Here we are, just two weeks left until school starts again! I have no idea where the time is going but the last four weeks have just flown by.
There have been times (more than I care to admit) in the past where weekday mornings getting ready for school have consisted of tears, a little bit of shouting and the odd phone call from the school to say the kids have forgotten their packed lunches!
Lots of things make for a stressful morning, some of which can’t really be planned for – like the child who wakes up in a foul mood for no reason at all, the sudden poorly tummy that has more to do with wanting a pyjama day than any actual illness or the stress of last minute homework that they’ve had for a week and not done!
But there are things you can do to make life easier so whatever the morning throws at you, at least you’re organised and not going to have to spend time looking for a matching pair of socks or filling in a last minute form. Here’s my top tips:
1. When my two come home from school, they hang their book bags up and put their packed lunch boxes on the kitchen counter. I then go through the book bags and get out any letters from the school. any party invites and anything else that has been put in there that day.
2. Any school forms are filled in where necessary and put back in the book bags ready to be handed in the next day. Any important dates are added to the calendar on the kitchen wall so nothing is missed. I also make sure I email the dates to myself at work if I need to put a holiday in for something.
3. Any party invites are replied to straight away (I hate parents who leave it until the last minute or even worse, don’t reply at all) with the dates being added to the calendar so I don’t forget as I may have done in the past. I also make sure I have something in the present bag for the party.
4. Homework is always due on a set day each week and I make sure I know exactly when this is and make sure that it’s done in plenty of time. Sunday evening before bath time is our usual time and seems to work well for us. I try and let the kids do their own homework and make their own mistakes as there is no point me doing homework for them although I’m always willing to help when they ask for help.
5. Weekly spellings are learned with the kids sat at the kitchen table while I prepare tea on a night although they’re both really quick learners with their spellings so we never spend much time on this to be honest.
6. Uniforms are taken off when the kids get in from school – we used to put them over the back of a chair in the dining room but now that they’re older, they put their uniforms neatly over the radiators in their bedrooms.
7. I buy polo shirts for school and for less than £10 I can buy one for each day of the week so on a Sunday there are five shirts ironed and hung in each wardrobe. Some weeks they need a clean shirt most days and some they can wear one for more than a day – it depends entirely on what they get up to at school but at least they’re ready if needed.
8. Buy the packs of socks where you get multiple pairs of the same socks – less time spent matching socks up and less chance of sending the kids to school with odd socks.
9. Packed lunches are made the night before and put in the fridge ready to be collected on the way out of the door and any change needed to buy fruit at break time is put out on the counter also to be collected on the way out.
10. We have a great family calendar in the kitchen – any special days, after school clubs, parties and anything else that I’d be likely to forget are added straight away. If we need to take cakes in to school for something then it’s on there or if we need a fancy dress costume then that’s on there too. Basically anything I am likely to forget goes on there!
Follow my top tips and you’ll be the most organised parent at the school gates!
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Image Credit : Shutterstock, Iryna Melnyk