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Learning with LeapFrog + GIVEAWAY

Parents often ask themselves how can we prepare our children for school because I don’t want them to behind or struggle. How do we educate them to differentiate letters, how do we teach them the basics for reading, how do you make them want to learn? In all honesty some kids are just plain not interested and need to be encouraged. Kids want (and often need) to know that learning can be fun and thankfully many of the new tools available to parents today do exactly that.

leapreader 1-01

My 4 year has been ‘playing’ with the new LeapReader for the past month and I say playing because that’s exactly what he thinks he is doing. He doesn’t realise that he is learning to take his time and listen to instructions before racing into the activity. Kye is also being more assertive with letters and is now excited to read and write. The LeapReader is designed to assist children in becoming confident, independent readers and writers. It does this by building their knowledge of reading fundamentals, sounding out letters and words, trace letters and eventually read sentences.


 I love that it takes an approach in education that is suitable for all ages and all levels of learning. With over 40 different books available for the LeapReader (and a wonderful selection at that) there is definitely something to suit every childs interests. We have been using the Learn to Write with Mr Pencil the most because it teaches children to write upper and lower case letters, shapes, direction, helps to understand letter sounds, correct stroke order and pencil control. Most importantly though – It is fun! The LeapReader is available from all major department stores and independent toy retailers for $99.99. For more information click over to the LeapFrog website.


As the title suggests I have a giveaway for Mad Mummas readers! I have 1x LeapReader with sampler book (RRP $99.99) that LeapFrog has generously given me to giveaway.

  To enter all you have to do is follow the instructions on the rafflecopter below.

Winner is decided based on skill and chance plays no part. Australian residents only! Sorry everyone else. **The mandatory instructions MUST be completed or your entry will be void!**As the winners are chosen based on skill and not chance; you will be sharing for 0 extra entries. It’s good karma though and I’d love you to share the giveaway with friends and family.

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  1. Narelle Rock
    17/01/2014 / 1:55 pm

    Make sure all the clothes are labelled,
    lunches pre-made and frozen for the week,
    Books covered and ready to be filled,
    Hats and sunscreen are a must!

  2. Rhonda Lockery
    17/01/2014 / 1:55 pm

    would love this for miss 4 starting school this year

  3. Rhonda Lockery
    17/01/2014 / 1:58 pm

    Don’t stress be organized by packing lunches the night before having no television before school

  4. Julia Mason
    17/01/2014 / 2:01 pm

    Do lots of shopping to get everything you need,
    even 2 of everything it pays to buy double,
    Lots of food to get a great feed,
    Do it this and you wont be troubled!

  5. Jocelyn R
    17/01/2014 / 2:49 pm

    Start early and stay calm

  6. Michelle V
    17/01/2014 / 4:29 pm

    What I don’t like, because it’s not very nice
    Is the possibility of the kids getting head lice!
    We’ve already experienced one infestation
    Oh, the nuisance, and sheer devastation!
    I try to maintain a positive perspective
    But even the products are often ineffective!
    Not to mention the time and cost
    And combing guarantees patience will be lost!
    So, my top tip for back to school would be
    Tie hair up, and use a defence spray with tea tree
    Hopefully this will be enough to stop the nits
    Because they really do give you the sh… sads!!!

  7. Rachel K
    17/01/2014 / 5:23 pm

    If your kids are home alone after school establish some clear rules:
    Set a time when they’re expected to arrive home from school and have them check in with a neighbour.
    Specify who, if anyone at all, is allowed in your home when you’re not there.
    Make sure they know to never open the door for strangers.
    Make sure they know what to do in an emergency.

    If your child has butterflies regarding going back to school emphasise the positive things such as hanging out with old friends, meeting new classmates, buying cool school supplies, participating in sports or other activities they enjoy, and showing off the new snazzy accessories if your child has to wear a uniform.

