DUBAI 3 September 2017: Going back to school can take an emotional toll on both kids and parents, especially if you don’t properly prepare for it.
From resetting bedtimes to reorganizing your kids’ closets, there are a number of challenges you need to tackle to ensure a smooth transition after the long summer holidays. To help you sail through this seemingly daunting task, experts at ServiceMarket, one of UAE’s leading marketplace for home services, have put together these 10 steps to make sure you’re ready for the first day of school.
Don’t leave everything to the last minute. With most Dubai schools starting in a few days, it’s time to get organized!
1. Start with your kids’ rooms: Nothing is better for a fresh start in a new school year than a clean and organized home. Set aside time to organize and deep clean your children’s bedrooms. Studies have shown that an organized and decluttered living space makes children (and adults) less stressed. Sort through all items in their rooms, and get rid of all toys and books that they have outgrown. Next, do a thorough cleaning of their rooms. If you don’t have much time, consider hiring a cleaning company to help.
2. Put on a fashion show! Kids grow quickly and many parents have a habit of hoarding their old clothes, which just take up extra space in the wardrobe. Get your children to try on any items that they haven’t worn recently and donate their old clothes and shoes to make room for new ones. This is particularly important for their school uniforms. You don’t want to start a new school year with a school uniform that no longer fits! Check which items you can re-use and make a list of uniform items that you need to buy. Remember not to forget their gym wear and sport shoes. If possible, set aside part of their wardrobe just for their school uniforms. Keeping everything in one place is sure to make the back-to-school transition easier.
3. Do an inventory and buy supplies: Before you go shopping, do an inventory of the stationary and other things that are already in your home. Once that’s done, make a list of things you need to buy for the new school year. Be sure to take upcoming school activities into account. Some of the things you should keep in mind include school uniforms and gym wear, stationery, books for the new academic year, bags, lunch boxes and water bottles. Most schools will have already sent a list of required items to parents, so print this out and get shopping! It’s a good idea to involve your children in the decisions as it’s an easy way to get them excited about the new school year!
4. Set a new bedtime and morning routine: Kids often sleep later than their regular bedtime during the holidays. Suddenly changing their bedtime back can be frustrating for them. On the other hand, if your kids don’t catch enough sleep at night, they’ll be cranky during the day and might not be able to learn and perform properly. The trick is to move it up by ten minutes each day and let them adjust to their new bedtime gradually. The recommended number of hours of sleep differs by age, but it is usually in the range of 9 to 11 hours for children between 6 to 13 years old. Fixing their sleeping routine beforehand is a sure way to help relieve back-to-school bedtime jitters. Don’t forget to set your alarm clock accordingly and ask your kids to do the same if they use their own alarm clocks.
5. Create a calendar to mark school activities: Hang a calendar in each kid’s room. This will help get your children excited for the new term. Mark all events and after school activities in their calendar such as football practice or swimming classes. Also add in term dates and any upcoming public holidays. You can keep adding to this during the term. Doing so will help you to stay organized and you’ll be able to avoid any last-minute panic.
6. Buy a folder for each child. This is another easy way to stay organized. Keep a copy of all paperwork, school letters and receipts in the folder. Whenever you need anything throughout the year, you will know where to look.
7. Address any allergies! If your child has any allergies then make sure to contact the school and your child’s teacher before the term starts to discuss any precautions that should be taken. Making sure that the school’s nurse is aware of any allergies or medical issues is very important.
8. Prepare a school lunch box menu: To make sure that your children get a balanced diet and don’t find their lunch boring, create a weekly lunch menu and a grocery shopping list for each week. Consider preparing their lunches for the week the weekend before to save time in the mornings.
9. Speak to your babysitting company: If you need a babysitter to look after your child for a couple of hours after school, or need an extra pair of hands to help you out, get in touch with experienced babysitters or full-time maids in Dubai. If you need help on a frequent basis, then make sure that your babysitting company sends the same babysitter each time so that they are familiar with your children’s routines and your children are comfortable. Note that you can often save a considerable amount of money by booking a long-term contract with babysitting companies in Dubai.
10. Get school bags ready and iron clothes: A couple of days before school starts, put all stationery, new books, and other necessities in your children’s school bags but make sure it’s not too heavy for them to carry around. Try to iron all clothes and polish shoes in advance so that you don’t have to worry about these things at the last moment. Also, don’t forget to prepare their lunch and fill their water bottles the day before school.
Following these 10 back-to-school tips will make sure the whole family is ready and excited for the first day of school! On the big day, make sure everyone wakes up on time so that you can have a relaxing breakfast and get ready at a comfortable pace. Talk about their friends at school and all the exciting upcoming events and activities. Consider driving your kids to school yourself on the first day and take a lot of photos!
By Angel Chan