That's right, along with various other situations, going back to school brings along the very unengaging task of marking your children's materials. And if you have more than one child of school age, you'll have twice as much work!
Here's some suggestions to soften the blow:
Get the materials early, don't postpone it until the end of the holidays, because by that point the pressure will be much greater;
You should realize the marking, though bothersome, will be an invaluable help throughout the school year: children always loose materials, but if you mark them it will be easier to get them back.
Sort the materials according to the possible type of marking: some materials can only be marked by pens, others by labels and others still already have a place destined for the student's identification;
Start with the material you can mark with pens: you can use acetate pens for plastic surfaces or regular pens for other type of surfaces. Avoid using gel pens, seeing as they tend to smudge;
Regarding the material you should mark with labels, here's a suggestion: get a labelling machine that'll allow you to write your child's name and obtain the labels you need, ready to be glued and perfectly legible. You might think the investment isn't worth your while (we're talking of 10 to 20 euros here), yet if you think about the number of years and the amount of times you'll have to go through this task, you'll see how worthwhile it will be. You can find these machines in stores which specialize in stationary and school supplies;
As far as labels are concerned, you can also create them on your computer and print them in adhesive paper, in a label format ready to be cut out.
Mark the materials with an easily identifiable name: putting only your first name isn't good enough. You have the option to use your initials, or use your first name's initial and write your surname in full. Take note that sometimes this isn't enough to identify the student! Choose whatever you think might be more effective in identifying your child. Sometimes it's easier to use a nickname or a pet name used by the family!
Get your children involved in the task. There are plenty of colour pencils, crayons, pens and other materials to be marked...so you'll need every help you can get!
Make this task fun for the whole family!