So far our back to school start has been smooth. The children had all the required materials and the night before preparation has made school mornings more manageable.
The start of the school year means another stack of paper work coming into the house. With three children at school now, it is important to make sure I keep on top of the paperwork and it doesn’t become out of control.
With my planning tendencies, I have developed my own strategy for dealing with school paperwork:
Our school newsletter is the largest source of info we receive from the school. Once I receive the newsletter I do the following:
- Write all key dates on the calendar.
- Complete required tear off slips and place into relevant child’s communication pouch (a large zipped satchel which notes come home from and return to school in).
- Hang on clip on the fridge.
As noted above each child has a communication pouch, which they must clear as one of their tasks when they come home from school. The children need to place it in the kitchen bench. From there I then:
- Decide if I have time to read and action straight away. One of the biggest tine wasters with paperwork is the way we handle items multiple times. If I am busy, I will place it into my pending action folder. Otherwise I complete it and place in relevant communication pouch.
- If I placed it in the pending action folder, then once later that evening, after the lunch box preparation has finished, I take a short amount of time to go through the folder and complete the relevant forms. I find that by doing it later (and without children) around, I often spend less time on the paperwork, as there are less interruptions while I am trying to complete the forms!
- If Mr I is then required to do anything regarding this paperwork, for example turn up to a working bee, or come home earlier from work to allow me to attend a talk or parent teacher meeting, I will send him a brief email, so that he can enter the details in his electronic diary. Even though I am online a lot (not so much at the moment!) I still haven’t moved across to an electronic diary or calendar for myself, preferring to stick with the trusty family calendar to organise myself.
What do you do to tame the paper monster at your house?