I thought I was ready for my little boy to start school. Emotionally, yes, but also on a practical level. My to-do list was thoroughly done. But after the ‘easy iron-on labels’ I bought turned out to be, frankly crap, I asked another mum with older children what she used. Her reply? “Permanent marker pen. Quick, easy, doesn’t wash out and goes on anything and everything.”
I realised I perhaps wasn’t as prepared and I thought and better start doing my homework, so I asked some more experienced parents for their best practical tips. Some of it seemed so obvious once they said it, and other advice I never would have thought of.
Here are the nine best hacks for parents of school children:
1. Everything’s a pound
Make sure you have plenty of change in your purse, as at every opportunity you will be asked for money for non-uniform days, charity events, clubs, water bottles and cake sales. Everything costs a pound.
2. Name it or lose it
Put names in everything. EVERYTHING. Shoes, pants, socks, hats, bags. Everything.
3. School run rain
It will religiously rain at 3pm. A pac a mac in their book bag will at least keep your child dry on the school run as you get soaked to the skin. Put your child’s name in it.
4. I don’t know
Don’t worry if when you ask your child what they did at school they say ‘I don’t know’ or ‘nothing’. They don’t know or they did nothing. Accept it or realise that they did so much they now can’t remember.
5. White board marker
Nothing gets white board marker out of school uniform. Nothing. Your child will repeatedly get white board maker on their white t-shirts. Buy lots of white t-shirts. Put your child’s name in them.
6. Bag check
Check their school bags EVERY day and don’t be surprised if there’s a letter in there telling you they need a fancy dress outfit for something obscure like Victorian kings and queens day with 24 hours notice.
Teach children how to apply suncream themselves – teachers aren’t allowed to do it in most schools. Name the suncream (with your child’s name obviously, not like ‘Kev the suncream’).
8. Leave toys at home
Avoid taking in toys or items from home as they will invariably get lost or broken. If you do, write your child’s name on them.
9. Laces are a no-no
Under no circumstances buy your child shoes with laces when they start school. Velcro all the way. When they do have laces in their shoes, make sure they can actually tie them up. Oh, and write your child’s name in them….
Do you have some brilliant hacks for parents of school children? Add them in the comments!
About Marianne Marshall
Marianne is a full time writer and PR professional and lives in rural Lincolnshire in a falling down cottage with her husband and children – Charlie (4) and Rosa (2).