My Back to School #TipsandTricks with M&S Kids

My Back to School #TipsandTricks with M&S Kids

Most of children in the UK have not even finished their school and I am talking about back to school? I know it might sound too early to some, but trust me, it’s never too early to think about these things. Let me tell you why and share my top tips and tricks for easing into the school routines.

1. Don’t leave buying your child’s uniform till the last-minute

When Isabelle was starting reception a few years back, I had no idea why there were all these “Back To School” promotions so early on. As every summer we spent most of the school holiday with my family and friends in the Czech Republic.

We got back to London a few days before Isabelle was due to start reception, and I thought it would give me enough time to get her school uniform and all the other bits and pieces. That was a big mistake!

As a first time parent I had no idea that all the organised parents got the school uniforms a while in advance and that what was left in the supermarkets, if there was anything left really, that was either the wrong colours or sizes.

I managed to get her one summer dress and some school shoes, but she had to wait for the rest of her school uniform for 2 weeks.

Isabelle back to school

2. Find the brand whose uniform fits your child the best

I think that most schools are OK with children having school uniforms without their logos, but check with your school before buying anything. There are a few items I always purchase through school as most children tend to have the school cardigans with the school logo and also the school’s sports kit.

On the other hand, throughout the years I have learnt that ordering online is the easiest and usually cheapest way. We have tried a few brands in store to find the best fit for Isabelle. I believe it’s better to spend a bit more on a great fit and material as your child will feel more comfortable wearing it. Once you know which brand to go for order online and look out for their sales! M&S currently have 20% off until the 14th July, so get in quick!

Isabelle was always against wearing trousers, and in autumn and winter when it got really cold she was struggling in her tights and dresses or skirts. I bought a few pairs of trousers, but then when she tried them on I had to agree the cuts were not very flattering.

I was on a mission to find a nice pair of trousers she would love to wear. Then I found it in the local M&S store in Watford. She tried them on and we both agreed they were the ones! They had a nice sparkling butterfly embroidered on the side and at the end we bought 3 pairs!

Olivia back to school

3. Teach your child to look after their uniform & school shoes

I know, this one might be a bit tricky and I have to say I am talking as a mum of two girls, and have no idea if boys would be willing to do this too.

Isabelle knows that once we get home she has to put her uniform either in the laundry basket if dirty or on a hanger to wear the next day ( of course I am not talking about socks or shirts, but her cardigans, skirts, trousers, pinafores).

The same rule applies to her school shoes. Once we get home and I see her shoes are not super clean, she uses some wet wipes to clean them. She also loves putting some shoe polish on under my supervision as it can get messy.

I am a strong believer that what we teach our children young they will do automatically when they are older. She still needs to be reminded often to do her “school uniform/shoes” chores, but she is getting much better.

4. Label you child’s school uniform

As Isabelle used to go to a nursery before starting reception I knew labelling her school uniform was a must. There are a few ways to do so like sewing on labels, embroidering your child names, using some fabric markers and writing the names on the labels or using stamps. M&S has a uniform name tape service for clothes and shoes which sounds like a great option too.

Despite that she used to lose lots of cardigans at first as I just could not imagine checking every child in her class if they were by any chance wearing her cardigan. I used to get quite annoyed about this, but then Isabelle finally learnt she had to look after her things, and we have not had anything lost for ages now.

5. Homework during summer holidays

You might think I am crazy talking about homework during summer holidays, but last year I made sure Isabelle did something almost every day, just for a few minutes, and can tell you it was so worth it. In September she was absolutely fine with going back to school and doing her homework.

By doing something everyday I meant not only revising stuff from school but mainly including many activities like reading to us, writing stories, writing letters/postcards, playing card games and many games where she revised her Maths.

At the end of the day, she was on holiday and I did not want her to feel like she was not.

6. Back into school run routines

I believe this is the hardest thing ever after the long summer holidays, and not only for children. The stress of the school runs is something I wish there was not, but there is, and the only thing to do is to face it.

Before we moved to our new house more than a year ago, it was stressful, but nothing in comparison to what it is these days.

As Isabelle still did not get into any of the local schools, we have to commute to her old school, which normally takes about 10 minutes, but in the morning rush hour it takes anywhere between 20 to 45 minutes.

It’s very frustrating knowing there is nothing you can do about this, and I find the school system here in London very strange, but am still hoping that one day I will not have to drive to school.

By the way, Olivia got into our closest school with a fab reputation (and sadly no movement), so I have no idea how I will be doing two school runs at the same time…. but as a supermum I will have to find a way!

Anyway, back to talking about routines, summer is the time when we let girls go to bed later and naturally they wake up later in the morning. I usually try to get them back into going to bed early and getting up early about a week in advance so that way it’s not such a shock for them and for me too. Despite that it still takes them a good few weeks to get into their routines, but it does help.

How about you? Any tips and trick on easing into “Back to School?” I would love to hear them!

Isabelle

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8 Comments

  • Gloucester Nursery July 4, 2015 8:43 am

    Best topics you have covered in this article. These are the thing which can make mash at the tight schedule while school starts.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Mirka July 6, 2015 12:04 pm

      Thank you, glad you agree.

  • Ebabee July 6, 2015 1:19 pm

    Great tips Mirka. I tend to leave uniform buying till the last minute even though I know I shouldn’t! But this has reminded me to be more organised this year. My one tip is buy school shoes as late as possible as kids feet can literally grow overnight. So if you buy shoes in July, there is a chance they won’t fit so well come September. BTW, love the pics of the girls – adarable xx

    • Mirka July 6, 2015 2:04 pm

      That’s true Nomita, I leave buying shoes till September too for the same reason. Thanks for pointing that out 😉

  • Honest mum July 6, 2015 11:13 pm

    Fab tips darling and love seeing the photos of the girls, I leave uniform buys to the last minute although I promise myself I won’t. I do like to buy shoes as late as possible though as the kids’ feet grow super fast x

    • Mirka July 9, 2015 1:46 pm

      Agree about the shoes, but girl, get organised! We can discuss one I see you at the end of summer 😉

  • Anthony Harrington July 18, 2015 1:57 pm

    some good advise there, I can remember hating seeing the “back to school” banners in shop windows as soon as I had broken up for the school holiday!

  • dave December 31, 2016 9:33 am

    love the pictures of these kids…
    Biker leather jacket

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