Back To School Survival Guide

Summer holidays have come to an end, and it’s time for our children to go back to the hallowed halls of learning. Feeling a bit frazzled with the stress of it all? Our Facebook parents have some tips to help you get through yet another new school year.


  • Fill up and freeze drink bottles the night before, so by the time the kids are ready to drink them during the school day, the water is still cold. During the autumn and summer terms, I send my children to school with two drink bottles each, so they always have enough water. ~Rach
  • Leave home early on the first day, just in case!  ~ Bridget
  • Shop for stationery online – so much less stress! ~Shani
  • Check last year's leftover stationery before going out and buying everything brand-new. ~Georgina
  • I try to keep my daughters reading during the holidays and make it fun so they're still in "learning mode", just a bit more low-key.  ~Michelle
  • Organise as much as possible the night before. You'll be less stressed and less rushed in the morning. ~Kat
  • name school shoes, especially since kids take their shoes off when they're outside and then might not put their own shoes back on! i speak from experience! ~fiona
  • Write out lunch ideas to use during the school year. ~Sue
  • Starting looking for shoes for the new school year at the beginning of January, as by the end of the month, small sizes tend to be out of stock in the cheaper brands. ~Jannene
  • We made a mini poster of my five-year-old's morning to-do list with photos (because he can't read yet) of him having breakfast, brushing his teeth, feeding the fish, putting his lunch box in his school bag, etc. He knows what he has to do each morning, and I get to nag less! ~Helen
  • buy some extra stationery when it's on special. That way, if the kids need new books during the school year, we already have them on hand. ~lesley
  • Suss out all uniform requirements before the end of the previous year, so you know what's required, and put some money aside each week ready to pay for fees, stationery, camps, etc. ~Rochelle
  • Connect with friends. A familiar friend can make all the difference when heading back to school. You might try calling parents from last year’s class and finding out which children are in your child’s class this year. Refresh these relationships before school starts by scheduling a play date or a school carpool. ~Rebecca
  • Take a photo on the first day of school every year! It goes by too fast. ~Emma
  • Read to your children, or have older children read to you or to younger siblings. It's a great way to bond and also to help kids to settle down and focus. Bedtime stories are a big hit in my house, even with the tweens! ~Aroha
  • I belong to a Facebook page for school mums that one of my friends created a few years back. We use it to communicate things like teachers only day, school discos, and stationery lists. ~Tina
  • Take your child to ride their bike or scooter around the school grounds to help ease nerves, and discuss things like where their classroom is and meeting points for pick-ups or emergencies. ~Susan
  • I do a practise run with my kids a couple of days before school starts. Get up at the right time, get dressed, have breakfast, prepare backpacks, and hop in the car for the school run. then we go out to breakfast together to celebrate the beginning of the new school term. ~MILLIE
  • For children who are anxious or don't like surprises, start telling them what to expect ahead of time, and gently remind them every day, so that they can have enough time to come to grips with the imminent change. With new entrants, go for a few school visits before starting the school year, so your child can ease into the new routines. ~Vivienne
  • Plan the school route by bike before the big day. ~Jacqui
  • Have afternoon tea ready in the car when you pick the kids up. often they are ravenous at the end of the school day, and having snacks ready prevents whinging and bickering on the way home. ~Alida
  • Put an encouraging note in your child's lunch box or backpack for them to find during the first day. ~Bex
  • the first one or two weeks of the new term make kids really tired and scratchy. try not to schedule too many after-school or weekend activitieS until at least the third week, so kids can catch up on their rest and adjust to
    the school year.
  • Have dinners for the first few weeks of school planned the first school week's dinners planned. Everyone will be knackered at witching hour, so if you know what you're cooking ahead of time and have everything you need, it'll help make that time a bit less stressful. ~Staci
  • Put out a large bottle of sunscreen for kids to put on before they go to school every day. ~Maccine
  • Try all uniform items on now, and check to see if the child has grown two inches over the break, as you may be in for a shock when it's the first day back and their uniform doesn't fit! ~Rebekah
  • New drink bottles and backpacks add to the enthusiasm of back to school! ~nikole
  • Get the kids involved in purchasing and decorating their exercise books. They seem to take more care of their stuff when they've had to be a part of the process. ~Amanda
  • Pack the fridge with wine, drop the kids to school, come home, open wine! A girl can dream! ~Leona
  • Do lots of baking with the kids in the holidays and freeze it. That way you're all sorted for the term. ~Stacey
  • I choose to make buying the school stationery an "outing" rather than a chore, and the kids have fun getting to fill their own shopping basket with all the necessities. We do it early, before the last-minute rush. ~Vicki
  • Once you have the books and stationery bought and named, pack it all in one bag per child and hide it in your wardrobe or similar, so you don't have little fingers wanting to try out new things for at home. and the night before school, the plastic bag gets put by THE front door, and out it goes. ~Sheree
  • Premake the week's lunches in snaplock bags, and premake a couple of dinners. ~Kerri
  • I designated an area inside our front door with a coat hook on the wall for backpacks to be hung, and a basket on the floor for shoes to go in. i also have a basket on the kitchen bench for notices. ~jackie
  • We cross off the days on the calendar so my son can see exactly when school starts... And boy, am I ready for it to start! ~Susan
  • start a first-day-of-school tradition like making your child's favourite breakfast and setting the table with special dishes, or going out for breakfast before school drop-off that morning. it helps kids to think of the first day of school as special instead of as something to worry about. ~jodi
  • If you maintain a good breakfast routine for kids during the holidays, you are halfway there when it comes time for them to return to school. If you allow them to stay up later in the holidays, systematically reduce the amount of time they can stay up over a period of weeks rather than suddenly switching them to an earlier bedtime. ~Yolande
  • At the end of the first week, go out for ice cream on the way home from school. It's something for everyone to look forward to! ~Toni
  • Give your kids time to unwind down and play when you get home, before you try to get them to do any chores or homework. ~Louise
  • Make time for a cuddle every morning, rather than immediately pushing your kids through the morning routine. ~Fran
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