A stress-free start to the new school year

by Nicole Gundi | Jan 25, 2018

This post was written by Ramya Manoharan - ASG's Communication Adviser (Content). 

Another academic year is around the corner. All parents can vouch for the fact that it’s not easy to help your child look forward to a brand new start if you're clutching at straws to get through school preparation at the last minute. 

You can make the start of a new year exciting or challenging for your child and yourself by taking the rush out of school readiness. Nobody wants to start their day rushing around search for overdue library books, clean school uniforms or accessories, gobbling breakfast on the run and racing to get to school bell rings.

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The ASG e-guide ‘From the holidaze to school days—how to get a stress-free start for back to school’ gives ample tips to get school ready. Here are a few to get you started.

The first thing to do to avoid this is to make bedtimes easier:

Have a set schedule (snack, play, homework, dinner, reading, bath, etc.).· Spend 15 minutes before bed straightening up.

Check the calendar and gather all supplies for the next day before going to bed.· Create ‘calming’ rituals (bath, reading, soft music) before bed time.

Help kids get up in time by insisting on a regular bedtime.

· Stay away from TV late at night or keep the TV for weekends only.
· Leave the other things you need to do—paying bills, returning phone calls—until your child is in bed.

Avoid the morning panic by doing the usual: making lunches the night before to save time in the morning, stock up on ‘non-perishables’, lay out your child’s clothes for the next day, set the alarm and schedule a regular time for getting up. You could also:

· Encourage your children to dress themselves, brush their teeth and pack their bags – they’ll feel more in control.
· Have a set schedule (shower, dress, breakfast, chores, etc.).
· Make mornings fun with music, but stay away from TV distractions.
· Create a sense of structure to start off the day.
· Put breakfast supplies within kids’ reach to make things easier.
· Get enough rest.  

Expenses come hand in hand with back to school preparation. You can considerably reduce the size of this bill by doing an inventory of what is at hand, listing what you need and matching one against the other. 

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Here are a few shop smart tips:
· Check shops’ return policies and/or guarantees before buying.
· Weigh up quality versus price. An item isn’t a bargain if it falls apart after the first use.
· Go easy on the credit cards or any savings you make will be eaten up by credit charges.
· Record your spending and save your receipts so you can plan for next year.
· Buy it new cheaper at discount stores or online
· Buy second-hand – let go of your perceptions of second-hand stigma
· Investigate second-hand bookstores, library and garage sales, school exchanges and co-ops, local newspaper
· Advertisements, EBay and Gumtree
· Swap with other school parents to meet your needs
· Buy advertised specials from different stores
· Buy in bulk – set-up a bulk buying group in your neighbourhood.

What else is on the to-do list? Have a chat with your child about developing a positive attitude, interest in learning and a willingness to do their best this year. Good luck and enjoy the ride.

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