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).
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 – Family contribution schedule.
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.]
[EDIT Jan 2016 – You can read my most recent post on managing technology with kids here – Managing technology with teenagers.]