Make sure you’re well-prepared for the new school year

With summer temperatures set to soar, it's important that you pack enough juice or water to keep your child hydrated.

Whether you’re a parent, pupil or teacher, it’s important to prepare yourself mentally, as well as ensure that you have everything you need to start off the year in a positive manner. Hazyview Herald chatted to a few parents and teachers to compile the essential back-to-school to-do list.


• Make sure you’ve bought all the stationery required by the school including a few extra pencils, book covers and glue sticks (Pritt). “Nothing is as awesome as starting the new year with a new pencil or spacecase,” a local mom and teacher commented.

• Put up a new calendar in the kitchen (or where you or the kids spend the most time doing schoolwork) and mark all the opening and closing dates and fill in important school events when you get the school calendar.

• Ensure that all school uniforms still fit, shoes are still wearable and that there are enough socks, ties, hairbands and clips for the first term.

• Mark everything (from underwear to pencil sharpeners) with your child’s name.

• Check that the lunchboxes and water bottles are still usuable.

• Wash all school bags.

• Check for any hair lice and stock up on lice shampoo.

• Top up your stack of magazines and newspapers for projects.

• If your children participate in sport, ensure that they take a bottle of frozen water wrapped in newspaper with them to practice. Snacks like nuts and energy bars can also help keep up their energy. Put a plastic bag in your child’s sports bag to put any wet or dirty items in and pack a small towel or washcloth.

• It’s also important to get your children back into routine and ensure they get enough sleep and get up early enough to eat a proper breakfast before heading to school.

• Set guidelines for the use of cellphones, tablets and computers to ensure that they prioritise their schoolwork and don’t hang around social networks or play games when they should be doing homework or studying.

• Set up a menu with healthy lunch box ideas and rotate them so that your kids don’t get bored of the same food every day.

• Ensure that you have enough supplies (and time) to cover your kids’ new books.


• Prepare yourself mentally for the new year and try to have a positive outlook on any problems and difficulties that may arise.

• Set aside some “worry” time every day and use that opportunity to try to come up with solutions to your problems.

• Get a deskpad or planner to write the due dates of your pupils’ projects, tests and other important dates like meetings and courses.

• Get a good diary to keep track of your lesson plans, day-to-day tasks and even personal duties.

• Buy enough red and black pens, as well as some stationery to ensure you have whatever you need in a class emergency.

• Sort out your desk, clean the class and set up new artwork or decorations to make a fresh start.

• Pack in your sunblock and hat, as well as a few extra snacks to ensure you’re ready for extra-curricular duties.

• One of the most important decisions you need to make is to set apart time for your family and ensure that you don’t spend all your time on lesson planning and marking.

• Keep some chocolate, gourmet coffee or a special treat in your desk in case you (or a colleague) needs a pick-me-up after a tough lesson.

Retha Nel

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