  8. Karla Oleinikoff
    17/01/2014 / 6:19 pm

    Label everything – hats and jumpers get lost really easily.
    Pre-pack lunches so that you don’t have to rush in the morning.
    Have extra water bottles and lunch boxes on hand.
    Make sure that you leave enough time in the morning to get wonderful photos for the first day of school.

  9. Christy Seymour
    17/01/2014 / 6:53 pm

    Preparation for the big day,
    a packed lunch the night before.
    then we can make our way to play,
    as we head out the front door.

  10. Melissa O
    17/01/2014 / 7:04 pm

    I cherish the last week I have before my sweetheart heads back, get her involved and excited about picking out her supplies and organise a lunch food plan

  11. Kathryn
    17/01/2014 / 8:15 pm

    I plan weekly healthy meals & snacks for my son and my partner
    The night before I have his bag at the front door. Water bottle & Hat are a Must!
    I always tell him you are going to have a fun day with your friends and I will see you in the afternoon. Big Cuddles from Mamma x

  12. Jodie Louw
    17/01/2014 / 7:26 pm

    Do as much preparation as possible the night before to lighten the load in the morning to help get yourself and the kids out the door in a happy mood!

  13. Di
    17/01/2014 / 8:28 pm

    Start early, beat the crowds and the bts sales. If you shop wisely, you’ll get things cheaper before the madness begins.

  14. Diana O
    17/01/2014 / 8:29 pm

    Dress rehearsal! My kids love to try it all on and pretend the big day has arrived, so embrace it. This way you can see before hand exactly what you’ve forgotten……and I always forget something!!

  15. Lauraine Ormond
    17/01/2014 / 8:40 pm

    organisation, planning and get the kids into a routine!

  16. Kasey Evans
    17/01/2014 / 9:01 pm

    Get kids in a bedtime routine the week before so they’re not grumpy for the hectic week of term 1!!!!

  17. 17/01/2014 / 9:15 pm

    My kids aren’t school age yet but when they do I’ll make sure that we stay organised – will try and adapt them to the bedtime and morning waking times as close to the routine as possible the week or two before school starts, get them to come to the shops with me and pick their school bag and other school supplies such as stationary so that they definitely feel involved!

  18. Lidya
    17/01/2014 / 9:27 pm

    Weekly meal plan is a must. I either prepare lunch the night prior or I’ll set aside the ingredients for easy access the next day.

    There are plenty of bargains to be had at the beginning of the year as the labeling companies work hard to get your business. This is the time when I stock up on labels for his clothes, books and stationery, shoes, etc. As a back up plan, I usually buy 2 packets of cloth markers; one at the beginning of back to school sale, another at the end of the sale at clearance price. When possible and when finances allow, I will buy already-printed name on items like school bags, lunch box and water bottle.

    I also have family activity planner so I know everyone’s activity at a glance and I can prepare for it.

  19. Charlotte L.
    17/01/2014 / 11:47 pm

    Organisation is the key,
    To keep everybody happy,
    Lunches made the night before,
    Then it’s easy to get out the door,
    Uniforms ironed, bags packed too,
    Early to bed , ready to start the day anew!

  20. Jacinta Hynam
    18/01/2014 / 8:38 am

    Chocolate. Chocolate stashed everywhere to get me thru the back to school time. The kids are fine about it!

  21. 18/01/2014 / 9:08 am

    ohh, I was entry number 100 – that has to be good luck!

    After such a long break my daughter seems to backtrack, she forgets simple words and reading skills, so some fun and games revolving around books and learning ensures she isn’t put in the wrong class on the first day back (and isn’t life a mess when you’re trying to get your kids classes changed after that first day!)

  22. Amanda Gorton
    18/01/2014 / 9:59 am

    With the mind stuck in holiday mode start encouraging reading now to ‘kick-start’ the brain into concentrating on study. It will help when the new school year begins.

  23. Sonya
    18/01/2014 / 11:52 am

    I take a deep, deep breath and then let my mind take me somewhere unstressed, unfrazzled and unhurried. Then open my eyes and throw myself headfirst into the horrors of the crazy shoe-wrangling, breakfast-eating, schoolbag-herding school drop-off.

