The summer vacation is almost ending, and along with bidding adieu to the fun and frolic, you and your child should dive right into the back-to-school preparations. We show you how
By Aarthi Arun
It is already the middle of May, and now is the right time to start preparing for your child's next school year, and to make a checklist of the mandatory back-to-school supplies your kid will need. If you think you still have time, think again. With the last-minute rush and swiftly emptying stocks, you're better off with an early start. Not only that, if you reinforce routines and set some limits in the last few weeks, it will help your child fall in rhythm and set himself for a successful school year. We give you a comprehensive guide on back-to-school basics, complete with a checklist and cost estimations.
Here is what your child will need and the approximate budget for it:
Clothing and accessories (Rs 5000):
Basics (Rs 2000):
Educational (Rs 500):
Apparel (Rs 6000)
Basics (Rs 2500)
Educational (Rs 800)
Apparel (Rs 7500)
Basics (Rs 2500)
Educational (Rs 1500)
1. Plan and buy supplies in advance – If your child's school has a uniform, it is extremely important that you visit your neighbourhood tailor soon. With the schools' reopening just around the corner, tailors will be highly sought-after. So, start now, and you will be thankful for the extra time, in case your child's sets need some adjustments. Even if your child doesn't need uniforms, it is a good idea to buy new sets of clothing for the coming year. Also, the black and white shoes, which are preferred at schools are always in high demand and sell like hotcakes. So, never put off shopping for them until the last moment. And, don't forget the socks – your child can never have too many pairs!
2. Next comes the basics – Check the quality of the previous year's supplies such as bags, water bottles and lunch boxes starting with the lids, straps and zippers. If they are in usable condition, wash/clean them and keep them ready. Else, head to the store right away.
You cannot forget the stationery items, can you? Notebooks, pens, pencils, erasers, scales, etc., are synonymous with your child's education, so pay attention to that department. Shopping for stationery will also make your child (of any age) get excited about going back to school. It is important to plan for the shopping and have a 'school supplies' budget for the month of May.
3. Keep the clutter at bay – Show some enthusiasm in clearing the unwanted stuff, and your child will follow suit. Remember the three R's rule. Give away outgrown clothes and books in good condition to a sibling or a child in need. Organise the school-related documents like birth certificate, transfer certificate, immunisation chart etc., in a folder. Encourage your child to organise and keep his wardrobe, shelves and desk in order.
4. Bring in the routine – It will be hard for your child to suddenly give up the carefree holiday lifestyle once the school starts, so introduce routines now. Buy your child a new alarm clock so that she can get into the habit of going to bed and waking up early. By doing so, your child can handle the morning rush on school days with ease. If you have a young child, ask him to mark the school's reopening date in a calendar. In addition, offer lunch and snacks approximately at the same time as the school mealtimes.
5. Set aside time for academics – Your child is going to a new class with a new set of complex subjects, so this is the perfect time to brush up concepts and give that extra push if your child is struggling with a specific subject. For a little child, reading, writing and doing simple maths problems will be a good exercise.
6. Make time for play – Vacation is the time your child is relaxed without the hassles of projects, tuitions or extra classes. Can there be a better time to play and bond with your child? Play sports or board games with him. If you have a preteen/teen, give guidance and have a heartfelt conversation about her school and her aspirations.
7. Watch out for the screen time – We all know that too much of gadget use can cause attention problems. So, start limiting their use, and let your child get used to the idea. With after-school activities and other things, gadget addiction can eat into your child's bedtime and take a toll on his sleep. The latest research suggests that inadequate sleep impacts brain development in children.
With all these in order, you will be relaxed and ready for the grind, while your child can face the school year with confidence.
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