After another long, hot summer, Dubai is collectively breathing a sigh of relief at the thought of the cooler days ahead. In a matter of weeks, the children will be going back to school, the holidays over and life will continue as normal (as life can be in Dubai!)
But there’s plenty to do before those school gates open to ensure that you and your little bundles of joy are ready for the academic year ahead, so we thought we’d share our recommendations on how to get organised.
- Pay the school fees!
This sounds obvious but make sure you have paid everything as soon as you receive notification. If you can, pay upfront online to avoid spending time on this again later in the year.
- Join the school social media groups/pages and subscribe to the newsletter
Make sure you keep up to date with news and events from the school. Providing the school uses them effectively, subscribing to social media channels will enable you to skim through the news to what is most interesting to you. It also allows you to connect with other parents and teachers and have extra support.
- Shop for new uniform/equipment/accessories
Depending on the age of your child and how quickly they are growing, make sure you have bought all the uniform and equipment necessary at least one month before school starts – you want to make sure that what you’re looking for has not sold out, but also not buy too far ahead so that it will hopefully last longer.
- Put all key dates into your calendar for the year ahead
Check out the school website, newsletter and social media feeds two weeks before term starts, and enter all terms dates, events, presentations, holidays, activities and trips into your calendar. Time with your children is precious and you want to make sure you are fully informed of any special occasions and events so that you can book your time and ensure you are free when the event rolls around.
- Research the best route to the school and parking facilities
If your children are going to a new school, a couple of weeks before term take the time to research the best route to school and back. Allow plenty of time on the first day to get there early and hang around to see how parking and congestion changes in order to plan your time effectively in future.
- Invest in a small gift for the teacher
Start the year right, and think about getting a little gift from your child for their teacher to give on the first day back. Show your appreciation to the person who will be responsible for your child’s education and care for the majority of the year ahead.
- Get uniform, equipment, bags, shoes cleaned and ready
Two weeks before the year starts, check through all of your child’s belongings – make sure you can find everything, that it is still working/fits and get any repairs or cleaning done.
- Research birthdays and add them to your calendar
If you really want to get ahead, take some time to find out the birthdays of the important people in your child’s life – school friends and teachers so that you can be prepared and not be caught on the hop with any potential children’s parties and gifts that will be needed.
- Check homework has been completed
At least ten days before school starts, make sure you go through any homework books or reports to ensure all work has been completed and that your child is ready to commence the next academic year in the right mindset.
- Fill the fridge with food that can be used for packed lunches and healthy snacks
After the long summer holidays, it’s easy to fall out of routine, to ensure minimum disruptions in your household, 7-10 days before school starts, plan out the week’s food and do a food shop for all the ingredients. Try to get lots of foods with a long shelf life to minimize time spent in supermarkets, and order online if you can.
- Prepare lunch and snacks
The night before the first day, make lunches and snacks and prepare all kit. Getting out of bed on the first day can be a struggle depending on your child’s age and excitement levels, so make sure minimal work needs to be done to get ready that morning itself.
- Book your next holidays!
Once you’ve dropped the little angels back into their classroom, get online and give yourself something to look forward to! Whether it’s half term or Christmas, you know you’ll need a break by then!
With a bit of help, you can streamline this process even further to make sure you get to enjoy the last few weeks of the holiday, rather than spending it running around getting organised:
Write a list of all of the tasks you have for the week/month ahead that you do not enjoy or do not generate income e.g. paying bills, dropping off/collecting dry cleaning/repairs, posting parcels, researching events, etc. Then write a list of the things you would be doing if you didn’t need to do these tasks i.e. taking children to the pool or beach while you can, meeting with friends, baking together. Think about whether the tasks in the first list can be completed in another way i.e. bills paid online, shopping and gifts purchased online, home delivery of cleaning, repairs, shopping, or outsourcing of tasks (i.e. getting someone else to do it) such as research, reservations. As you streamline your tasks, reward yourself by doing one of the things on your ‘If I had more time list’. If you start doing this now, we guarantee you’ll find you can make your life much less stressful, more efficient and enjoyable.
For any further advice or support on any aspect of lifestyle or business management, feel free to contact us on 04 446 2099.