  24. Rachel Kriss-Newell
    18/01/2014 / 11:55 am

    As your children get older their interest and excitement about returning to school wanes. Or in the case of our son, he has never had any interest in school fullstop. However to increase their ‘joy’ of the new school year I try to encourage them to come with me and let them choose their favourite designs of stationery and lunchboxes. It brings a smile to their faces, even if it’s just for a short time. Also talk it up about the fun they’ll have in the playground again, seeing their friends after 6 wks break. And buy their school shoes a few weeks before school starts. Last year I made the mistake of buying our sons’s shoes too early. Two days before school began, trying them on, his foot had grown during the holidays. Another trip to the shoe store and another $100 down the drain as our son was in a rush to try them on and ripped off the tag so they couldn’t be returned.

  25. Kat Rogers
    18/01/2014 / 9:29 pm

    Make sure that a week or so lrior the children begin getting back into the routine of school, eg early nights , dinner at the usual lime etc so they don’t start back tired before they get there

  26. Mick G
    18/01/2014 / 9:50 pm

    we start getting up and dressed the time we would on school days to get the body and mind into gear

  27. Sarah Armstrong
    18/01/2014 / 10:00 pm

    Go through everything at the beginning of the holidays. Write a list of what you need to buy or replace. That way you can grab it when it comes up on sale.

  28. Kylie B
    19/01/2014 / 7:47 am

    Let the kids pick their own new lunch boxes, drink bottles etc. they are more likely to remember what one is there’s then.
    Start getting the kids into the school routine the week before school goes back, so earlier bed times etc.
    Label everything in the hope that if it’s lost it will be returned.

  29. Jo kennedy
    19/01/2014 / 11:27 am

    Be organised, uniform’s laid out,lunch boxes in the fridge,backpacks packed,camera ready for that 1st day of school pic,on the night before.Relax and enjoy.

  30. Phillipa Giltay
    19/01/2014 / 12:28 pm

    Have everything all ready and packed up to go a couple of weeks early so you can enjoy the holiday time with your children!

  31. robyn
    19/01/2014 / 1:42 pm

    this would be a fantastic learning tool for my latest grandson when he is older! Ithink think this is a very interesting, fun way for little children to learn how to read.

  32. Falon Downing
    19/01/2014 / 12:55 pm

    Stay organised and it will be a breeze!

  33. Heather Hopley
    19/01/2014 / 2:09 pm

    Relish the last days of freely available family time! Get out and about. School will be here before we know it.

  34. Nicole C
    19/01/2014 / 8:07 pm

    Firstly remember not to stress!
    Organise everything and keep things labelled.
    For primary school age kids remember to run through it the day before so they get back into the rhythm of getting ready and going back to school 🙂

  35. tashana purkis
    19/01/2014 / 8:14 pm

    enjoy the fun of there first day enjoy it before you no it they will be graduating

  36. Lyn Smith
    19/01/2014 / 8:34 pm

    My little baby is starting school this year so I’ll be packing tissues and wearing sunglasses so she can’t see my teary eyes. Her?… she’ll be fine! Her 2 little brothers will probably get a few extra trips to the park for the first few weeks as they adjust to not having her around to play with.

  37. jody buhagiar
    19/01/2014 / 9:41 pm

    Start slowly, earlier to bed.
    they will rise and shine, no heavy head!!
    Prepare the lunches the night before.
    The mornings will be easier, for sure!
    School bags packed, by the front door,
    books all covered, we are ready!! for sure 🙂

  38. Abby Lee
    19/01/2014 / 10:39 pm

    Start preparing early as shops often sell out of back-to-school essentials

  39. Isabel
    19/01/2014 / 11:50 pm

    Remember the ABC –
    – A is for alarm – remember to set it and set it right
    – B is for books – all reading materials and books ready and in school bag
    – C is for calmness – for us mums need to keep calm and stay alive, haha! 😀

  40. alison briggs
    20/01/2014 / 9:06 am

    This will be his very first year,
    I’m playing it cautiously by ear.
    Who knows what he will like
    or if he’ll want to ride his bike.
    I know one thing is for sure,
    we’ll be on time out of the door.
    With lunches packed
    and healthy snacks.
    To start the day right
    without a fight.
    Smiles and laughter
    each morning and after.
    The only way,
    to start each day.

