Finally the Summer Holidays are over and it’s time to get organised for the Autumn Term ahead. Here’s some of the things that have helped me.
Your diary is your friend
The first thing I did when I got the school calendar was to work my way through it with the house diary in front of me. I made a note under the appropriate day of all events for Year 7 (yes, my daughter has started secondary school this week..) such as Parents Evening. I also emailed my husband with the dates so that he could add them to his work calendar. This means that I know not to book a Girls Night Out when we are meant to be at the Christmas Concert for example. I usually add anything required for that day as well eg for the mouthguard fitting, I am going to send in a copy of the mouthguard company’s confirmation email so I have made a note of that.
I usually try and make a copy of my children’s school timetables just so that I can remind them eg about PE kit. It is a very good idea to get a copy of the homework timetable as well to try and stop the first thing in the morning ‘I forgot to do my Maths homework’ panic! I do think children should learn to be responsible for organising themselves but the odd parental nudge does help to avoid some of the stress.
Pack the schoolbag the night before
I try and make sure that the children pack their school bags for the next day the night before and then leave them in the hall ready for the morning dash. There still always seems to be a missing item that is only thought of as we are going out the front door but at least we are most of the way there.
Get uniform ready the night before
We try and remember to hang up the next day’s uniform the night before. And I mean all the uniform including socks or tights so that I know in good time if I need to do a quick wash and dry of any item. It also means you will notice if anything is missing and can remind your child to go to lost property to see if it has been handed in.
Clubs and other extra-curricular activities
I have tried various ways of keeping track of what needs to be taken in on what day for any activities outside normal lessons. For several years, I put together a day chart with a list for each day but as mentioned in an earlier post, it was too complicated. I made a simpler one and will probably use it again this term depending on how many clubs etc my daughter signs up for as it is a good reminder. Or I may just write it all in the diary even though it is a bit boring writing ‘7:45 Netball Club’ every Thursday. This worked well last year as I could see at a glance what was on every day and plan around whatever I needed to do that day.
Notes seem to start as soon as they get back! As soon as you get the note, fill in any forms required and put in their school bag or give to them to do it. I have found that ‘leaving until later’ means ‘out of sight, completely out of mind’. I file the info part of the note in a transparent plastic folder with the date written on top and in date order (oldest to newest). I then put the event in the house diary together with any key info eg for Jeans for Genes day, I add a note ‘needs £1’. I usually also check the filed note a few days before to see if there is anything else needed.
Once the event has been and gone, I recycle the note and the next one in date order is then at the top. (Thanks to my sister, Jane, for this – it works brilliantly).
And that’s it for now. Happy Autumn Term!