point, have nothing but black coffee flowing through her veins. Follow her on Instagram @practicalmum where she shares tales of raising a happy & healthy child in the maximum city of Mumbai.