  41. Melissa Jones
    20/01/2014 / 12:27 pm

    Before school begins, get your children to make a practice run so as to make sure on time.Because being late always messes up whole day. Meanwhile, get school essentials ready.

  42. Cassy
    20/01/2014 / 1:15 pm

    Honestly the best back to school tip I have is to make the most of every second of the holidays – they go way too fast and before you know it your kids are back at school and you are missing them like crazy 🙂

  43. 20/01/2014 / 1:21 pm

    My best tip would be to leave buying all or most stationery until your kids return to school. Quite often schools give out equipment lists with very specific items. You don’t want to waste time or money on things you don’t require.

  44. Melissa Krohn
    20/01/2014 / 1:24 pm

    Be prepared, Label everything. (Including SOCKS)
    Relax and enjoy the peace when the kiddies are at school!!

  45. Fiona
    20/01/2014 / 1:42 pm

    Label EVERYTHING and enjoy your time with them over the holidays!

  46. Melisa Kagie
    20/01/2014 / 2:05 pm

    Start purchasing everything early, this way you will get all you want before the ‘Before school rush’ it makes shopping less stressful and you get the sizes and styles you need!

  47. Kris
    20/01/2014 / 3:14 pm

    Organisation and communication are the key! Don’t leave everything to the last minute and make sure everyone knows what is happening!

  48. Michelle Venturino
    20/01/2014 / 3:40 pm

    Talk it up for the week before, have special time getting all the new supplies ready. Back to school is an exciting time in our house.

  49. Karlene
    20/01/2014 / 7:05 pm

    Talk about school daily, in a positive way, so that it doesn’t come as a shock at the end of the 6 weeks that suddenly holidays are OVER! *yah! says mum!*

  50. Jane Whelan
    21/01/2014 / 1:46 pm

    Back to school also means Head Lice, make sure to check your child’s hair for head lice. Treat hair that has lice and then add a few drops of tea tree oil to shampoo or conditioner to act as a preventative.

  51. 21/01/2014 / 1:54 pm

    We have the Tag Junior and while Punky (2) is only just starting to have an interest in that particular thing, she has always had a love of books (so much so that most of our books have nibbles taken out of them! Lol!). This would be awesome to put away for her to play with down the track, as she gets more confident with her drawing and reading. She loves to “read” by saying the numbers in books about counting and I’m hoping this love of reading will contine for many years.

  52. christine morris
    22/01/2014 / 6:35 pm

    I prepare everything in the mornings so it’s fresh and crispy, Label Lunch boxes, Drink bottles, hats, pack cold drinks with a couple of straws in case they want to share, put suncreen on in the mornings and ask them to use again , ask Teacher for help. Put some serviettes in their lunch box if eating Fruit or Yoghurt.

  53. Amanda Gorham
    22/01/2014 / 10:07 pm

    Make sure you cut back on the extra activities in the first few weeks- arrange freeze periods or make up lessons previously. The small children get really tired and grumpy if you expect them to do a few nights a week on top of getting used to a new classroom.

    Thanks for the opportunity xxx


  54. Chloe B
    23/01/2014 / 12:03 pm

    preparation is key !
    have everything ready and organized so you don’t need to do any last minute running around and so you can spend some quality time the night before to calm any nerves !

  55. Belinda Moxey
    23/01/2014 / 2:37 pm

    Make sure EVERYTHING is labeled – especially if you don’t want to be buying replacements later

  56. Linda C
    23/01/2014 / 4:15 pm

    Great ready early, leaving everything till the last minute is too stressful.

