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THE HERALD FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 02 2016


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61 Feature


WHETHER your child is going


to school for the very first time in September or they’re returning for their second or third year or beyondw, it’s always important to make sure you have everything organised in advance in order to ensure things aren’t a rush when the first day of term comes around. For those sending their little ones


off to school for the very first time this year, it can be a huge milestone in your child’s development. It’s important to make sure both your child and you are ready for the adjustment and that you both are prepared for the world of education. Below are a few tips that can help you prepare, which are both suitable for new school goers and teenagers alike.


FIRST DAYS The first day of school can be


stressful, whether your child had attended school before or not. It’s important to slowly ease children back into the school routine – even teenagers by making adjustments as the summer holidays come to a close. Rearranging bedtimes to suit the


school day is a useful step to take towards the end of the summer term that can help ease your child or teen back into a school schedule and can help prevent oversleeping at the beginning of terms. Ensuring that uniforms are laid


out and school bags are packed the night before can also save a rush in the morning and prevent things being forgotten. Checking school bags the night before for letters and homework is also a great tip that can help prevent forgotten themed days, school trips


and PE kits. UNIFORM School uniforms need to be


durable and ideally last for the whole school year. It’s often the case that trousers tear and jumpers unravel even before the term has finished, which makes finding the right school uniform for your child an important step.


Some schools insist that you


purchase your child‘s uniform from a specialist shop that stocks the school ‘s uniform with the appropriate school logo, or from the school itself . However, this can often be more expensive than high street alternatives. It is often more practical to just


purchase ‘official’ school kit from these retailers, such as logo jumpers and cardigans, and turn to the high


street for plain polo shirts, skirts, trousers, shoes and PE kits. Contacting your school and


finding out if they host second hand sales and swap-shops can also be a cost effective alternative that could save you money. Adjustable waistbands, adjust-a-


cuffs and stain protection items are often also a good investment, although they can be pricey as they can grow with your child throughout the school year and stay looking as clean as the day you brought them.


LUNCH School lunches are getting


increasingly healthier in recent years as schools are now required to conform to government guidelines; however, a healthy packed lunch is still a viable alternative. Sandwiches, wraps


and


carbohydrate salads with items such as pasta, quinoa and rice are good staples in a lunch box that will keep your child energised throughout the day . However, additional fresh seasonal fruit and veg is also needed in order to help your child get that much needed 5-a-day. Yogurts, granola bars and fruit


infused snacks are also great additions to a lunch box; however, it’s important to check the sugar percentage of these goods as seemingly healthy snacks can often be deceptive.


During the winter, soups and warm


pastas are also a fantastic option as they can warm up cold bellies on cold days. Asking your school in advance if it is possible to warm up such items could also prevent foods getting cold.


HOMEWORK Supporting your child’s education


with additional steps at home is an important part of schooling, whether it is helping younger children with their numbers and letters, or supporting older children through homework loads, tests and exams. Getting involved with your child’s education could make a big difference when it comes to their success. Setting up a work station and


assigning a specific time to homework can help reluctant children get on with the task at hand. It can also help if parents show an interest in their children’s work and support them with any steps they are taking, although doing any work for them is a bad idea. Being patient and positive will


help to encourage your children and sticker sheets or star charts can be useful aids too. However, TVs can be a distraction


when it comes to homework and are best avoided. When your child gets home from school, before the TV gets turned on is the best time to settle down and get work done as the information should still be fresh in their mind.


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