Back To School Preparations 2019
Updated: Sep 5, 2019
This year I not only have1of my girls starting school, but 2; both Maya (7) and Amaara (4) will be in full time education. In the UK, children start school the month of September following their 4th birthday, which, in my opinion, is a little too early to be going to school full time; 08:15am-3:15pm, almost as long as an adult's work day! None of my girls have been or are in nursery full time, I'm lucky to be able to work from home which gives me a little flexibility and more time with my children. I'm so used to spending time with the 2 little ones whilst Maya is at school, it'll be a big change for me and Imaani (3) not to have Amaara around and I've been so emotional about her starting this new and important chapter in her life. They really do grow up way too fast! However, Amaara is more than ready for Reception, she's super excited to see Maya at school and I know that she will work hard and have lots of fun :-)
Here are the things I do to make the back to school prep/starting school transition easier for the whole family- I try to get organised as early as possible to avoid rushing and panicking at the last minute.
1) As soon as the girls break up for the summer holidays in July, I drop their uniform off to the dry cleaners. I also wash their swimming and P.E kits and repack their bags as soon as everything is washed so the various bits of uniform are not floating about in different parts of the house; this way you minimise the risk of losing things over the holidays and don't have to stress about school laundry at the last minute. We usually go on holiday in August and come back a week before school starts so the last thing I want to do after a holiday is to panic about what still needs to get done in regards to school.
2) I ordered Amaara's new uniform and any bits Maya needed for year 3 in May during the Spring sale. Uniform is expensive and aside from getting organised early on and risking items being out of stock closer to September, it's always good to save a few quid!
3) I remember how much I used to love getting new stationary for the upcoming school year so instead of ordering it all online I took Maya with me to choose her colouring pencils and other necessities. She was so excited to organise her pencil case herself, although I was very tempted to arrange it all the way I saw fit, I had to remind myself that it is important that she makes certain decisions, however small, by herself.
4) We've been talking and reading (we love this book) about school with Amaara for a good few months now. The books we read often spark discussions, we talk about her feelings, positive and negative, and give her as much reassurance and support as possible. Her main worry seems to be that she will be away from me 5 days a week and that she will miss me so I'm already scheduling one-on-one hot chocolate dates with her to let her know how special our alone time is and that this is something that won't stop just because she is starting school. I know that the first day will be super hard (more so for me) so I've ordered matching bracelets (click here to order yours) for me and her to wear for the first few days or so. Looking at the bracelet will hopefully give her some comfort if and when she's feeling a little lost.
5) Getting back into a routine a week or 2 before school starts is extremely helpful. During the summer holidays our routine is very relaxed and it takes a while to get used to going to bed at a certain time again or waking up earlier than 9am. As much as the kids need this break, reintroducing the routine, perhaps even gradually, prior to the new term will make the transition much smoother and it won't be such a shock to the system.
I hope everyone's first day at school (or back at school) goes smoothly and good luck to all you mamas. Pack some tissues, take lots of pictures and know that we will always care for them and nurture them- now we have to learn to love and trust them enough to let them go and grow.
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