  57. Kaz Purtill-Wright
    23/01/2014 / 9:42 pm

    My best tip, take a photo with your phone of the back to school list the school sends with the kids at the end of the year, I always manage to lose that piece of paper through the Christmas rush and holidays and panic sets in, now I never have to worry,

  58. jarree shelverton
    24/01/2014 / 12:35 pm

    Getting those school books perfectly contacted requires two things “a glass” and “wine”!

  59. Kate
    24/01/2014 / 2:12 pm

    I am yet to figure out how – but magically get everyone back into school term sleeping times, rather than the holiday bedtime we seem to have slipped into! Five sleeps to go, let’s hope we get back into our routine before then.. or at least close to it! That and some frozen drinks for the lunch boxes 🙂

  60. Kristina S
    24/01/2014 / 7:50 pm

    Get kids back to early bed time at least a week before hand to get them use to it. Or if you’re like me make it 2 weeks and enjoy the peace & quiet oh and The Blacklist

  61. Been
    24/01/2014 / 8:42 pm

    Help kids in packing school bags so you can keep an eye what they are packing & as well they know how to pack the bags

  62. Charmaine Campbell
    24/01/2014 / 10:44 pm

    Start preparing for school a week early with proper bedtimes. Get all the book and uniforms ready. And most of all, make sure there are no nasty lunches from last year still in their school bag!

  63. Noleen B
    25/01/2014 / 12:16 am

    Make a list, and mark it off. Label the books and shine the shoes. Have a glass of wine and take a deep breath. Iron the uniforms and hang them ready, have another glass of wine, careful stay steady. Prepare the school bag and make the lunches. Now get to bed before the blasted alarm goes off!

  64. Cheryl Moulton
    25/01/2014 / 3:10 pm

    Two weeks before School returns, check uniforms including shoes fit and are marked, find lunchboxes and drink flasks, go through school supplies, books, erasers, pens pencils, pencil case – make sure all are ready, covered/marked/named and in the school bag. When the day arrives you are not running around looking for anything at the last moment

  65. Mary Preston
    26/01/2014 / 11:23 am

    My best tip is to do trial runs – dressing & undressing re school clothes, trying out all the features on school bags & lunch boxes, trying on the shoes & wearing them around and about a bit. Even a walk or drive to the school can be invaluable.

    You don’t want to be doing any of this the first morning back & finding you have hit a snag or two.

  66. Rachel Thompson
    27/01/2014 / 12:03 pm

    A Back To School Guide for First Timers:
    1. Cry that your baby is all grown up and going to school/kindy
    2. Read everything you can about what items to buy, research the best quality of everything.
    3. Purchase ahead so you’re prepared, triple check your list to make sure you don’t forget anything.
    4. Realise you forgot something and dash to the shops last minute.
    5. Panic that school/kindy is in a couple days.
    6. Read every blog/article/pinterest board covering topics of getting ready for school/kindy/lunch box ideas/routines etc etc.
    7. Panic and realise that no matter how many tips you read your baby is still going to school/kindy
    8. Cry again that your baby is all grown up.

  67. Jo
    27/01/2014 / 12:45 pm

    Spend 1/2 hour a week beforehand making a list of what is needed to prepare for the school year, and revisit this list every day, working through it. The same week start getting the kids up earlier, and into a routine of getting dressed, making their bed, tidying their room etc. When the ‘big day’ comes, all will be prepared and the kids will quickly be back in the swing of things.

  68. Barbara Fehmel
    27/01/2014 / 5:18 pm

    Never ever leave the buying of clothing and books till the last moment, or your child will be very agitated about this.

  69. Renee Annison
    28/01/2014 / 10:05 am

    Organisation is the key to a smooth transit into the new school year .make a to do list at least 2 weeks before school starts to break down the mania!

