We get to have a very busy days and weeks, and mums (sorry to say that) are mostly the only ones who bare all this. Here are some quick tips that would help you take control and charge of this Academic Year (fingers crossed). I also hope this would help working mothers as well.
First, you have to set your mind that it is an inevitable part of life and there is no way out so we have to make the best out of it for our kids and ourselves. Try not to be tense; education is important but your kids’ mental health is more important. Bear in mind that this year should not only be academic, and that we should try to include fun days, sports, vacations, and happy events during the year. So here we go:
Time management and planning
- An A3 monthly calendar printout is the most practical solution to jot down all the important monthly dates and events for all family members. (for ex. Exams, quizzes, sports practices, private lessons, birthdays, doctors appointments…..etc)
- Weekly meal plan is the easiest way to spare yourself the headache of thinking before every meal – include all the meals, snacks, and fruits. Tip: Use internet for your favor to print out meals and charts.
- Decide on a place for the extra stationary for easy reaching.
- For easy mornings, prepare the night before. This will reduce the morning tension and hassle. If your kids are older than 6 years old, they can prepare their lunch box themselves under your supervision. Designate a special easy to reach place for lunch boxes and bags, cereals, snacks, tissues, wipes, flasks and bottles. Tip: add love notes to your kids in the lunch boxes.
- Have enough school uniform, socks, hair bands, and stationary so as not to be stuck on a school day or night.
- Decide on a day to wash the school uniform and have enough spare.
- Prepare the school uniform and locate the pair of shoes at night.
- For girls, easy hairstyles like braids, buns, and pigtails are recommended. Tip: detangle long hair the night before.
- Supply the kids with tissues and wipes for hygiene purposes. Tip: use anti-lice spray routinely for prevention.
- Keep an extra set of clothes, jackets, and stationary in the car for any emergencies.
- Involve the kids in most of the tasks according to their age. This would be a great help for you and add to their sense of responsibility. Tip: a checklist is always handy.
- As for the working mum, prepare all your stuff the night before, or wake up 45 min earlier.
Social skills and money management
- Pocket money is a simulation to adult life that would help in teaching them money management. You can give them the money daily, weekly, or monthly, depending on their age and comprehension. They can spend it all, save some and spend some, or can save it all and eat only what they have from home. Holding money, having the power to purchase what they want, asking about the prices, and deciding what to buy and how will they make ends meet are the skills they can’t learn without experiencing them. Tip: If they get to save some, encourage them and add to it to buy whatever they want later.
- Find the time to talk to them (lunch time/on the trip to or from school/ on the way to the club/ bed time), just have the time to listen about their days and reflections on the events that happened during the school day. That is very important for the social development of the kids and an easy way to bond. It is an opportunity to praise the efforts and good attitude, correct the mistakes, learn from the mishaps, and teach them new skills and new ways of thinking. You can always prevent a disaster if you listen early enough and carefully to your child. Tip: never disappoint them when they tell you anything shocking and listen calmly. Another Tip: keep an open communication channel with their teachers.
- Before school starts, you go shopping for school bags, shoes, lunch boxes, flasks…..etc. Eventually, you get to throw away the ones from the year before. That’s a good opportunity for you to encourage your kids to giveaway the old stuff (after being washed) to the less privileged kids around. Tip: If you are doing so, let them buy new stationary in addition to the giveaways.
Have a great year!