Sunday, 26 August 2012

Smooth the Back to School Transition

I can’t be the only parent who’s begun a mental countdown to the beginning of term. If I ever needed proof that, despite my teaching qualification, I could never home-school, the six week summer holidays is it. And this year’s actually been an improvement on last year, because Prima and Secundus have been farmed out to their grandparents on more than one occasion.

On the one hand, it’s good to have a break from the usual routine and not have to be up, dressed and eating breakfast by 8.00 a.m: on the other hand, five weeks in, I am reminded that this carefully constructed routine is there for a reason. And it’s not just for the benefit of the children. The further we stray from our usual way of doing things, the greater challenge we face as we make the transition to uniforms, packed lunches and reading books again. Here are a few discoveries to make “Back to School” time run a little more smoothly, all under a tenner.

Make a resolution to get organised
Shannon McClure of Life On Purpose views September as an ideal time to get organised. It’s a better time of year to get into good habits than New Year, as you are not hampered with the aftermath of Christmas and winter weather. To help you have fun organizing your family and home, Shannon has offered Mumtopia readers the chance to win a complete set of household notebook pages. You can enter the competition in the rafflecopter box at the bottom of this post.

Photo : S McClure
The Life On Purpose printable household notebook not only has space for the day-to-day activities, tick-lists and reminders we all need once the holidays are over, but it also includes plenty of measures to keep your home-life fun, such as a party-planning list. One aspect I like is the Movie Wish List. I am always logging on to Lovefilm and drawing a blank as to what films I want to watch; a wish list will put an end to that frustration. The Life On Purpose mantra is remember, never let the struggles of life interfere with the pleasures of living!

Prevent Head-lice
Come September, as the classmates reunite, so too do the scores of head-lice which thrive in clean hair and pass from person to person very easily. If these unwelcome guests make an appearance in your child’s hair this term, there is an alternative to the chemical insecticides which are commonly used to treat the problem. Tea tree oil is a natural and effective remedy with a higher kill rate than Permethrin (a common insecticide). Tea tree oil will help to prevent head-lice from laying eggs on the scalp in the first place. Why not try Green People’s Organic Lavender Shampoo and Conditioner as a preventative measure; these lovely organic products are mild, gentle and non-irritating for children’s scalps, using Tea Tree, Aloe Vera and Lavender to cleanse the hair naturally.

Photo - Search Press
Start something new
You may not be going back to school but September is a fabulous time to start a new project, whether that’s re-training, changing your working arrangements or finally getting the bathroom re-painted. One of the best learning experiences I had was by no means my university degree – it was an evening class in dress-making. Before this I had neither skill nor inclination to sew a button on. Now, I find inspiration in beautiful craft-books such as Scandinavian Designs in Red and White and dream of making all my Christmas presents by hand. This particular book is full of fresh, contemporary and unmistakeably Scandinavian-style projects for all over the house. The red and white look is one I’ve longed to introduce to my kitchen ever since I had a Sindy house, and the patchwork table cloth would be a great project to fill the wintery evenings. Perhaps making the wooden bird house will bring the Spring round quicker too. 

For more lovely things under a tenner, click here


  1. I'd like to see more "how to" projects and more sewing.


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