The Summer holidays are over and its time for a new academic year for your child. While the start of a new school year is exciting, the reality is that a few days/weeks into the first term, you find yourself struggling as a mum. Here are a few back to school tips for busy mums:
- Create a routine that works for all members of your family. Get your kids involved by allowing them to choose the times for their school/madressah homework so that they feel involved and are more inclined to follow it.
- Set a specific bed time for school days and stick to it like glue. Encourage your children to sleep at this time at least 3 days before school starts.
- Manage screen times and set rules for screen time during the school term.
- Get your kids excited about school by helping them to cover their books and label their stationery before packing it into their bags.
Once school starts:
- Wake up a little earlier than the rest of the family to get more done. Sometimes it’s not always possible especially if you have a baby who doesn’t yet sleep through the night. In that case, prepare for the next morning the night before like making school lunches or at least keeping everything ready for the morning.
- Have a meal planner for the week as it saves a lot of time daily by deciding what to cook on the day. Also, cook extra if possible and keep for another day/week.
- Find yourself stuck in the car for most of the day? Try to arrange a lift club/carpool to save time in the day.
- Have your kids keep their school/madressah/sport uniforms and bags ready for the next day. It’s easier to do this a few minutes before they go to sleep. It will get them in the habit of preparing for the next day.
- Delegate tasks to your spouse and kids, depending on their ages, so that you are not overwhelmed with doing everything, especially in the mornings. We all know how stressful a school morning can be.
- Aim to do grocery shopping once a week or even online as this saves a lot of time. Having a menu for the week helps to make this a reality because you will know exactly what ingredients you require.
- If you and your children spend a lot of time in the car commuting to school/madressah/extra murals, try and use this time productively. What works for me, is having my son eat his lunch in the car during the ride home from school so it frees up his time when he gets home. This means I have to pack an extra lunchbox in the morning, which would have been the meal he eats when he gets home, but I find this works well for us.
- Lastly, but most importantly, be kind and support your kids with love. Even when they’re tired and grumpy early in the morning and you find yourself getting snappy. There will be difficult days in the new term as your child adjusts to their routine as well as challenges in the classroom but as long as they feel loved and secure at home, it will make it easier for them to manage.
I wish all mums and kids the best of luck for the 2019 school year and do feel free to share any other tips that work for you and your family.