What? September already! Yes, folks, it’s that time of year again when parents have to reacquaint themselves with the joys of packed lunches, school pickups and homework checks. We know this can be a challenging time, so to help make things easier, we have put together this useful Back to School Checklist for Parents.
1. Set a routine early
This is arguably the most important back to school tip for parents. During the first few weeks of school, it’s vital that you set a solid routine for your child. This should include picking a concrete bedtime and designated homework time. When selecting a bedtime, remember that the NHS recommends that children between ages five and 14 should get between nine and 11 hours sleep a night. As for a designated homework time, we recommend either immediately after your child gets home when the information from school is still fresh in their mind or, if you fancy giving them a little relaxation time beforehand, immediately after dinner. Speaking of homework, if you’re looking for something to help supplement your child’s maths homework, we recommend downloading some of our free maths activities for kids.
2. Make a list of the important term dates
This is another back to school tip that should be towards the top of your list. Important term dates that you should make note of throughout the year include: your child’s class assembly, parents’ evening, school trips, curriculum meetings, teacher training days, schools photo days and PTFA meetings, to name a few. These dates will usually be available on your school’s website or you may be notified via a newsletter.
3. Create a checklist for your children
You’re not the only one who needs a checklist for back to school preparation! To ensure that your child gets ready every morning in a timely fashion, we recommend giving them a list of things they have to take to school every day (e.g. their lunch box, water bottle, pencil case, school books etc). Try hanging the sheet somewhere in your house that is central to your child’s life (e.g. their bedroom cupboard, near the front door, on the fridge), that way they’ll be more likely to commit it to memory.
4. Stock up on school supplies
Although most primary schools provide students with the stationery they use in class, it’s still worth buying some supplies for homework time. Here is a list of things every child needs at school:
. a rubber
. a pencil sharpener
. a glue stick
. a ruler
. a set of colouring pencils
. a pencil case to store all of the above
. sticky back plastic for covering books
5. Create a study space
This back to school tip is one that should be on every parent’s checklist! Finding a space where your child can do their homework stress-free is particularly important for their learning. Ideally, this should be a quiet area in your house, with plenty of surface space that is also quite central so that you can help out your child even if you’re cooking dinner. Also, don’t forget to keep a stock of supplies your child might need when studying (listed in the point above), as they’re bound to lose a pencil or two at some point in the year!
6. Draw up a meal plan
f you’re one of those people who is constantly asking themselves, ‘What am I going to make my child for lunch tomorrow?’ this is one back to school tip you should pay attention to. Firstly, don’t stress out thinking that you have to prepare a Michelin star meal or cook something new for your child’s lunchbox every day. The most important thing to is to make sure you have all the bases covered for a healthy meal. The easiest way to ensure this is to include a piece of fresh fruit and/or some vegetables, a piece of lean protein and some dairy in their lunch box each day.
7. Create a system for school handouts
During the first few weeks of school, your child will receive a fair few handouts from school (e.g. reading lists, medical forms, school trip notifications etc.), many of which will need to go back to their teacher. With that in mind, we advise you take some steps to prepare for these handouts as part of your back to school preparation.Try creating an ‘inbox’ for handouts that need to be signed and an ‘outbox’ for signed documents that are ready to be given back to school. It might prove a lifesaver!
8. Make sure you’ve booked them into after-school clubs
When doing your back to school preparation, it’s also important to remember that the school day doesn’t necessarily end when class finishes. Enrolling your children in after-school clubs can some great benefits, including: improving their social skills and developing hobbies. There are many ways to find an after-school club. Many schools will have the options available listed on their website, alternatively, you can search the Gov.uk website to find out what options your local authority is offering.
What are your thoughts on our Back to School Checklist for Parents?
Did we miss anything out? Please tweet us your back to school ideas for parents to @MathsWhizzTutor, we’d love to hear them!