Many of the mums in our community have kids starting school for the first time in 2021.
Some of you were still able to proceed with on-site orientations while others weren’t, so already our kids are at varying stages of readiness.
One thing we all have in common is that nobody wants to be the school-mum who has no idea and sends her child to school unprepared for the big life change.
At the crux of this insecurity is the simple fact that we want our children to fit in, find friends and enjoy school so that they do well and are happy to return every weekday for the next 13 years!
Naturally, when we sought-out advice from the more experienced school-mums amongst our Mums of the Shire Facebook Group, our supportive community was quick to offer a heap of helpful tips for newbie school mums and we’ve summarised those for you below.
30 helpful tips for mums with kids starting school
- Source second-hand uniforms if you can. Kids will stain/outgrow uniforms quickly anyway! If you don’t know older kids from the school, try searching the posts of Facebook groups like Sutherland Shire buy swap and sell or websites like the Uniform Exchange and Sustainable School Shop.
- Label everything. Our community has suggested iron-on labels from Hippo Blue and Tiny Me or labels that stick like glue to clothing from Stuck on You. Of course, you can always use a permanent marker too.
- School hats go missing often. Buy at least two school hats and keep one in the car.
- Unless your child is good at tying shoe-laces, start with velcro shoes.
- Leather shoes will last longer than mesh shoes, which are constantly scuffed by sitting cross-legged on concrete!
- Backpacks are your call. School-issue backpacks can be heavy for smaller kids but generally outlast other department store brands. If you do choose to purchase one make sure you put ribbons/keyrings/badges on your child’s bag so they can identify it from their classmates’.
- Pack a change of clothes in their backpack in case of accidents/wet socks etc.
- Try not to harass the teacher. Give your child at least a week or two to find their feet and settle into the routine of school before approaching the teacher with any concerns that aren’t urgent.
- Encourage kids to lay out their uniforms the night before– that way you’ll know you have one clean and ready to go!
- Expect your child to lose things and breathe through it!
Green’s Footwear has been fitting school shoes for the past 57 years so they know a thing or two about shoes! Their expert staff will help you find a great fitting school shoe for each stage of your child’s school life.
They stock a large range from brands such as Clarks, ROC, Colorado and Harrison and have a huge SALE on all school shoes until February online and in-store! Start a tradition in your family and let Green’s be your school shoe shop of choice – fitting your children from Kindy to Yr 12!
Shop small and shop local with Green’s Footwear this back to school.
Shop in-store at 45 Cronulla Street, Cronulla (02 9523 2620) or online at www.greensfootwear.com.au
- Don’t pack too much lunch. Kids just want to play and may end up throwing it away.
- Pack crunch and sip in a separate container to the lunchbox. This will make it easier for your child to access.
- Choose a dishwasher-safe lunchbox.
- Buy a cooler bag and/or ice-brick to keep your child’s lunchbox cool.
- Practice using the lunchbox that your child will be taking so you know they can open and close it without help.
- Shop for school lunches on Sundays. There are lots of recipes you can make-ahead.
- Pack lunches the night before.
- Read all school communications. This includes newsletters, website announcements, emails and any notifications on the school app if there is one.
- Find online conversations. Search Facebook to see if the school has a Facebook page you should be following and also look for any class/year-based Facebook groups so you’re not missing out on scheduled playdates etc.
- Join the P and C if you want to be fully informed.
- Fill in and return any school notes as soon as you receive them.
- Buy a hard plastic document folder to store notes and artwork.
Wellbeing (Theirs and yours!)
- Don’t stress about homework or their reading levels in comparison to the class. Kids will learn at their own pace and the cohort will even out over the first few years.
- Avoid gossip. There’s plenty to talk about besides each other.
- If they have a buddy, let your child know their buddy may not be there every day or always arrive before them.
- Don’t book any too many after-school activities (especially in terms 1 and 4) as they will be initially adjusting and later exhausted!
- Get into an early bedtime routine well before the school term starts.
- Try to avoid overwhelming them with heaps of questions at the end of the day. When you do ask questions, make them open-ended.
- Don’t fret about making friends with the other mums, just let it happen as your kids form their own friendships.
- Give your child a warm hug and a big smile at drop-off to set a positive tone for the day.
- Sometimes you don’t need to fix everything for your child, just listen and be there for them.
Be brave as you can and enjoy this precious time because your children will always model your behaviour. The very fact that you’ve read these tips shows that you care and that’s the most important ingredient in your child doing well, so you’ve got nothing to worry about!
Still think there might be a breakdown at the school gate in your future? Check out our other useful articles on starting school.