Children all over Jeddah have been chilling at home for the past few months, and now it’s time for them to go back to school. With so much to do, we’ve tried to make your job a little easier by compiling a checklist to get you organized for that exciting first day. Our regular contributor Anosha Vakani has covered all bases, from finding a good school for your child to planning lunch menus.
What is your method for getting organized for school? Is there anything you’re particularly careful about? Drop us a line and let us know!
Find a school and get to know it, or re-register
- If you’re looking for a new school for your child, or a transfer, then take a look at this list of schools or playgroups and preschools compiled by Jeddah Blog.
- Fill out necessary forms and make sure your child is up-to-date with vaccinations.
- Find out if you can meet your child’s new teacher to discuss essentials.
- Confirm when the first day of school will be. It’s quite normal for schools in Jeddah to postpone the first day of school so be prepared for this possibility.
- Get a copy of the school policies – these are usually handed out within the first week of school or available online.
Decide on the best mode of transportation:
- School bus: Find out if your school offers this option and the additional costs involved, also have a clearly drawn map of your house to submit to them.
- On foot: If you live close enough, you can walk the younger kids to and from school, or delegate this to domestic help.
- Private drivers or compound buses: If you have a private driver or a compound bus that takes children to and from school, discuss school timings with the driver and ensure the school is informed as to who will be picking your child up every day. If you are a working mom, then make arrangements for someone to receive your child on their first day.
Buy school supplies and uniforms, and plan lunch menus
- Get bags, lunch boxes and water bottles. Find something sturdy yet easy to carry. Try Centrepoint, Citymax, Jarir, Pottery Barn, Go Sport, Kiplings or Fanoos Stationery.
- School supplies – A specific list is usually handed out within the first week of school but you may consider stocking up on the essentials beforehand. Plan a single trip to Jarir or any other bookstore or stationery shop, and stock up on pencils, pens, folders, paper, crayons, colour pencils, labels, rulers, erasers etc.
- Find out whether the school has a uniform and whether it is to be purchased from the school or an external outlet.
- Purchase the uniform as early as possible and make the necessary alterations.
- Get shoes and socks. Find out if the school has specific requirements for shoes. Try Centrepoint, Hush Puppies, Payless, Clarks, Mothercare, Debenhams or Marks and Spencer.
- School clothes – If the school does not have a uniform, then purchase suitable clothes. Make a list and don’t buy more than the essentials. Label the clothes to avoid them getting misplaced. For preschoolers, remember to include an extra pair of clothes in their everyday bag in case of emergencies. Also keep an eye out for back to school sales.
- Plan healthy lunch menus and make a grocery list, make sure to add variety.
- Limit the amount of money per week that can be spent on the school canteen.
Declutter, organize and smarten up
- Organize closet – Donate old clothes, shoes and uniforms to charity. Old textbooks can be donated or sold.
- Clean out old school supplies, papers and artwork and make space for new. Clear space under fridge magnets for school notices that will be coming in.
- Get a wall calendar to mark important events.
- Label all your school supplies.
- Schedule a haircut.
- Pick out clothes for the first day of school. If this is the first time your child will be wearing a tie, then make sure to practice with him/her so they will be well-prepared. The same goes for tying shoelaces.
- If your children have fallen into a late sleep routine, then gradually begin to pull back on their sleep timings. If you start a week early and wake them a little earlier every day, they’ll be able to get up at the crack of dawn bright and happy.
First day of school
- Lay out clothes or uniform for the next day.
- Pack lunches.
- Have your child pack his or her own bag.
- Insist on a proper breakfast.
- Get your camera and snap a million first day of school pictures!