  70. kathryn
    28/01/2014 / 1:06 pm

    always have homework done and water bottle filled the night before

  71. Lisa Jene
    28/01/2014 / 1:20 pm

    Get the kids into a school routine a week or two before the big day. If they’ve never been on a bus before, take a bus. Get them used to alarms, the uniform, wearing schoolbags. Discuss with the kids about lunches. Pack one for them and take it to the park; if they eat it there, you’ll have good odds the lunch will get eaten at school. If the kids will have to do homework, get them used to sitting in the homework area – no maths timetables, just have them read a book. And most of all, be calm. No matter what happens, no matter what feelings you have as a mother, just be calm and let the little ones enjoy their school experience.

  72. Sharon
    28/01/2014 / 1:55 pm

    Do a trial run the week before, they don’t like it but it is necessary, even down to getting dressed in the uniform and packing bags. Then, if you are missing something, you still have time to get it. I do this without fail and they always have everything for the first day!!!!!

  73. Pam
    28/01/2014 / 7:27 pm

    Especially when they are still small, don’t get them too hyped about first day back to avoid anxiety / tension forming; practice a lot with zips and fasteners on new schoolbags; in week prior shift morning tea and lunch to align with eating times at school and practice with new lunchboxes; practice morning routine (mine pinned on fridge with pictures – eat breakfast, brush teeth etc) to avoid rush and stress getting out of the house. Better everyone smiling than frazzled and nutty before even got in car 🙂

  74. Virginia Mason
    29/01/2014 / 4:31 pm

    I spent the holidays creating a school organisation station in our home,
    a place for bags, sunscreen, hats and school notes to go.
    I made a time table for each child with their activities listed for the day,
    so they can read it and get ready instead of nagging Mum until I go grey!
    Hopefully this will help the children to be ready, tidy and neat,
    so I can actually finish a coffee in the morning – now wouldn’t that be sweet!

  75. Crystal McFarlane
    29/01/2014 / 7:33 pm

    Just like Santa – write your lists and check it twice and of course look out for specials!

  76. Kirsten W
    29/01/2014 / 8:28 pm

    The first day of school is no time for a drastic adjustment of household sleep schedules. Instead, I ease my kids back into a school year routine gradually. During the last week of summer, I re-introduce a school year bedtime. I begin waking late sleepers earlier (which unfortunately does mean me!!) and earlier, closer to the hour they’ll need to rise when school begins.

  77. amanda donohoe
    30/01/2014 / 11:57 am

    getting myself up an hour before the kids works for me.

  78. Nicole Morris
    30/01/2014 / 5:50 pm

    keep calm….relax….dont cry…. remember this its the start of your childs big adventure of learning

  79. Stacey Gladman
    30/01/2014 / 8:23 pm

    Keep calm, no fears.
    Mama try your tears,
    Ready for an adventure,
    I have my bag packed and ready to learn.

  80. Jodie Harlow
    30/01/2014 / 9:11 pm

    The kids made their lunches the day before, including Master 5 (first year at school) who made his own sandwiches and placed them in the freezer, ready for the next day’s lunch box. Then we all cleaned the house and went for a swim. But nothing prepares you for that very first alarm after holidays 🙁

  81. Laura Scriven
    31/01/2014 / 7:27 am

    Make a list like Santa does each year,
    It’ll bring you some cheer!
    Otherwise you will forget,
    And then stress and fret!

  82. L Conroy
    31/01/2014 / 8:42 am

    Lay everything out and make sure you have got everything you need rather than checking in dribs and drabs.

  83. Judith Senese
    31/01/2014 / 11:29 am

    Always having a list, marking things off as they are packed.
    Getting the children excited, and reminding them that they will have fun.

  84. Pip
    31/01/2014 / 12:07 pm

    Last minute Lunchbox I simply dread.
    For lunchbox solutions be prepared ahead,
    Yoghurts, fruits and nutritious snacks,
    Shop well ahead, to save “Lunch Dilemma” attacks!

