In case you missed it, you can read this post to see what this series is all about.
It didn’t take long for my kids to be in school before I started thinking I almost needed a personal assistant to keep track of everything school-related. Have you ever felt this way? Our school is also cutting back on paper expenses so we often have to print out several of the forms ourselves that get emailed to us for certain school events, etc. While I don’t mind helping with expenses, it can be a bit much to keep track of if one is disorganized.
As if we didn’t have enough to keep track of with daily homework, permission forms, event sheets, etc, then we toss in making school lunches and it can be quite a handful. Our school has a limited lunch menu with mostly unhealthy choices so I make sure my kids get a homemade lunch almost every day. I do let them have hot lunch randomly because my Mom would always treat me to a hot lunch on my favorite days so I want to do the same for my kids. I like to give them something to look forward to and I selfishly love having a day free of making lunches! 🙂
Here are a few things I’ve brainstormed for streamlining stresses related to school:
SCHOOL FORMS, EMAILS & SCHEDULES
1) Immediately print forms from the school and handle them and put them in the kid’s school folders to be returned to school. Designate a folder for them to be put in if the kids aren’t home at the time. Handling them also includes writing the proper checks that are needed for expenses for events. I’m keeping to the rule that email is not to be checked if there’s no time for responses, as well.
2) Immediately add important school dates to iphone AND calendar. Set up a reminder to go off the day before an important event.
3) Get in the habit of checking email in the morning to make sure there are no last minute reminders from the school.
4) Set up folders in my email account specifically for school things. I’ll need a “School: Needs to be handled” and a “School: Archive” folder.
1) Make a list of all possible choices for kids’ lunch options. Hang this next to my master meal plan so I can look at it for ideas when I do my weekly meal plan. Start testing out new items, such as soup and hot items in thermoses. (I’ll share this list and some pics when finished with them!)
2) Continue to search online for more kids’ school lunch ideas and update the list, as needed. Also I’ll take note of which things are not finished in lunches to either cut-back on the food sent or to leave them off the list of choices if they don’t like them.
3) Prepare as much of the kids’ school lunches as I can the night before. I often use Divided Ziploc Containers so I can get parts of their lunches ready in advance, often filling them with fruit/veggies leftover from dinner.
4) Create a “snack cart” filled with snacks and lunch choices to streamline the process of both lunches and snacktime for the kids. It will also be used to store lunch bags and containers to help keep the kitchen more organized.
SCHOOL HOMEWORK & CLOTHES
1) Set up an area for school items so the homework process can go smoother. Make sure supplies such as pencils, crayons, glue, etc. are replenished as needed.
2) As soon as we get home from school, folders are gone through to make sure no important notes were sent home. These will be handled immediately and school bags will be hung up in their properly place afterwards. Lunch bags will go into the kitchen so ice packs can make it to the freezer so I can be sure they are frozen in time for the next day.
3) Get in the habit of laying the kids clothes out the night before. This will help reduce the chaos of searching for them in the morning.
4) Planning Ahead – Making sure I have things on hand for things such as: picture day, Christmas/Spring programs, school events and special days at school.
5) Get in the habit of adding a nightly check to my evening routine to make sure all school things are properly handled.
These are just a few of the ways I’ve found to keep up with all things school-related. What tips do you have for staying organized with school things?
Stay tuned for another day of brainstorming tomorrow on another “stresser.”