Beating ‘back to school’ blues…

Tumelo Rams - BG CORRESPONDENT
Monday, 27 January 2020
Beating ‘back to school’ blues…

It is that time of year again. Those with school going kids like me would know that nothing compares to the nightmare popularly known as ‘back to school’.

Yes, I said it, a nightmare! Whether the pains that seem to come with this period are caused by unpreparedness on our part as parents, the anxiety of new beginnings for our bundles of joy, or a reminder that the life of hectic schedule juggling is starting I am yet to determine. But what remains undisputed is that “back to school” blues are real and a pain!

As a mom who has had to deal with back to school blues for quite some time, I always wished for a manual, a detailed guide that would act as my sanity compass. Stationary suppliers, reliable school shuttles, where to get the best deals for school supplies, mopako deals, after school care etc. It is against this that I decided to share a few hints that will hopefully make the first few weeks bearable for us and a bit exciting for our little ones.

Firstly, let us look at the issue of kids transport to school. It goes without saying that the outmost care should be taken when choosing a shuttle for your kid. Get to know the driver, interview them and make sure you are comfortable with entrusting your child to them. If need be, kindly ask for references and do a background checks. Also get to know one or two other parents, you need not be best friends, but keeping in contact helps. Consider the route that the taxi takes as it will determine the time of pick up from home. Another point to consider is the age composition in the taxi. Mixing very young kids with the seniors is never a good idea, unless if you are sure that the elder kids will have the kind of influence you want for your little ones.

Next let’s look at stationary. You would think with quite a number of stationary suppliers around, this will be a breeze but oh no. Wait until you have to replace pencils because you bought the wrong lead size!  My word of advice here is, check if your child’s school can’t provide you with a stationary list if they aren’t already. Some suppliers will be glad to package for you the required stationary as prescribed on the list. For those shops where this service is not extended, it’s still easier for you to navigate, as you know exactly what you want and in what quantities. And just to contend for that mom/dad of the year award it will not hurt to add one or two pieces of fancy stationary. 

Now that we have sorted the stationary it is up to us to try keep it safe for as long we can manage. This brings us to marking and labeling. I can only imagine the trouble the poor teachers go through trying to determine the owner of an unmarked item being claimed by two or more tearful faces. With 25 or more students using the same stationary, our only rescue will be labeling. Thankfully, we have those who supply personalised labels for stationary, clothing items, bags and even lunch boxes.  But if you are a DIY mom like me, correction fluid or permanent marker will do the trick.

One other thing to get right at the start of any school year is the times. Wake up time, what time to leave home, pickup time and lastly bedtime. It is very important to establish a routine that works well for the both of you. And just in closing let us remember to engage our kids daily. Talk to them and find out how their day was. Check the bags for homework and assist. Till next time.

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