The Other Back-To-School List: 7 Steps to September Success
The last few weeks of August are heaving with brands trying to sell you their list of things that you simply must buy for your child to have a successful back-to-school season. From pens and pencils to the latest laptops and printers, oh and don’t forget the new outfits that they simply must be seen in on their first day back.
While my own daughter isn’t quite heading off to school, I thought that we could all use a resource that isn’t pushing products and focuses on the real priorities.
Book an eye exam
According to a survey commissioned by the American Academy of Opthalmology, nearly two out of three American adults have vision issues but most don’t get tested. If your son or daughter can’t see the white board at the front of the class, or is getting headaches after reading, then they might need glasses.
Preparing for new routines
Has your Summer has been a long time away from routine? It’s lovely to be able to sleep in and go to bed late, but that doesn’t really work when you have to be up, dressed, had breakfast and arrived at school by 9am sharp.
Start implementing a routine a week before school starts, including TV cut-off times in the evening, bedtime and breakfast routines.
Put together a calendar for the family or for the kids individually. Colour-code or write in important days and weekly events like ‘gym – bring your gear’ or ‘library day – bring books’, etc.
For those who are being introduced to the awful world of homework, start having a time slot after dinner that they can use to sit at the table and colour or do some crafts to get them used to completing a task at that time of day.
Talk About How They’re Feeling
School is a crazy time of emotions, potential overwhelming homework and social anxieties, relationships, and bullies. Try and get into the habit of discussing how your child is doing in their day-to-day.
- What was the best part of their day?
- What was the worst?
- Do they need any help?
- What do they need to succeed?
- How are your teachers?
While the saying “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day” was created by an American cereal company to sell more products, they’re not entirely wrong. It’s more of a sustained small-meal or snacks routine that will keep them motivated and be able to concentrate on their school work all day.
However, as they’re out of the house for lunch, breakfast is a great place to start a healthy day.
Here are a few quick breakfast options:
- Microwaved oatmeal – Rip open the packet, pour in the bowl, add equal amount of milk, 2 minutes in the microwave.
- Scrambled egg and spinach wrap – Crack eggs, fry and keep stirring, put in a wrap with raw (washed) spinach and serve.
- Avocado on toast – Toast bread, spread avocado on it, sprinkle some nuts on top.
- Loaded yogurt – Open a individual yogurt (plain greek is low-sugar and high protein), add chopped almonds and berries.
- Cheese and ham omelette – Crack eggs, whisk, add ham and grated cheese, fry and flip.
There are lots of recipes for ‘healthy fruit smoothies’ but these give too much sugar from all the fruit in one burst. It’ll lead to a spike in energy and then a crash. It’s better to eat the fruit as nature intended.
At school my book bag was always really heavy. Have a feel of your child’s backpack, is it going to cause backache? Once you get the suggested reading list from the school, see if there are digital options for the same books. Perhaps there are PDF versions or eBooks available.
I wish I had my books on a Kindle. It would have been so much easier to carry around from class to class. Much cheaper too!
The School Run
Get your car ready to go. Fill up the tank, empty the trunk of all the summer essentials and give it a vacuum.
If your child is walking or riding their bike to school, do they have everything they need? Do they have a bike helmet? Are their backpacks or jackets reflective? Do they need lights or flashlights (later in the season)?
Mind your speed – school zones are full of excited kids who don’t look where they’re going. Slow down and be on the lookout and for goodness sake, get off your phone.
Did I miss any? Add your top tips in the comments below.