In some ways it feels like I've blinked and summer has flown by, but in other ways it feels like it's been such a long six weeks!
As James is going into Year One, this is our third time doing back to school (his nursery was in his schools foundation unit!).
So what have we learned?
The thing that I would always suggest is pre book your school shoes appointments! When James started nursery we actually went out and bought his shoes the week the kids went back so town would be quiet! But last year he started at the same time as everyone else so we pre booked his shoe fitting and we did the same again this year! It meant even though our local Clarks shop was really busy, we could go in for a certain time and got seen straight away with no waiting. As we left after purchasing James shoes I heard the girl on the door tell someone the fitting wait was approximately 90 minutes.
Always buy your uniform with plenty of time! We have an order turn around of around two weeks for the branded jumpers and polo tops and those have been picked up, named and are hanging up in the wardrobe. We have three branded jumpers and three branded polo tops, but we also have one unbranded jumper and four unbranded polo tops. These were all actually bought before the end of last term when Aldi had their school uniform in and Tesco had theirs come into stock.
Always have a decent school bag, with a drink bottle pocket! James has a Zip and Zoe Multi Dinos backpack which he loves! We were going to order him the school backpack, but since his is so bright and no one else has one, we decided to stick with it. It has one large main pocket, a small pocket on the front and a bottle pocket. It also has a chest clip to keep the bag on! The small front pocket is ideal for storing gloves in the winter and suntan lotion in the summer!
Always layout uniform and pack bags the night before! This is where I struggle especially as I have to get Freddie dressed as well to do the school run and at 21 months old, getting dressed is not his favourite thing to do! There have been days when Freddie has hidden James shoes so he's had to go in wearing his trainers, luckily the school were OK about it as it was just one day! The last thing I will be doing on a night is filling up the water bottle and putting in the fridge ready for the next day!
One thing we are looking forward to trying out this year is the new website www.trustedparents.com
This fab new website/app will help parents trade school pick ups/drop offs, taking kids to birthday parties and even babysitting! I know there's been a few times over the last 21 months that when Freddie has been ill and I've had to drag him out to take James to school or to pick him up. Or I have been ill and I've had to drag myself up to get James. Using www.trustedparents.com would allow me to log on and contact parents of James friends to help me out, especially as contacting people on Facebook does not always work or the messages do not get through in time. The school uses a text message scheme to contact parents but again these messages do not always get through when they are meant to.
So these are my top tips for going back to school! Hopefully I will pick up my own tips from other parents over the next year!