The Easy Ride Back To School

Aug 30 2016.

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You have survived what you initially thought might be impossible.. at least I thought so, the summer holidays. Dear readers, you must be sympathetic to my situation, the early part of July heralded the beginning of the much awaited summer holidays, and with my children entitled to two months of summer holiday bliss, I was in a state! Two months, with four kids at home, my mind boggled. But it's over now, happy memories were made with my sanity still intact and I am a proud survivor. The next challenge, getting them back to school! During the holidays, as it is expected  we are lenient with bedtimes, sweetened junk food is eaten in copious amounts, and the children are allowed to wallow in idleness. The rigorous constraints of time and commitments usually adhered to on busy school weeks are forgotten. One would be foolish to think we can encourage the otherwise summer loving child to refocus back into school mode over night. It will be a process and an arduous one. The trick is to start slowly and make it a gradual transition. 

Here are some tactics to keep in mind when getting the children back into school and making their school year a successful one! 

1. Reeling children back into proper bedtimes should be started a week earlier. It is very important for children to get at least a minimum of 10 hours of sleep for them to have productive days at school. 

2. If possible get books, uniforms and other school supplies a week ahead and be prepared. For you will do a last minute trip before school starts, just to finish off the summer, it happens every year despite your better judgment. So minimize your stress and prepare early. 

3. Try and do a few educational trips during the summer holidays, be it visiting a historic site or the museum. In this way your child can still stay in scholar mode and have fun with their holidays as well. 

4. Before your children start school, get them to sit down with you and figure out their goals for this term. It could be small ones like improving their handwriting to conquering physics. Don't make the expectations unattainable, start the goals small and increase the intensity as the term progresses. 

5. The first week of school is of course very chaotic. Each child  with new schedules and activities, can be quite stressful for the aggrieved parent to comprehend and more importantly remember. Give the older children the responsibility of filling out their calenders, with after school activities, clubs and important events. By making them do it they are also aware of what they need to prepare for rather than us telling them what is next. At some point we must let go as parents. 

6. In choosing their after school clubs, it might be wise to organize the clubs so that they are all one day. It would surely reduce your stress levels, organize your time and in turn make the week more productive. 

There are of course plenty to be done, in preparing our children back to school, but these are the basic essentials and the rest will follow through. More importantly through the planning process do not forget to let it overwhelm you, children nag, children demand and children do not always cooperate. This does makes matters more difficult than necessary. Breathe, take a moment and jump in head first. You are parent invincible! 


Mayuri Jayasinghe

Mayuri Jayasinghe plays many roles in her life but her most important and quite baffling role is that of being mother to her four children. She is the voice behind 'Parenting Life' for LIFE. A regular contributor to Women at Work and the Little Enquirer. Follow Mayuri on her Facebook page, The Parenting Club.



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