This trio of back-to-school tips might sound elementary, but they have proven their worth year after school year. And it’s all here, nicely packaged, like a school lunch.

Early to bed, early to rise

“But … but it’s still light outside!” Ignore these desperate pleas from your kids. Didn’t you say the exact same thing when you were their age?

Getting a good night’s rest is one of your family’s best power tools in the lead up to that alarm clock going mental. Start phasing it in a week or so before the first day of school. Then the shock and horror of going to bed at a reasonable hour is not the end of the world.

Winding-down activities are of great help too. The ridiculous audio of screeching tyres in surround sound emanating from the games room … rather not. Instead, engage in conversation. It’s a new year. There might be some first-day jitters. Talk about new friends they might make if the new maths teacher will take the boredom out of multiplication, that kind of thing.

Routine is your BFF

Contrary to popular belief, this needn’t be the age of the obedient parent. Playtime, having a bath, flossing, and gargling and brushing their teeth, reading before lights out – it has a place. Children actually like routine even though they’ll go into character acting like they don’t. It makes them feel safe and secure or if you’d rather, as snug as a back-to-school bug in a rug.

The lunch box is not a glorified fast-food container

Go healthy. Go nutritious and go the extra mile. The holiday was chock full of snacks and treats and soft serves dipped in nuts. Deservedly so. Healthy snacks and lunch items will boost their concentration and keep them fortified for the school day. Also, find out if their school assists with a feeding programme – let your kids help to make delicious sarmies for those learners who go without. One cannot teach a hungry child.

We wish you and your gang a wonderful and exciting school year ahead!