It hit me Friday of last week. 31 July 2015. Summer is half way gone! It’s almost time to get ready for going back to school. Where did all the time go? We were just enjoying the warmer temperatures, well, at 43 C/109 F, maybe hotter temperatures. But we had great times in Al Badia and at Atlantis Aquaventure (they’re still offering special rates for UAE residents). Where did June and July just go?
In a few days, reality will hit. Many families will return home, the roads will become busier and school will be back in session. Are you and your kid ready for a new school year? To ease the start, here are some tips:
- What kind of school supplies do you need? Most schools provide a list outlining what your kid will need to bring to class, e.g. markers, scientific calculator, index cards. Ask your school if you haven’t received your shopping list yet. Check what you still have at home before heading to the shops for all new stuff.
- Will your school provide the text books or will you need to buy them? Where can you order them? As they can be expensive, it’s best to budget for them at the beginning of the year. Something for your 2016 budget, if not already done.
- Does your child need to wear a uniform? Your school will advise you which items your son or daughter will be allowed to wear. Threads and Zaks have been approved by a large number of Dubai schools as their provider. Ideally, you’ll have enough outfits for an entire week and laundry wait till the weekend.
- Does your child require any vaccinations or medical check up prior to the first day of school? Find out if your GP/paediatrician or only a school approved physician can perform these.
- If your son or daughter are new to the school, do you need to transfer any transcripts or school records from the previous school? Will they need to be certified by the old school or is a copy sufficient?
- When’s the first day of school? At what time will you and your kid be where? Do you need to bring any special papers or documents on that day? Put a reminder in your calendar.
- Are your current contact details saved in the school’s contact database? Who will be called in case of an emergency?
- Help your child with the transition from relaxing summer days to school days. A week before school begins, follow a routine that will be similar to the routine on school deals. Yes, this means going to bed earlier.
- Familiarise yourself with the new school, if your child will attend a new one. Take your son or daughter for a visit. Go through the different class rooms, the gym and cafeteria and say hello to the teachers and administrative staff.
- How will your kid get to and from school? Will they be able to walk (alone, with you or the nanny?) or cycle there? If you leave further away, will there be a school bus picking up your kid? Or will you car pool? The American Academy of Pediatrics has collected a valuable list of considerations for getting your kid to and from school.
- What about lunch? Will the school provide lunch in the cafeteria or will you brown bag lunch? If you’re working, will you prepare some meals ahead? Check out these 25 easy crockpot recipes.
- If your kid will eat in the cafeteria, do they have any food allergies? How will you make the kitchen staff (and of course, teachers and the admin staff of the school) aware of these or other allergies? Check out these cool allergy labels from Forget Me Not.
- On that note, how will you show teachers and school staff how to respond in case of an allergic shock of your kid?
- What about after school care? Is there a programme offered by the school itself? Do you need to find a different after school care provider? Will they offer lunch? How will your child get there and then home?
- Not everyone will want to go back to school. Speak with your kid about the new school year. Make them feel comfortable and remove their fears as much as possible. The National Association of School Psychologists provides an extensive list of great tips discussing anxiety with children.
What’s your son or daughter doing to get ready? How are you helping them to go back to school? Share your tips with us.
I’m wishing you and your kid a great start into the new school year!
Until next time,