I work part time between 8 and 2.30, Monday to Friday which is brilliant as it means that during term time, I get to drop the kids off at breakfast club before I go to work and I’m finished in time to pick them up again at the end of the school day. Unfortunately, the fact that I have to drop them off at breakfast club by 7.30 in order to get to work by 8, means that getting ready has to be organised like a military operation!
The organisation starts the day before, as soon as the kids get in from school! Shoes and coats are put where they’re supposed to go and school uniforms are laid out on my bed as soon as they are taken off.
Book bags are checked and any forms that need filling in are done and added back to the bag, also any party invitations are taken out and replied to straight away – it’s one of my pet hates when people leave it till the last minute, or even worse don’t bother replying at all! I use Google calendar now to add in any special events and notes about them. I have it set up to e mail me the day before so I never forget but still have chance to organise. I add in party invites along with all the details of when and where and school events with notes as to what they need, if anything. I used to have a wall planner but for what I need, they’re so big and bulky that I much prefer the electronic version!
At the start of the week, I also check their homework as if it’s a lot that they have, we do it over a few nights rather than on a Sunday night the day before it’s due, all in one go. We often try and do a bit extra as well when we’re doing homework and I’m particularly proud with the gold star
I we got last year with a note from the teacher to say ‘This is how homework should be done’ when we made a collage of textures rather than just writing about them. We don’t do it all the time and when we do, it’s only because it’s something we can have a bit of fun with – it’s not like I make them do extra boring work 😉
PE kits permanently live in their bags as although they have a set day for PE, their school have a policy that if it’s a nice day, they might go out and do extra which is just one of the reasons why I love their school. They also get extended playtimes when it snows so they can play in the snow and when it’s sunny so they can enjoy the sunshine. Every Friday, the kits come out and are washed and replaced in time for Monday.
We try and have some reading time each night but I have slackened off on that just a bit recently as they’re both above average at the moment for reading and I want them to enjoy reading rather than just doing it because they’re told too. I try and encourage it now rather than say that they have to sit and read. Saying that though, I do make sure that we still read their school reading books together at least twice a week.
After they’ve gone to bed, I’ll check them and put them over the chairs in the dining room if they’re OK to wear for another day. They each have at least five polo shirts for school along with a couple of pairs of trousers each and skirts (for Miss Frugal obviously) so even if they get dirty every day, I won’t have to put a wash on until Saturday which is my usual wash day.
Socks and clean underwear are added as well to save as much time as possible the following morning and on the subject of socks, we buy a few of the cheap packs of plain socks where you get about 5 or 6 pairs of identical socks – it makes life much easier when all of your socks match each other!
While I’m checking the uniforms, Mr Frugal puts the packed lunches together. We always have things in for them so it doesn’t take him too long although he does have a very organised way of packing everything up which borders on OCD if you ask me 😉
In the mornings, I get up first and get myself ready for work and I don’t get the kids up until I’m almost ready, this means that I can help them to get ready without stressing that I’ll not be ready in time. I don’t have to feed them luckily as the school’s breakfast club is amazing and even with a recent price increase, it still only costs me £1 a day.
Because most of the hard work has been done the night before we *usually* manage to leave the house on time, with matching socks on and everything we need for the coming day.
*I say usually because I’ve had telephone calls from the school before letting me know one or both packed lunches have been left in the car and several times, I’ve dropped them off with odd socks on or missing something or other. There may even, possibly have been one occasion where Miss Frugal neglected to brush her hair and I didn’t even notice until we got to breakfast club and by then it was too late for anything other than a quick tidy up*
What’s your best back to school organisation tip?