    Last week of holidays, we’re into serious training,
    Early bedtime schedules rigorously maintaining.
    The week before practice school morning routines,
    When school’s back in, like second nature seems.

    A Morning routine for Mum is best
    If Mum’s well organized it reduces everyone’s stress.
    Lay uniforms out, packing lunches night before,
    Means on time we’ll all be out the door.

    For the older kids Morning Duties implement
    So they can mostly be independent,
    Leaving Mum a little extra time spare too
    For our Preppie who finds it all exciting and new.

    To make getting back to school as easy as ABC
    Allow plenty of time, keep a clock where all can see.
    Keeping a positive school attitude all the while
    Helps each one head off to school with a smile.

  85. Amanda Casalanguida
    31/01/2014 / 12:16 pm

    We start on Readers just after Christmas. Get back in the habit of reading a few pages at bed time. He reads to me, then I read to him.

  86. Kerryanne Bourke
    31/01/2014 / 7:35 pm

    Gather odds and ends throughout the year with your weekly shopping such as pencils, sharpeners etc. Leave shoes and uniforms until the week before to ensure a proper fit. And finally book in for a coffee and chat with a good friend that you dont see much of during the holidays!

  87. Cathy
    31/01/2014 / 10:09 pm

    Build some excitement by making a deal of buying and preparing the books and other items needed.

  88. Vija
    31/01/2014 / 11:10 pm

    Start the back to school sleep routine at least a week before school starts. No more later nights, no more sleep ins.

  89. Tanya Clarke
    01/02/2014 / 7:50 am

    Getting ready for school can be a rush,
    have everything labelled, and ready the night before,
    school lunches packed and ready to go,
    in an insulated lunch bag so food doesn’t go warm
    and make sure they are safe getting there too.

  90. Maria P
    01/02/2014 / 5:25 pm

    Make sure you make plans and keep busy on the kids first day of school….otherwise the day will drag for you.

  91. 02/02/2014 / 10:20 am

    Preparing your child for school is easy!
    Read – read everything – books, magazines, signs, cards, insturctions – everything!!
    Talk – talk about the day, what you see, ask questions, ask them why – talk until you can talk no more!
    Did you know that we speak it before we read it and we read it before we write it?

  92. terri
    02/02/2014 / 10:18 am

    have an early night before,have the school uniform all ready out,

  93. Gemma Westacott Blair
    02/02/2014 / 10:26 am

    Lists, glorious lists;
    Everything needed jotted down.
    So you can cross off;
    Jobs as things are found.
    Far too easy to miss;
    Something when in a rush.
    But not with a list, a marvellous list, magical list, wonderful list;
    Sanity saving list!

    I may have I slight case of OCD! But honestly I find writing a list the ideal way of getting it clear in my head just what we need, budgeting for it and ensuring everything is ready and labeled in time.

    The LeapReader sounds ideal for Miss 4. She’s always been keen on books, but we’re really struggling to get her interested in reading independently. I love that it’s given your son Kye more confidence, which is exactly what my little miss needs.

  94. 02/02/2014 / 11:17 am

    We focus on independance skills, like shoe lace tying and looking after belongings. Opening banana’s and poppa’s, sharpening pencils, and identifying your own bag in a sea of matching bags.
    Reading is so important to us but the love for it comes as natually as breathing to my kids. We know they will be OK in the school system educationally, but we make sure we equip them with the self help and emotional skills to cope in a class room where the “mother” of all is shared with 23 other kids.

  95. Rebecca Broderick
    02/02/2014 / 11:47 am

    For my girls getting back into the school routine isn’t the pack the bag, put your uniform on, as there is a similar routine in life anyway, like on weekends between the school week. The issue for my girls is the writing and reading process. We’re in the process of moving and we wanted our girls to start the new school year at the new school instead of changing after a few weeks. So they’re at Nannies house (she works at the school), they are 1300km away from us but I will koin them soon. In prep I’ve asked them to do a journal entry in a botany book and a drawing. This gives me a keepsake and gets them back into a ‘school’ routine.

