Written by: Penny Flanagan, Kidspot
We’re re-posting and sharing this useful article on Back to School life-hacks from Kidspot. They have some handy tips on how to get things organised before the chaos kicks in.
Do you sign school notes too late? Do you send your kids to school with their lunch in an old shopping bag? Do you tie your ponytail up with an old pair of underpants? So does Penny Flanagan. Which is why she has sourced some parenting cheats and shortcuts to help you get on top of things.
1. Have an after school check list
It’s amazing how well kids respond to lists. They find it much less annoying than the sound of your voice saying the same thing over and over. So make a list of your most common ‘after school commands’ and stick it on the wall.
2. Shoe shopping made simple
Trace around your children’s feet and keep it with a record of their shoe size in your handbag so you can buy shoes when they’re not with you. (Also known as “how to go shopping alone”.)
3. Make a cereal box note holder
School notes seem to breed like cockroaches in my house. And if I don’t stay on top of it, all of a sudden someone has to sit in the weather shed while the other kids do CSIRO. To keep things sorted, make this cereal box note holder and file them away as soon as they come in.
4. Boxes by the door
Two boxes: “shoes” and “socks.” Keep them by the door. It will change your life. (P.S I know the label on my box says sox when it should say socks, I just thought the “fun spelling” might get my kids’ attention.)
5. A stapler is not just for paper
Use a stapler to hem up skirts and pants when you’re in a hurry. This is magical. Don’t scoff until you’ve tried it.
6. Go monochrome
Only buy plain white (or black) socks to minimise laundry sorting and odd sock traumas. Socks are the bane of my existence. At least if they’re all one colour it’s not too noticeable when you don’t pair them up exactly.
7. Tissues aren’t just for noses
Teach your kids the proper handwriting pencil grip using the ‘clutch a tissue’ method. Bit weird, but practical.
8. A box in the fridge
Have a lunchbox fridge box: pack lunches the night before, put them in the box, then allocate them to school bags in the morning.
9. Keep the gear organized
Repack soccer, ballet, football, netball etc. gear into a bag as soon as it’s washed and ready. Hang it on a hook by the door, ready to go so you don’t spend 15 minutes searching for it every Saturday morning.
10. Set up a homework tray
Nobody has time to flail around for a lead pencil that wasn’t blunt every day at approximately 4.05pm. If you keep all the supplies for homework in a handy tray, there’s no excuses for skipping the homework routine.
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