My son just started kindergarten, I work part-time and my husband works second shift. So at night, preparing for school the next day is all up to me! To help myself stay organized, I do the following:
I typed up a checklist so that at night, I know exactly what needs to be done for the next day and if I did it. For example, some of the things I have listed to check off are "Lunches Made", "Backpack Ready To Go", "Teeth Brushed", etc. As each thing is done, I check it off. It really helps me feel more organized and be sure there's nothing I missed!
I also set out the next day's outfit--for my son AND myself! Saves time in the morning; after showers, etc., just get dressed without wasting time to choose an outfit.
On Sunday, I make a "menu" for my son's lunches for the coming week, divided by day. For example, Monday might be: ham, string cheese, applesauce, carrots and whole wheat crackers. I write every item down. I do this for each day, putting down everything I need for that day's lunch. That way, on weeknights I can just pack lunch quickly without having to even think about it. (I've already done the thinking ahead of time, on Sunday!)
I set out any non-perishable breakfast foods so that in the morning, we can just add milk (or whatever the case) and sit down to breakfast without any fuss.
I look through my son's backpack as soon as he gets home, for any notes from school, etc. He also needs to take a snack with for each afternoon, so I put that in a pocket on the outside of his backpack, sign any papers, etc. then hang it on a hook by our stairs so I can just grab the backpack and my purse in the morning and go out the door.
I hope some of these tips help someone. I'm trying to get more organized in many areas of my life, so I know that personally, I appreciate hearing about tips other people have! Sometimes it's a brilliant idea that makes you say "Wow! I wish I had thought of that!" and really does help!
By Lisa from Kenosha, WI
This is a great tip. As a teacher, I know that so many homes are total chaos in the mornings, as kids arrive without homework or their gym shoes or their show and tell item or whatever.
In addition, I would like to suggest making your son responsible for as much of his own school planning as possible. Perhaps he could soon learn to lay out his own clothes for the morning -- if you have his clothes organized into school outfits and other things. This teaches him responsibility, lets him learn to make decisions and choices, and helps you out as he gradually learns to do more and more for himself. For now, you could have him unpack the backpack, with you supervising at first, and then hang it up in its spot. Maybe you could make a list for him to use-- with pictures now, of course, as he is just in kindergarten!!!-- so that HE can check to see that he has all his own stuff in the backpack-snack, notes, lunch, whatever.
I have had 12 year olds in grade 7 tell me " mom didn't put my homework in my backpack", to which I have answered "Whose homework was it -- yours or mom's?" Kids need to learn to take responsibility for their own school lives, and you are doing them a big favor to teach them organizational skills.
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