4 Tips To Get Organised For Back To School

When this post goes live, our children will have been back at school two weeks. We are starting to find our legs again with our school term routine. The first few weeks back at the start of a school year are always so busy, here are a couple of things that we do, to make it easier and help us stay organised:

Children Information Sheet

I picked this tip up from another mother at school, so props to Danielle for sharing it with me. There are a series of forms that have to be filled in at the start year for the children, for example the Neighbourhood Excursion form which gives the school permission to take the kids on a walk around the block etc. The forms all require particular details to be filled in, like last Tetanus injection, Medicare number, Doctor’s Name and Details etc. On top of these I have already had two additional forms, one for a camp and one for an excursion to complete that also need those pieces of information and forms like that come home frequently through out the school year.

I used to have to find the kids Maternal and Child Health Books and find all the relevant cards etc to complete the forms, until I made up a table with each child’s information in it, which you see above. I keep it in my school paper work file and I just grab it when a form comes in and can complete it quickly. You can download an editable word template here or download a version from Google Docs here (it looks like the photo above).

Children’s Timetables

By now we tend to know all our after school activities and the children have their timetable details for their school day, so we can create a visual timetable for each child. If you want to create your own, you can see my post on Children’s Routines here.

Before and After School Jobs

Each child knows what their tasks are in the morning and in the afternoon. With the workload shared and the children taking responsibility to keep themselves organised, it means that these times of the day have a greater sense of order (notice I say greater as opposed to complete order!!) and they are less stressful.

In the morning children need to do things like, clear the breakfast table, stack the dishwasher, pack their bags, apply sunscreen, tidy their bedrooms etc. In the afternoon they need to hang up their school bags on their hooks, bring their lunch boxes to the kitchen bench and place any notices on my school paperwork manila folder. You can see what our kids do in this post – Kids’ Chores.

Work Out Home Work and Technology Routines

These routines can differ each term as they are to a large part determined by the nights when after school activities fall. This term I am very excited as we only have activities on two nights. Wednesdays are completely packed with two cricket training sessions and a dance class, but I have other mums who I work in with to make this manageable and it is so much better to then have another night when we don’t have to go out.

The children have a set allocation of what we call technology time, which is 30 minutes, five times a week, so we have days where the children have no technology. This term those technology free nights will be Tues and Wed, as they are the nights when we are out later due to after school activities. We usually have technology time after the children have had dinner and bath. You see an example of our Technology Roster in my post on TV and Children. [EDIT Nov 2013 - Our kids no longer have any technology time other than using it for homework from Mon - Thu and then they have 1.5 hours a day from Fri - Sun.]

Our eldest son who is year six however had a different schedule. He has more homework during the week, so has no technology during the week, but has his technology allocation on the weekends. I find by having these areas planned, it means the children know what they should be doing and be responsible for completing their reading and homework themselves without me reminding them (this is still required on occasion though!)  [EDIT Nov 2013 - Our eldest has technology each evening once his homework has finished and has longer on the weekend after homework and household tasks are completed.]

These are some things that we have found helpful to keep us organised through out the school terms and I would love to hear any tips you have on how you do it at your house!

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Comments

  1. says

    I love the idea of the children’s information sheet. I only have two children, both under 2, and I am already forgetting their immunisation schedules, hospitalisations etc! I will definitely be planning children’s timetables and having before and after school tasks when the time comes. Do you find any resistance from your older children to these tasks and the limited technology time (which I think is great, by the way)? I’m just wondering if they compare to other kids at school and feel hard done by?
    .-= Julie´s last blog ..Activities for 18 months + =-.

  2. says

    Such a good idea Nicole – the child information sheets though I could be wrong but I bet the various authorities you present this form to eg Childcare centres and/or schools will still tell parents they need to complete and sign their form as per “their policy guidelines”.,

    I say this as last week my youngest started kinder care for a few hours a week. I thought I was very proactive having all her allergy info in a small plastic box, with her photo on the front (as well as date photo was taken) and colour photocopy of analphylaxis form signed and with her photo. The centre director looked at me impressed.

    But later when picking my daughter up said “im sorry but we’ll have to have you go to your doc and get our form completed. Its centre policy”. The form was the EXACT same form as the one I had in the plastic box except the heading said “allergy advice” instead of “anaphylaxis advice”. Not wanting to say “are you kidding!!!!: I took it. But have not completed it. Im hoping they’ll forget about it and just accept the forms I already had completed for her.

    However I still think the form is a great idea!

    :-)
    Ann

  3. says

    Julie – Firstly regarding resistance on tasks, the first few weeks are the hardest in settling them in to the routine and as kids will test the boundaries, they will test how serious you are about them having to complete them. Being consistent and having logical consequences if they don’t do them helped me work through the initial resistance and now they are just part of their routine

    With TV, there is occasional talk of how much they get, but as we have had discussions on the reason why their are limits, they don’t seem to worry about it too much. What is more of a talking point is what other kids are watching. I try to make sure what they watch is age appropriate (no M shows), but many of the kids at their school will watch these shows, so I find this a more difficult one to manage.

    Ann – Yes you do need to fill in the school forms, I just use this as a reference sheet. With 3 kids at school, all having excursions, sports trips etc, I fill in so many forms through out the year, I need to have a reference list!

    Katef – I make the library bags the kids responsibility (yes even in prep!). at our school they cannot borrow without a bag, so they learn to check their timetable pretty quickly to make sure they have everything they need!

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