You can do this at any point in the summer but I like to do it the week they finish up from school: get all their clothes washed and check out the condition they are in. Any with marks that don’t come out in the wash, tears, or simply too worn I recycle at the clothing recycle spot at the nearest supermarket. Any in decent condition but too small I give to the charity shop, and any in good condition that was my eldest child’s (that are unisex clothes obviously) I use for my son for the next year.
Then I make a list of what I have, what I need and go source the best place to buy them.
A few weeks before:
Put the school holidays for the coming year on the calendar/in your diary
You should be able to locate the school holiday dates on your local council website. I tend to grab these around Easter time when they go up on our council website and get my holidays in at work before others do.
Get the kids up and to bed early
I like to ease my kids back into being mentally prepared for school without them even realising it. e.g. the Monday, 2 weeks before school starts, I tell them to switch everything off at night half an hour earlier than they usually do so they can read for half an hour before bed. Once they’ve been doing that for a few days, I begin getting them up around 7:30am. A few days after that I begin waking them up around 7am. Then a few days later 6:30am which is the time they normally get up to get ready for breakfast club. This reduces stress for you and helps get them back into the school routine.
A couple of days before (but no more than a week before):
Arrange a play date with their close friends
(This was a tip from a friend who is a teacher). Allowing them to catch up with their friends gives them time to tell them everything they would normally be excited to tell about what they’ve done in the summer, on the first day back at school. Doing this can minimise the amount of in class talking that goes on. The reason to do it no more than a week before is a week can be a long time for a child so a lot can still happen, that they might want to talk about.
The night before:
I find on days when my kids don’t have breakfast club, I need every little minute of time I can get in the morning so that includes these three important things.
Myself or my partner makes lunches the night before and both my kids are old enough to pick their own breakfast and clothes, so these are done after they’ve brushed their teeth but before they go to bed. That way they know where everything is in the morning which also saves time.
First day back at school:
I do this most mornings or I would never get my kids out the door. The minute the TV is on, all attention is given to it and I find myself shouting like someone on a mad rant trying to get them to do anything. My son uses the excuse “I’m stretching” when lounging on the sofa instead of putting his shoes on and my daughter moves like a sloth at the best of times. So avoiding TV and electronics is a given in our house.
If you have any tips of your own, feel free to comment below.