back to school – Kate Waterhouse https://katewaterhouse.com Tue, 18 Jan 2022 23:09:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8.3 3 things I do to avoid back to school stress https://katewaterhouse.com/3-things-i-do-to-avoid-back-to-school-stress/ https://katewaterhouse.com/3-things-i-do-to-avoid-back-to-school-stress/#respond Sun, 16 Jan 2022 20:00:00 +0000 https://katewaterhouse.com/?p=45061 This year is a big one in our family as Grace starts kindergarten! Sophia is already in school and…

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This year is a big one in our family as Grace starts kindergarten! Sophia is already in school and while we established a routine for the girls when Sophia was at big school and Grace was at preschool, this year will be different as both the girls will finally be in school together. And as most parents can attest, this means having to double down on the organisation to help minimise morning dramas.

While we still have a few more weeks of school holidays to go, my mind has started drifting towards what will need to be done to get the girls ready for the first day of school. Having already gone through the process with Sophia, I have discovered what works for us and what doesn’t, so I’ll implement those systems this year, and tweak as we go along if we find that things aren’t working. I love hearing suggestions from other parents on how they’re preparing their kids for back to school, so I’ve noted a few of the key things we’re doing in our household to facilitate a more stress-free start to the year. I’d love to hear your tips, so please share them in the comments!

Label everything ahead of time

Labelling every single thing your child owns always takes a lot longer than you think it will, so start early. Don’t leave it to the night before as you don’t want the night before school to be spent stressing about how you’re going to label everything! I always do the uniform labelling ahead of time as those iron on labels take a lot longer than you think they will! There are also name stamps available which are also a great alternative. I’m also planning to gather all the girls’ things and label while also ticking off their school checklist to make sure I’ve got everything they need.

Don’t over complicate the lunch box

There are a lot of lunch box styles out there, but my girls have always loved a bento style lunch box. Great as they are, I would highly recommend choosing one with not too many compartments as you will end up cursing it every morning when you’re trying to fill every single slot! Also do a check on how heavy a lunchbox is as some lunchboxes are really heavy. Given younger kids will take 2-3 lunchboxes to school, you don’t want their bag to weigh a ton.

Have a visual schedule

I got sick of nagging the girls to get ready in the morning so I put out a list of everything they need to do so they can see what needs to be done before they leave the house, plus it gives them some responsibility on getting themselves ready. I have a list for Sophia that uses words, while Grace has pictures and it outlines everything they need to do like brush their teeth, brush their hair, make their bed, get dressed, have breakfast, put sunscreen etc. You could make your own, or there are ready made sets available too.

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Easy ways to help your child get ready to start school https://katewaterhouse.com/easy-ways-to-help-your-child-get-ready-to-start-school/ https://katewaterhouse.com/easy-ways-to-help-your-child-get-ready-to-start-school/#respond Mon, 20 Jan 2020 01:54:35 +0000 https://katewaterhouse.com/?p=35892 Sophia starts school this year and it’s brought on a few mixed emotions for both of us. Like most…

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Sophia starts school this year and it’s brought on a few mixed emotions for both of us. Like most parents, I’m shocked at how quickly the time has gone and that I now have a child who is starting kindergarten. I’m excited for her and can’t wait to see what the year brings, but I will also miss our mummy/daughter days and being able to spend loads of time with her throughout the week.

As for Sophia, she’s looking forward to starting but she loves her pre-school and is sad to be leaving her teachers and friends. We’ve visited her school already and she still seems a little overwhelmed as the grounds are so much bigger than what she’s used to. However I’m reassured by the fact that she will have friends from pre-school attending with her so I’m confident that she is going to love it. I think I’ll be the one who will be more upset at the school gate!

I’ve been busily trying to prepare Sophia for school both from an organisation perspective (stationery, uniforms and the like) but also in the drastic change to routine and environment. So if you’re in the same boat, with a little one about to head off to kindergarten, here’s what I’ve been doing…

School readiness skills

These are just some of the things that I know Sophia will encounter at school so we’ve been trying to do these things at home to help prep her for being at school/in the classroom.

– Practising writing her name, doing tracing activities and cutting and pasting to help strengthen her fine motor skills and also expose her to things she’s likely to do in class.

– We’ve been chatting a lot about letters and numbers so she’s familiar with them before starting school.

– Having to sit through lessons will be one of the biggest transitions Sophia will have to make so we’re practicing sitting down at the table for a more extended period of time. I’m getting her to complete a drawing/activity that lasts longer than five minutes to help expand her concentration skills.

– School is also about socialising with other children so we always go to parks, birthday parties and other events in our neighbourhood so she can get used to playing with others. This includes working on important skills that will be needed in school such as being comfortable taking turns, dealing with conflict and being around other kids. We’ve also been playing common schoolyard games like hide and seek, tip, kicking a ball etc so she’s familiar with them.

– Recess and lunch will of course be part of school routine, and Sophia has had lots of practice opening and closing and eating out of her lunch box at preschool. If your child has trouble getting their lunch out for any reason, it’s better to know now rather than when their actually at school already so you can work through it with them.

