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Back to school prep parents should not ignore

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After the festivities laced with celebrations, parties, visiting of family, friends and even travelling, it’s time for our kids to go back to school. In Nigeria, this period marks the beginning of the second term for pre-school, primary and secondary schools. While a few schools resumed this week, all schools are expected to return for academic work next week.

Hence it is important to ensure that your kids prepare adequately for the new term both mentally, physically and psychologically. This will in turn help parents stay stressfree, as children who are not properly settled in school can increase the stress of parents especially when both are working.

It is important for families to draft strategies that work for them, this will make school mornings effortless and easy. Set your kids’ sleep schedules back to “school time” before the first day of school.

Get them involved in programs they can do after school to keep them active and encourage them to read at least one book a week.

Reacquaint your kids with the calendar schedule they’ll use to manage their activities (try apps like iHomework or myHomework to help your kids organise assignments.) Let them choose a planner or scheduling tool they’re excited to use. Refresh your rules about screen time for the school year.

Get the list of school supplies, books and technology your kids will need. Check for last year’s school supplies before going out to buy more.

Remove distractions like TVs and video game consoles from homework areas. Repurpose and relabel plastic tubs to organise all school supplies. Set and enforce regular weekday and weekend bedtimes and wake-up calls.

Help your kids prioritise their activities by tying them to their year’s goals. Create a list of fun after-school activities and games to keep your kids entertained. Touch base with teachers early on to troubleshoot any issues your kids may be having. Create an after-school schedule that allows time for snack, relaxation, play and study. Establish regular bedtime routines for elementary school kids and preschoolers.

Model good behaviour by doing your own work/projects while your kids do homework. Encourage your kids to lay out their school clothes the night before. Have your kids pack their school bags before they go to sleep that night. Establish rules for where they should put lunchboxes, dirty school uniforms, when they come home.

Buy bulk packaged snacks that can be easily added to lunches. Discuss the different pros and cons of bringing versus buying school lunches. Get copies of school menus in advance to discuss lunch choices. Get your kids involved in creating and preparing their daily lunch menus. Organise lunch ingredients in one part of the fridge so you can make fast lunches and make a week worth of food you can refrigerate and unthaw for easy preparation.

Have a backup transportation mode planned in case your kids miss the bus. Set your clocks forward 10 minutes. This makes it easier to be on time.

Make sure your kids and you have an effective wakeup alarm that works for them. Set an alarm or notification 30 minutes before bedtime. Remove things like mobile devices from kids’ bedrooms to focus them on sleepin g.Use night lights, white sound machines and fans for kids who can’t get to sleep.

Setting up the breakfast table before you go to bed and mappinged out a bathroom schedule to avoid family fights for bathroom time is important.

Finally, it is important to talk openly with your kids about their feelings about returning to school. Their views and feelings matter, parents should listen and make necessary adjustments if needed.


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