Do you have a child starting school next year and you’re feeling a little overwhelmed at the thought of the early mornings, new routines and changes that will be happening within your family?
Mum-of-three Katrina Springer, also known as The Organised Housewife, has been packing lunches, washing uniforms and juggling after-school activities for 10 years. For her own sanity, she created routines and organised nooks in her home to create calm during those busy school days. Here are some of her top life hacks that you can implement now to be ready in time for the 2018 school year.
1. Establish a bedtime.
It’s important to establish new sleep times for your child as they need a good night’s sleep for a full school day. Start to implement these routines now by getting your child in bed by the set bedtime and waking up with an alarm clock.
To determine a good time to wake each morning work backwards from the time you will need to be out the door and how long it takes them to get ready, always allow an extra 20 to 30 minutes as they can get distracted!
2. Screen time rules.
Start to set boundaries and rules on screen time (TV and/or devices) as they can easily distract kids from getting ready in the morning or not doing their homework. Some options:
- No screens before school.
- Screens only after homework has been finished in the afternoons.
- Screens only after kids are dressed and ready for school.
- Strictly no screens on school days.
- Educational apps only during the week.
- One hour of screens each day.
3. Homework station.
Creating a homework station will help keep clutter tidily away when not in use. If you’re lucky enough to have some spare space in your home make an area to store all the kids homework supplies, books and bag. Or create a little caddy that can easily be moved from a drawer to the dining table. Make it an easy to reach place for the kids, so they have all their stationary needs to complete their homework.
4. Meal plan.
Meal planning is a huge time saver. You don’t want to waste your precious time during the week running back and forth to the grocery store with tired kids after a long day at school. I can’t exaggerate enough how meal planning helps my sanity. To have all our dinner and lunchbox essentials in the fridge for the beginning of the week makes those busy afternoons easier. Consider your after-school commitments to what you would then plan for dinner – you don’t want to have a meal that’s going to take an hour or two when you get home late from soccer training.