The end of January is often nothing but stressful for parents who will soon lose themselves in the back-to-school rush. There’s uniforms to try on, school shoes to buy, new textbooks, new stationary, new lunchboxes – things to buy, buy, buy until you’re almost flat-out broke. We’re here to ease the pain a little for you with our top 10 tips for a stress-free back-to school. Plus, scroll below to check out our super handy shopping list for things to get ready and items you might need to buy.
1) Start early!
There’s nothing worse than leaving your back-to-school preparations to the last minute.The last couple of days before school starts are always hectic.The last thing you need is for your child to try on a uniform the first day back, only to discover it’s now two sizes too small after a holiday growth spurt!Get your kids to get their uniforms ready early so you can alter them if need be.
2) Shop online
Hate how busy the shops are with parents desperately trying to organise everything for the Term ahead?Look for deals online!Stationary and textbooks are great for this as you don’t have to have your child try anything on.Looking for second-hand deals is a great option.Plus, you’ll probably save a bit too as you’ll be able to logically search for only the items you need rather than being sucked in by all the flashy promotions and items that mysteriously end up in your trolley after your little ones go looking for things on their own.
3) Join local Facebook community groups for great deals on secondhand textbooks and uniform items
Your local community Facebook group is often full of posts from parents wanting to sell old uniforms or textbooks now their children no longer have a use from them.You’ll often be able to find parents with children from the same school as your own, so you’ll be able to make sure you get the right resources as your individual school is requiring.
4) Buy book covers rather than contact
When you’re paying nothing short of a fortune for textbooks, you want to make sure they have some kind of protection to help them last and hold their value. However, contacting is an absolute pain, especially if you have multiple kids! Consider buying book covers instead.These covers are usually thicker than contact, so can often do an even better job of protection and you simply slip them on to your child’s books. No more wrestling with bubbles!
Officeworks has a whole range with different designs, but your local newsagent or other stationary stores often have a supply as well.
5) Label everything!
If you’re a back to school veteran, you’ll know how easily kids lose things if they’re not labelled properly.Buying a label maker (for example: https://www.officeworks.com.au/shop/officeworks/p/dymo-letratag-100h-handheld-label-maker-blue-sasd25630) is a great long-term investment as you can customise the labels to say whatever you need, and is often much cheaper in the long run than buying the labels themselves individually. That said, there are fantastic companies out there where you can buy labels with your child’s name on them super cheap, and they have some really funky designs your kids will love!
6) Keep spare stationary & exercise books on hand at home
Homework or assessment times can be a nightmare in any household (especially if your child hates doing it!).There’s nothing worse than motivation to do schoolwork being side-railed by your child accidentally leaving their pencil case and notebooks at school or older children frantically having to scrounge around the house for a pencil the night before an assessment piece is due.Buy a spare pencil case and fill it with essentials like pencils, erasers, sharpeners, blue, black and red pens, a small ruler and some highlighters.It’s also handy to have 1 or 2 spare exercise books laying around.Create a designated space for these and pull them out when needed.Just make sure you always replenish any items that get taken out so it’s always ready to go.
7) Create a study space!
Students are far more productive if they can minimise distraction as much as possible.Consider creating a space in your home that is designated for school work.Your child won’t have all the distractions of their bedroom or other busy areas in the house to cause them to lose their focus.Plus, by creating a designated study area, their brain will create an association with needing to work hard and stay on track while working there to help with organisation and motivation.
8) Start waking up earlier the week before
Hands up if your household is full of groans on day 1 of Term! Holidays are fantastic with their long sleep-ins and ability to laze around all day.However, after such a long time off, having to set an early alarm the first morning can be a rude wake-up call to the system.Planning activities earlier in the morning the week before school starts is a great way to transition into the school schedule, so that your child wakes up fresh and ready to go on their first day
9) Help your kids set goals
This one is particularly relevant for older students who have intense assessment pieces in high school, but your little ones will benefit from it too! Creating clear goals at the beginning of each Term, particularly during Term 1 is a great way to create focus during the year.Knowing that they’re working towards, something gives students a sense of purpose and motivation in their studies, rather than complaining about how much study they have.Get your child to break their goals into small, achievable steps to create a regular sense of accomplishment and make sure to help them set a reward to motivate their achievements.
10) Create great habits from Day 1!
It’s often said that you should start things the way you intend to finish them.It is therefore vital that you encourage good study habits in your children from the very first day of Term.Time management and organisation are vital life skills, so implement them right from Day 1.The tutors at Bright Spark have been specially trained to help students with these skills, so don’t hesitate to get in contact with us to help your child have the best chance at success.
What tips do you have for making back to school stress-free? We’d love to hear your ideas – comment them below!
Back to School Shopping Checklist
School uniforms – try on early to make sure they fit
Hair ties, scrunchies, ribbons etc
Shoes – make sure they fit
Togs, swimming cap, goggles etc. if needed