How to get your kids back to school with ease


Social worker, teacher and the founder of Tweens2teen

If getting teenagers back to school gets you down, here’s a routine every parent can master.

There’s been a sorrowful mood building in my house this week. Everyone knows that it’s almost time to go back to school. To get life back into routine again.

I love the school holidays, and I’ve written another article about how the holidays are a great time to let everyone live a little. But as usual, they’re coming to an end.

To avoid the cries of “have you seen my belt” and “I don’t want to go”, there are seven things parents can get things ready.

“An investment in knowledge pays the best dividends.”


back to school parents children

Why is going back to school so hard?

Just the thought of getting ready has me breaking out in a sweat. I think it’s because I know that the 10 weeks always feel like a marathon.

It’s a sad truth in my house that the wheels usually fall off my well organised machine midway through the term. All my good intentions and clever systems fall apart at the first hurdle. I’ve learned to treat every school term as a fresh start. To do a bit of work on the weekend before, so I position myself for success.

It’s almost like a one-woman competition to see how far I can get until it all falls apart. My PB is around Week 6.

This term, I’m aiming for Week 7. To keep myself accountable, here’s my “getting ready” list:

1. Mend, soak and iron the uniforms

Spruce up any other things that are looking a bit grubby too.

I know it’s simple, but how often have your kids pulled their school bag out only to find a colony of bacteria residing in their lunchbox from last term?

I also find that there’s always a missing button or a torn sleeve to repair. Otherwise, that the shirt will be put in solitary confinement for the term. Having everything ready to go in the cupboards and drawers is the first step to success.

2. Stock the pantry

We eat different meals during term time and the holidays. Doing a big shop the weekend before school goes back means we have the right things on hand. But it also sends subliminal messages to my teens that the holidays are drawing to an end.

3. Make interesting lunch options

Vegemite or peanut butter rolls are staples in our lunchboxes. But I like to inject some homemade flair. It might be mini pizzas, scrolls, sausage rolls, sushi, fried rice and cookies.

I seem to have the greatest success if I do a big bake up and then release them from the freezer one day at a time.

4. Stock up on pens and 2B pencils

At some point someone will say “I need 2B pencils today” at 6am in the morning. Having some on hand makes you a gold star parent straight up. As there are companies such as Office Monster out there that can provide every sort of stationary equipment you’ll ever need, you won’t run out of pens anytime soon.

“In school you’re taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you’re given a test that teaches you a lesson.” – Tom Bodett

5. Pay your bills

There seems to be a flurry of costs at the beginning of term. Clearing the decks of older bills helps to stay on track with the new ones.

6. Memorise the date for the next holidays

Everyone will assume you know it. Being able to give the answer will limit the frustration of having to keep looking it up. Knowing how many weeks are in the term and tracking what week you are up to is also good for parental sanity.

7. Pack the night before

I get my kids to empty out their bag and give me any lurking washing the day before they go back. Packing the night before make sure they know that I am not playing the “I can’t find…” game in the morning.

And then before you know it, we’ll be in the thick of homework and assignments again. Be sure to check out my article on getting a great homework hustle if that’s been a battle ground in the past.

With one child out of school and the other two heading there, I’ve realised that there will come a time when I’ll miss the rhythm of school and holidays. But I’m not there yet. So in the meantime, I’ve got some baking and mending to do…

What are your back to school rituals? I’d love you to share them below.

Generation Z Report Tweens2teen

Enter your details and we'll pop the report in your inbox!

That's it! Check your email for your copy of The Gen Z Report 2017. You'll get the 10 hallmarks that separate Generation Z from the rest, and what that means for people who live and work with them. By downloading this report, you're also consenting to let me send you updates. If you'd like the report, but don't care for the updates, just unsubscribe when you feel like it. You'll find a link at the bottom of my emails.

Self-care checklist Tweens2teen

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This