Kat's Best Back to School Tips That Will Calm the Chaos
School mornings can end up very stressful, looking for missing socks, packing school lunches and kids remembering last minute homework….
The founder of The Organised Housewife, Kat, shares her back to school tips to calm the chaos and simplify it all.
Over the years I have shared my organised spaces like school bag storage, homework areas and Back to School tips for Busy Mum’s so you can have everything ready and organised for the transition for the first day of school. These tips I’m sharing below continue on from that to also help calm those chaotic mornings.
It’s never too early to start shopping for school stationery, shoes, bags, lunchboxes, labels etc. I find the earlier I start to get the back to school supplies organised I tend to beat the crowds which I find less stressful, able to get everything I want as they are stocked up and I feel calm knowing I have all I need.
Give Yourself Time To Label
I use the fortnight before school to label everything… lunchboxes, drink bottles, every piece of stationery, books, devices, shoes, there is no chance for anything to go missing. When looking for a label for school supplies you want one that will stick to many surfaces, plastic, wood, metal, rubber, etc. I use Avery® Kids Self-Laminating Labels and Flexible Labels with a texta pen. I have 3 kids so this gives me the option to personalise each label with either their first name, initials or just surname, making it very quick and easy to do.
Don’t forget to label the kids school lunch bags, lunch boxes, snack cups etc too. Labelling these items will save you time and money for not having to buy new ones. Labels don’t need to be fancy or complicated! These Avery Labels are a simple and quick solution, these Avery Self Laminating labels pictured left are great for lunchboxes, drink bottles and other lunchbox items as they are dishwasher and microwave safe, wipeable, waterproof and fade resistant, so you don’t have to worry about losing the label when you clean the lunchbox. You can find Avery Labels at Officeworks and most office supply stores.
Add All Events to Your Calendar/Diary
Take a few moments to add the following dates to your wall calendar, diary or phone calendar:
• school holidays
• pupil free days
• public holidays
• find full list of Australian 2018 school term, pupil free and public holiday dates here.
To help you so you aren’t surprised with unknown pupil free days. As the year progresses add in carnival days, camps, sports carnivals and all other school events so you can plan ahead to take time off if need be for holidays or be there to watch your child run over the finish line.
Get the Kids to Help
I did touch on this in my Back to school for Busy Mum’s tips, but I think it’s worth revisiting. We want our kids to grow up to be strong and independent. I believe teaching them life skill such as helping around the home is important. There are many benefits to encouraging the children to help out around the house and complete certain chores (such as tidying their room, making their beds, picking up bath towels, unpacking dishwasher).
It teaches them to become more self-reliant and helps their progression into adulthood become a lot easier! And…. it helps you out in the busy mornings too, I am very grateful for my kids who feed the dog, pick up the dog messes and unpack the dishwasher each morning, it’s a few less things I need to do.
Set a Consistent School Night Bedtime
Sleep is important for your child’s growth and development and with a good nights sleep they will be alert and ready for the school day. Creating a bedtime routine, setting a specific time for sleep and being consistent with it helps your child’s body and mind settle in the evening and wake up refreshed. A routine can start at a time that suits you and can be, but not limited to bath, clean teeth, layout school uniform, reading then lights out. Limit what your child can do during this time, no TV, no playing, no devices to help them wind down. I am relaxed with bedtime hours during school holidays, however, I usually get the kids back into routine 3-4 days before school goes back.
I gave one of my new designed reward charts to my niece late last year along with some Metallic Avery Merit Star Stickers. She gets a sticker each night she stays in bed without coming out to Mum and Dad.
Create a Morning Checklist
When my kids were younger I found the mornings to get them off to kindy was chaotic. I was repeating myself…. have you brushed your teeth? Are you dressed, pack your bag! It was driving me a little nuts, let alone the kids becoming tone deaf to my constant nagging. At the time the twins were 4 and youngest was 2 so I needed to find a way to get the twins ready and out the door in brighter spirits, rather than a rushed rampage. I created a set of morning, afternoon and evening routine charts which ended up saving my sanity.
Over the years I have used routine charts, rewards charts and checklists to help calm the chaos in our household. By presenting tasks in this fun way it has achieved:
• improved behaviour
• created organisation in the daily routine
• increased self-esteem, self-sufficiency and responsibility
• learning important life skills
Streamline your morning by creating a checklist of tasks that need to be completed each morning to help you get out the door on time. Younger children may need assistance and encouragement, however, getting them to follow a checklist will eliminating you nagging and allow the kids to learn how to independently be ready each morning.
I have partnered with Avery to create Morning and Evening Task Charts to encourage the children to complete tasks independently without mum nagging, using Avery Merit Stickers to track their achievements as kids LOVE stickers and makes it rewarding for good work and behaviour at home. There’s a fantastic range of bright, fun merit stickers perfect for reward charts which the kids will enjoy collecting.
There are many different Avery Merit Sticker designs and sizes to choose from. Some with encouraging words and others with fun smiley faces and cartoon images. These Merit Stickers are available at Officeworks.