Going back to school doesn’t have to be stressful and it doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. My two are aged ten and eight so it could be the fact that we’ve done ‘back to school’ so many times that makes me so laid back about it but really, it’s not worth worrying about every little detail. Honestly 😉
Easier said than done I know but don’t worry about every little thing. It doesn’t really matter if you have enough shirts or enough pairs of trousers. Trust me, the shops won’t suddenly stop selling uniform as soon as they go back to school so you’ve got plenty of time to add more if you need them.
Get Bedtime and getting up times back on track.
You can’t just expect kids to suddenly get themselves back into the routine of set bedtimes on a night and getting up early in the morning without a little bit of help to get them back into a routine, especially if you’re anything like us. We’re quite relaxed about bedtimes in the holidays and encourage lazy mornings so we gradually get back into our routine a week or so before they go back to school.
Save time and money labeling clothes.
If you have the patience to sit and sew in name labels in to all of your children’s clothes then you have my admiration! I prefer the quick and easy option of writing their initials on everything using a sharpie pen which is a permanent marker that doesn’t come off in the wash. It does fade after a few months of washing though so I just write over them again at half term – easy as pie. You could buy a name stamp and stamp the names in but a sharpie pen means minimum effort and minimum cost which is exactly what I’m after!
Have an after school routine.
We have a rule that packed lunch boxes should be brought in from the car after school and put on the kitchen counter, book bags are brought in and any letters are taken out before they’re put in the downstairs toilet and school uniforms are taken off and laid over the back off one of the chairs in the dining room straight away.
By knowing exactly where everything is on a night, it’s so much easier to know where to get it from in the morning. I check the uniforms before I go to bed and if something clean is needed, I get that ready so the clean one is waiting in the morning. I also read all school letters straight away and anything that needs filling in is done and put back in the book bag ready for the next day.
I can’t afford last minute traumas on a morning as I need to get to work too so I make sure it’s all sorted before I got to bed the night before.
Don’t think you need to buy everything straight away.
A lot of back to school things like stationery and school bags are reduced pretty much the same week they go back to school as the shops are going to want to clear a lot of space to get ready for Christmas so if you can wait to buy things, do. We stock up on stationery at the end of the sales usually and we get some fantastic bargains – last year we got packs of school pencils and pens for under 50p as well as a book bag for Master Frugal for £1.57 (which he then used for the rest of the school year he liked it that much). You’ll find that things like calculators, rulers, and other non essential but nice to have get reduced so even though you might want to buy everything before they go back, you’ll save a fair amount by waiting a few weeks.
And really, do you need to buy brand new everything if what you have from last year is still OK? It might not be shiny and new but if it does the job, why replace it?
Oh and I have a bonus tip for you – get your camera ready the night before and put in near the front door to remind you to take the annual back to school photo!
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