– As the holidays come to an end we have already started to get back into school bedtime routine and have sophia wake up and go to bed at the times she’ll need to when she starts school to help make the transition to her new school a lot easier.

– Sophia will of course have to use the bathroom at school by herself so whenever we take her to a public toilet, we’ve been practicing her going independently which includes locking and unlocking the door.

– As Sophia has attended preschool, she has got into the habit of being able to pack her school bag independently. To practice this skill initially we would get Sophia putting things in her bag and packing them away such as folding an A4 piece of paper in half and placing it in her bag.

Getting involved with the school

To help make the first day a little less daunting we’ve made sure to attend any school events or orientations so there will be some familiar faces when Sophia starts school. Also as there are a number of children from Sophia’s pre-school who will also be attending her school, we’ve tried to organise play dates with them during the holidays to help strengthen that bond prior to their first day at school.

Talking about school

I was given some great advice about how to talk about school which I’ve been doing. We’ve been avoiding referring to kindy as “big school” as it can seem a little daunting for children. Instead we’ve just been saying “primary school” or “starting a new school.” Also we chat about school in a positive light but also realistically. For example we don’t really keep emphasising how many friends Sophia will make as it can sometimes set unrealistic expectations as sometimes kids may struggle in this department.

General organisation

We’ve tried to stay abreast of any communications sent by the school to ensure that Sophia doesn’t miss out on any important information prior to starting kindy.

– I used these bento style lunch boxes when Sophia was in pre-school and think they’re great so we’ve got her another one for kindergarten. We also got her input with the design so felt involved and it’s something familiar when she’s at school.

– Much like pre-school everything has to be labelled at school so I’ve ordered some personalised name labels. Also it’s great in case anything goes astray.

– I’ve already ensured that our laundry is well stocked with the necessary stain removers and bleach as no doubt her uniform will end up with dirt/stains on it at some point. Also I’ve got some double sided hemming tape in case her hem comes undone one day—it’s a quick and easy way to fix it without having to get a needle and thread involved.

– We’ve tried to read books about starting school (to help open up conversation about school) and also upped our reading together. Whenever we read to Sophia we try and use our finger to track the words so she starts to make the association between language and sound.

Tell me—what things have you done/being doing to get your child ready for school?

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My week on Instagram https://katewaterhouse.com/my-week-on-instagram-3/ https://katewaterhouse.com/my-week-on-instagram-3/#respond Sun, 27 Jan 2019 08:00:27 +0000 https://katewaterhouse.com/?p=29643 It’s been another busy week this week. I’ve been getting Sophia ready for pre-school (and shared my back-to-school shopping…

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It’s been another busy week this week. I’ve been getting Sophia ready for pre-school (and shared my back-to-school shopping list on the blog) whilst enjoying a bold pink moment with a gorgeous Rebecca Vallance dress.

But what better way to end an eventful week than with a long weekend. I’ve been having a relaxing time time Luke and the girls, whilst enjoying a beverage or two. That’s what long weekends are for right?

I hope you’re all enjoying your long weekends!

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Back-to-school essentials for pre-schoolers https://katewaterhouse.com/back-to-school-essentials-for-pre-schoolers/ https://katewaterhouse.com/back-to-school-essentials-for-pre-schoolers/#respond Thu, 24 Jan 2019 02:07:40 +0000 https://katewaterhouse.com/?p=29512 It’s hard to believe that this year will be Sophia’s last year of pre-school before she heads to big…

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It’s hard to believe that this year will be Sophia’s last year of pre-school before she heads to big school next year. So this year I’m enjoying shopping for all her pre-school essentials, before we get into things like books and uniforms next year. If you’re gearing up to get the kids back to pre-school or daycare, here are a few things that I’ve found handy.

Stuck On You lunchbox

I’m all for a timesaver and this cute little bento box style lunchbox is amazing because it means I don’t have to wrap everything separately. I just pop everything into its designated compartment and I’m done. This range also comes in personalised designs so if you want to get your little one involved with the back-to-school process, perhaps you could get them to help choose a design.

Camelback drink bottle

I’m a fan of this drink bottle because of the non-spill element. They also come in a range of cute designs and is great for kids ready to graduate from a sippy cup.

Pixie’s Bows

I enjoy getting Sophia dressed up for pre-school and often put bows in her hair but as she’s so active my main issue is keeping them in place. The range from Pixie’s Bows have a clip that holds in place well, plus they come in an array of colours if you want to suit any uniform requirements.

Personalised clothing labels

These labels are customisable and a great way to label any clothing. I like the fact that they’re easy to use as you just iron them on and you’re done.

Faber-Castel Junior coloured pencils

For kids who are just learning to use pencils these are great. I’ve found these are perfect for my 4-year-old and 2-year-old as the triangle shape helps them to hold the pencil in the right position.

Tell me—what are some of your back-to-school essential recommendations whether it’s for pre-school or big school?


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