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Ready for back to school?

It can seem like a mission impossible – getting the kids packed up and off to school on time and juggling a career. But, with a few simple steps, you can organise your household and start the term stress free.
Schools essentials
As tempting as it is, don’t leave shopping for those school essentials to the last minute. Beat the back to school rush and shop early for new uniforms, sports kit and school shoes, lunchboxes and flasks, stationery and exercise books, and the all-important school bag. Don’t forget to label everything; pre-order those personalised nametags well ahead of time.
Dates for the diary
At the start of each term, add all schools events, meetings and holidays to an online calendar, which can send you text alerts to keep mix-ups to a minimum. To help keep track of all those after-school activities, keep a weekly timetable on a whiteboard on the fridge. 
Early to bed, early to rise
Once the holiday ends, the late nights and long lie-ins are over. Get the kids into a good bedtime routine a week before term starts, and send them to bed five to 10 minutes earlier each night. Now’s also the time to replace holiday treats such as TV and computer games with a more relaxing story time.
Start the day...
...with a healthy breakfast! Save the fry-ups and sugary cereals for the weekend and give your kids everything they need to stay alert in class: healthy porridge, fruit and yogurt, or scrambled eggs on brown toast.
Be prepared
Once your kids reach five, hand over the responsibility of packing their school bag to them – and make sure this is done the night before to avoid any morning madness. And, while it’s easier to put your feet up at the end of the day, prepare packed lunches and iron school uniforms the night before: if nothing else it buys you an extra 10 minutes in bed the next morning.
Do your homework
Help to prepare little ones moving up from nursery to ‘big’ school by making sure they can get dressed, put on their shoes (avoid laces at first), and open their lunchbox. Help your older children to brush up on their learning by practising their reading, writing and maths before term starts.