Preparation is the key for new school year

Wakey wakey: Getting kids to bed early makes the mornings easier.
Wakey wakey: Getting kids to bed early makes the mornings easier.
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YOU may have had a great summer but end of the holidays is in sight and the school routine will soon be in full swing.

And while some parents may be about to breathe a sigh of relief that they’ll soon get a break from having to provide childcare and/or constant entertainment for their kids, they should bear in mind that the start of a new school year needs preparation.

There’s all the obvious stuff, such as buying a bigger school uniform and perhaps succumbing to demands for new pencil cases and character lunchboxes.

But as well as buying the right kit, parents need to prepare their kids, and particularly the younger ones, for the new school year.

Primary school teacher and National Union of Teachers executive member Hazel Danson says that perhaps the most important preparation of all is getting the kids to bed earlier in the week before school starts, and getting them up earlier.

“Parents need to get kids back into a routine - make sure that they get plenty of sleep and go to bed on school time, not holiday time. It’s particularly important for younger children who might find a longer day and concentrating academically a bit more tricky.”

She stresses that if children are tired when they go back to school, it can impact more than anything on their ability to sit and concentrate.

Justine Roberts, co-founder of the parents’ social networking site Mumsnet, agrees that getting back into a school routine before term starts is important.

“For most parents, back-to-school time can’t come soon enough.

“After six weeks of trying to keep boredom at bay, school becomes a welcome relief,” she says.

“The problem is that during the summer, kids (and parents) can get into some bad habits, like staying up and sleeping in late, a routine incompatible with going to school.

“Most Mumsnetters agree that getting kids back into their school routine is essential to avoiding an aneurism come term time.”