A look at the essential things to get as your child gets set to return to school for another school year. These range from writing materials and footwear to hand sanitisers and home study materials
The holidays are over. The school runs are about to begin and most children will start the 6. am to 7 pm routine. As parents, this is the time to get strategic in planning logistics and finances as you get the children prepared for a new school year.
Mainly, the age and class of your child would largely determine the basic things your child would need during the school year.
However, no matter your budget or age or class of your child, there are some essential things you need to get for him/her in other to ensure that the schooling this year is enjoyable and smooth for you beloved.
Below are 10 basic essentials your child would need to make learning comfortable while you as a parent also keep good watch over his/her progress during the year.
Comfortable footwear: Sneakers, sandals, boots
Your child should have a comfortable pair of each required footwear, including the standard pair of sandals and the sports canvas /sneakers. With a big budget and depending on the school rules, you can upgrade to stylish designs of the footwear, including considering a pair of shoes or boots. But note the rules here is any pair for the school should be comfortable, decent-looking and polished always. It does not need to be new but must not be scruffily looking. It must be of the correct size, not one that pinches.
The sole of each pair must also enhance traction with all ground/floor surfaces to ensure that your child does not slip or slide on some surfaces. In preparation for the school year, a pair of rain boot could also be bought now. Though the rain is about to end, it would soon be here again.
- Inner wear: vests, pants, and boxers; and socks
Under wears are basic essentials for your child as they are multi-purpose in nature. As pieces of clothing, they help to absorb your child’s sweat, thereby ensuring that the uniform is dry in spite of lots of plays, running and jumping during school hours. Also when your child cultivates this basic dressing idea, he/she grows with it.
The rule is to get singlets and under vests that are of good texture that ensures that your beloved stays warm in cold weather: harmattan or rainy season. For the sock, it should be a bit thick, to offer warmth and durability during the year. And for boxers/pants, they should also be carefully chosen for their comfort and durability.
Your child needs a sturdy school bag that will withstand rough handling Monday to Friday as he/she goes to the ‘office.’ This is a major investment. The rule is to go for backpacks: they are the in-thing, help balance the weight in the pack when worn on both shoulders.
In choosing a backpack, go for one with a padded back as this help reduce pressure on the back, shoulders, and underarm regions; made of reflective material so your child is more visible to drivers after dark; and with multiple compartments, especially on both sides, to hold items securely while it distributes weight around the pack better.
- Water Bottle, plates, cutleries and Lunch pack:
Prepare your child for the everyday school lunch breaks and occasional drink ‘breaks.’ Get a water bottle with a fairly content size and with a sling hold. Also, get a plate (small cooler) and a cutlery set solely for the school. All these should be contained in a lunch pack. Your child’s lunch pack should be of good materials to stand the test of the whole school year and should be able to contain the water bottle, lunch cooler, cutlery and the snacks.
- Writing and ‘working’ materials
Writing materials are very important and constant school supply of every school year. For the year, buy pencils and ball pens in packs and keep them in the house. It is guaranteed that your child will always come for a replacement almost every week (depending on age and class). Also erasers and pencil sharpeners should also be bought in packs.
A major supply is also notebooks. You need this a lot during the school year. Whether your child’s school supplies this as part of school books or not, your child will still need this for private homework. So save money, buy notebooks at the beginning of the school year in packs.
- At-Home Paper Organizer:
This item is for you, the parent. It consists of a diary and files. It helps you to monitor, record and file the progress of your child throughout the school year.
The diary is a calendar and organizer for you and your child to monitor and keep abreast of homework assignments and school events to track and monitor them. This can be placed at a strategic location in the house with easy access to you and your child. A wall calendar, with the right spaces, can also be used for this purpose.
Also, create a file for your child to put school papers and notes right after arriving home. Put at a location visible, an easy-to-reach area in the house. The file is for your child to immediately on arrival from school to put any correspondence from school for your attention.
Finally, you need a file that is organized and kept solely by you, the parent. This is a records file for you to keep examinations report cards and scripts, school fees/bills and other essential reports and notes about your child’s progress during the school year.
It is essential that you put your child’s full name on most of everything he/she takes to school. For uniforms and other clothing items sew the names into the underside (do not let the names be visible from outside for security reasons). Use a permanent marker on the inside of the backpack lunchbox and lunch packs (or use a printable label).
Labelling with full names will lessen confusion if your child shares a name with a classmate or has a backpack similar to another child.
The name labelling should also be done to face masks using a permanent marker.
- Study and reference materials:
Prepare your child for homework and study. This ensures he/she practice constantly away from school. Set up a comfortable reading area for him/her in the house and equipped with necessary materials. These should include books, apart from the recommended school texts that will help your child in mastering the subjects, especially ones she /he finds difficult. Reference Books like a dictionary and a thesaurus should also be included. These will help your child in building his/her vocabulary.
- A Sweater and a rain coat
Prepare your child for all the weather in the school year. If the weather gets colder in harmattan your child should be protected with a sweater or vest. You can jazz the outlook up with fancifully designed knitwear.
Also if it is drizzling or pouring, ensure your child is protected with a raincoat. Try to buy a durable one. Even though this might be a bit expensive they are durable- offering total protection for your child.
- Face masks and Hand Sanitizer
These are delicate times. The Covid-19 pandemic, with its new variants, are still with us. Ensure the safety of your child by making sure she/he goes to school every day with personal face masks, hand sanitiser, and tissues papers, hand towels
Pack an extra mask for your child, in case the mask he/she starts out in gets lost, cuts or gets dirty.