Being a School Mum can be very overwhelming at times particularly if you are going on this journey for the first time. I went in blind without too much information from anybody as my daughter was the oldest in my whole family to go to school so I had no sibling or friends really to talk to as we were first.
I have compiled below my top 5 tips (yes there are lots more but no one can do everything) to help make things that little bit easier.
After my daughter’s school hat went missing in the first week of school I suddenly understood the importance of labelling everything. I mean REALLY REALLY labelling. We had written her name in the school hat on the tag where it said name in permanent marker however I came to realise quickly that this would not be enough.
In prep most kids can’t read yet so some black pen on a tag was not enough to hold their attention or make them question picking up a hat and assuming it was theirs. I would recommend some kind of easily identifiable tag on the inside of every piece of school clothing that any child would know was theirs or not. Something that you can iron on with a specific design with your child’s name on it that they will recognise straight away and is really obvious. You want to make it super easy for kids to know if it is theirs or not.
You can check out some name label options here http://schoolmum.wpengine.com/product-category/identity-direct/
Lunchbox Food Plan
I think it took about 6 months before my daughter came home having eaten everything in her lunchbox for the day. It was not that we were giving her too much food, if anything I felt like she did not have enough. It was more that she was being fussy or the food was taking too long for her to eat and she was more interested in play than eating at lunchtime. This was one of the most stressful things for me knowing my daughter was at school all day and knowing how little she has eaten.
I would recommend starting to put together school lunch ideas during the holidays for your kids in their lunchboxes and having them eat those to get use to it. Going from walking around the house, grazing most days and having free reign of the fridge lunch food to a structured lunch was tricky for my daughter. I am amazed at how little she can eat when at school. She does come home like a hungry animal after any food she can get. We do try and make her eat her lunch first but some of it is past it by the time she is home.
I knew we would receive pieces of paper home from school about all different things but nothing prepared me for how much there was really going to be. Sometimes the notes are for something a month in advance and you are flat out finding the ones due this week so you put them aside to hunt down the most recent ones. Having a good clear system for where you put school notes is a must. You will save yourself hours of searching and frustration by having a plan.
We have a specific document tray and space in a wall box where all the notes go that come home. There is a mountain of them in there and I have no idea of the order they are in but what I do know is that if I am after a note or some information that was sent home I know where to find it. This really is a must.
If you have never heard of book covers google it lol. I spent the first year of my daughter’s prep covering all of her books with contact which was fun to begin with. After about the 15th book I think I was ready to scream lol. Book covers are reusable and a cheats way of covering your kids books in about 5 minutes total. Yes they do cost a bit more than contact however for me it was worth it for the time I saved and the reusable nature of them for the year after. They are also super cute.
You can check some out here http://schoolmum.wpengine.com/product-category/spencil/a4-bookcovers/
A Good Night Sleep
This does seem like a no brainer but making sure your children have had a series of good night sleeps leading up to starting school is a must. I know on holidays our kidlets tend to go to bed a bit later and get up a bit later which works well for us. My general rule is about 1 week before school starts back we are back to normal bed time and wake up time so the kids are back into school routine before school starts back. It is a bit of a shock to the system for everyone getting back into the swing of things so making it as easy as possible and staging out the new normal after holidays can help a lot.
These are my top 5 tips for making things that little bit easier getting back into the school swing of things.
Written By School Mum aka Sam Shazzam