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Top 10 Things To Do Before School Starts


These are my top 10 things to do before school starts:


1. Attend Orientation Sessions and Meetings

It’s not always easy to go to meetings throughout the day but the orientation sessions and parent meetings that schools hold are a great source of information. You’ll also be able to check out the classroom, meet the teacher and some of the other parents. I always used to have information handouts at my sessions so if you are unable to attend, make sure you ask if you can receive the information.


2. Drive Past the School

You might have been to the school for the orientation session but your child may not have a clue what their school will look like. If possible, take a walk around the school surroundings to familiarise your child with the setting. If your child gets to see where they are going it’s sometimes easier for them to chat about this mysterious place they call school!


3. Prepare Your Finances

No matter which school your child goes to, there are costs associated with sending your child to school. Uniforms, equipment, school fees and excursions are just some of the things you need to plan for.  Find out what government assistance you may be entitled to which may help stretch your budget.


4. Get Supplies and Name Everything

Please make sure your child has everything they need to start the school year. Each year I would see one or two children who wouldn’t come to school with essential things and it really embarrassed them. For some children, it was also the start of being really disorganised.

On the first day, teachers usually get children to put their supplies away in specific places and glue cover page in scrap books or files. If your child doesn’t have everything on the first day, they have to try and catch up at a later time. So things get lost and very messy.

Everything also needs to be named – a teacher cannot possibly know who things belong to if they are not named!


 5. Plan Healthy Lunches and Snacks

Many school lunchboxes seem to be full of processed foods. As a teacher, I see the benefits of healthy food in lunch boxes versus junk food – the children I’ve seen who eat a majority of healthy food seem to concentrate better in class. If it’s tricky to prepare fresh lunch and snacks, try to choose the ‘better’ option. Educate yourself on additive/sugar/salt/fat levels in food and pick the product that is the best in that line of food for your child.


6. Practise Social Skills

A huge part of school is making friends. Make sure your child knows that smiling and saying hello is a great way to start a friendship. Also practice your manners – please, thank you and excuse me can go a long way! Sharing, listening and speaking (in equal amounts!) are other skills that will help your child develop friendships and communicate with their classroom teacher.


7. Read To Your Child

Hopefully by the time you send your child to school, you have spent many hours reading to them. But if you have got a little busy and reading has been pushed aside, make a great effort to read to your child before they go to school. Apart from all the language they hear and see, reading can help their concentration skills. If your child can sit with you for ten minutes to listen to a story, they may be able to use this skill to concentrate for ten minutes in the classroom during mat time or other activities.


8. Set Bedtime Routines

Start bedtime routines well before school starts. If you know your child needs a certain amount of sleep, start adjusting your sleep routines well before the night before school starts. And remember, it might be you who has to drop your child at school, so if you regularly sleep through the alarm you might need a bedtime routine too!


9. Health and Wellbeing

If your child has any medical, custodial or special needs you should think about what the school needs to know and what your child needs to know. If your child has a life threatening allergy you will need to give the school an allergy action plan that your doctor has prepared. If your child has an allergy to a particular food you also need to drum into your child that they must not accept food from others. Or if it’s a severe bee sting allergy, talk with your child about playing in safe places – away from flowers and grasses and in sight of a teacher on school yard duty.  Schools take your child’s health very seriously and it is also important that your child takes precautions to protect themselves too.

If you are concerned or just have a few things to share, make an appointment with the classroom teacher or the person responsible for children with special needs and circumstances.


10. Enjoy Some Time Together

Well, this is where you may get a little weepy – the time before your child goes to school is precious and it doesn’t last long! No matter how much time you are able to spend with your child, make the best of it and enjoy simple, fun things together.

If you think about these ten tips and plan ahead, your child should have the best start to school possible.

Best wishes,




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