  96. Cate
    02/02/2014 / 2:24 pm

    My best tip is start to set ‘the tone’ for school. Talk positively about school to your little (or big) one- negativity can be catching so beware! Have a friend over to play during the holidays and discussing the fun things that happen in their year level (e.g. Camps coming up, sport…) can help prepare your child and yourself mentally for school.

  97. sonia
    02/02/2014 / 3:01 pm

    Organise something fun to do on the first weekend IF they follow the “after school” rules.

  98. Sharyn
    02/02/2014 / 7:45 pm

    Make time at home really really BORING in the week (or two) leading up to school,
    So that way your child cannot wait to get out of the house and off to school (see this mum’s no fool) 🙂

  99. Michelle Gray
    02/02/2014 / 9:26 pm

    Labels, labels and more labels, kids are good at losing things!!

  100. Rebekah Ballingall
    02/02/2014 / 9:34 pm

    get the kids involved in labeling and packing their bag, it makes them more excited about school and they know what is where in their bag

  101. 03/02/2014 / 7:56 pm

    My daughter just started prep, perfect timing to enter this competition!

    • 03/02/2014 / 7:59 pm

      And my tip: well I’m only 3 days in to the new school-mum life but I can only get organised if I get up an hour before my kids. If I get up when they do all hope of getting out the door on time is gone.

  102. Kristy Thompson
    03/02/2014 / 8:13 pm

    Preparation is the key for this busy mummy of three
    Next year we will have one at school
    Mummy must follow some simple rules
    Enrolment forms completed that’s the hard work done
    Choosing the right school was so much fun
    Find stuff on sale and layby it now
    Iron on labels are a must!! No precious stuff getting lost
    Clothes and shoes stored away for the first day
    Stationary and books who needs a laptop to play!!
    School bag packed with lunch box and bottle
    Our baby is growing up, he looks so noble
    Mummy might shed a tear as she walks though the gate to go home
    But with preparation for school next year I will have nothing to fear.

  103. ashleigh malone
    03/02/2014 / 8:41 pm

    Oh the joys of back to school,
    I must remember to keep my cool.
    The kids wont listen or do as their told,
    This could be the reason I feel so old.
    Uniforms and lunches the night before,
    Or else I expect morning tantrums galore.
    ‘Mum! where are my socks and undies and shoes?’
    What am I a slave? I need a snooze.
    When it’s all said and done I love the struggles,
    ‘Coz nothing’s better then their night time snuggles.

  104. Melissa L Jones
    03/02/2014 / 10:03 pm

    Early bedtimes! Healthy Breakfast! Healthy lunch snacks and good comfortable shoes.

  105. Suzanne Bouzaid
    03/02/2014 / 10:07 pm

    I always feel that kids are a lot of more relaxed when they know what is going to happen. Also, a stressed out mum can create a stressed out kid. So I think the biggest thing is to be as organised as possible. Have bags packed (with everything labelled of course)and lunches made the night before. Have the uniform laid out the night before. Talk to your kids about what they might expect on the first day of school and answer any questions that they might have. Oh, and if you’re a family who loves to sleep in, get used to getting up early a week or so before school starts, although if you’re anything like me, I could practice getting up early every day of the year and still struggle 🙂

  106. Kathryn C
    03/02/2014 / 10:25 pm

    Being organised is the key, plenty of tissues just for me! Everything packed and ready to go, I also like to put my clock forward so I get out faster and not so slow!

  107. Sarah
    03/02/2014 / 10:44 pm

    Have things organised ready to go,
    Bags, shoes and uniform ready,
    Excitement for kids a little plateaux,
    Mummy’s anxiety can be seen immensely,
    Which I’m sure gets better as they grow?
    Lunches, hats and keys, check
    Tissues for mummy the nervous wreck.

    First day back has arrived,
    Hold back the tears and keep your cool,
    You’ll both be surprised,
    They actually love BIG school.

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