| Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Going to school in Dubai

Are your new-term super-mum intentions in danger of slipping by the wayside? Panic not

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Whether the last academic year was one you’d rather forget or this is your little angel’s first venture into school life, we’re here to help you make this a term to remember for all the right reasons. Read on for our guide to all things ‘schooly’, from helping with homework to how to prepare the perfect packed lunch.

Be prepared

The dog is eating your son’s cereal while junior runs around the house looking in the most ridiculous places for his gym kit (‘Seriously Timmy, it will not be in the violin case’). You frantically throw bags of crisps into his bag in lieu of anything vaguely nutritious because you didn’t get time to go to Choithram. Sound familiar? We’ve all been there, but getting the day off to this kind of start is likely to result in your child arriving at school flustered or, worse, grumpy. Fear not, though: together, you can turn over a new leaf.

It might sound a bit OCD, but organisation really is key. We sought wisdom from organiser extraordinaire Anna Williams, a part-time copy writer from Jumeirah, on how she keeps her own unruly rabble in check. She strongly advises that you print out your kids’ weekly schedules and stick them somewhere prominent, like on the fridge. ‘Pack their bags with homework, library books, signed forms and sports or music gear together the night before, then set them out beside the door,’ she says. ‘That way, all you have to do is grab and go.’ Sounds good to us.

Anna’s ‘night before’ approach also extends way beyond school bags: setting out clean, ironed clothes (right down to underwear) for the following day can help you avoid the last-minute dash. As Anna says, ‘Finding out that all the socks are dirty is a real situation at 7.30am – but not so much at 7.30pm.’

One of the most headache-inducing things to try and sort out in the morning is their packed lunch – especially when you’ve already got breakfast on your, er, plate. Unsurprisingly, Anna recommends preparing their lunch the night before, but she also advises that you check on your brekkie supplies – bread, cereal, juice and so on. ‘There’s nothing worse than waking up and discovering there’s no milk,’ she says. If you don’t have enough fridge space for endless packed lunches and pints of milk, it’s worth considering investing in a small additional refrigerator.

By Ele Cooper
Time Out Dubai,

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