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Tips for staying organised with school stuff(38 Posts)
So dd starts reception in September.
I've already emptied a draw for her uniform so it's not mixed with everything.
And I'm planning on taking a photo of all school letters and dealing with straight away where possible, plus shared calendar.
But what else could I do yo make things easier?
Massive notice board for all school letters. Make a note of all days when they need sports kit, wellies or whatever. Note down day reading book or homework book needs to be in. Have 5 sets of school uniform and make up in complete sets.
Get into a routine with making packed lunches, keeping shoes and coats together - we have a school box to avoid the lost shoe scenario. You will soon get the hang of it
I set the breakfast table the night before.
I hang the uniforms in a designated space and shoes in a specific area so no lost shoes or uniforms in the morning rush.
I take a photo of all appointments and homework for the week so I can recheck and don't miss stuff/forget payment for xyz
start to give her a tiny amount of responsibility from day one eg when she's finished reading, she returns her book to her book bag, or places her school shoes by the door when she's done with them each afternoon. Far easier to incrementally train them to remember stuff than do it yourself.
Yes to setting the breakfast table the night before.
Decide what your expectations are in terms of DC getting themselves ready - if you'd like them to dress themselves maybe think of an incentive (eg one programme on tv if they're dressed by x time). I know it's frowned upon on here but I still help mine a lot in the morning as DD particularly is not a morning person and struggles with everything.
If you have different people picking up DC on different days, email the class teacher a simple schedule so they know what's going on.
Get on class WhatsApp group if there is one, there might be a few too many messages occasionally but it's very useful if at 8am you're suddenly not sure if they're supposed to bring in wellies or something like that.
When mine were little I had a pictorial list of jobs to do in the morning for them (eg make bed, eat breakfast, brush teeth, get dressed etc) with the reward of tv at the end. I found dressing after breakfast worked for me as I did not have enough uniform for them to change into when they spilt milk down their front!
When they started having reading books I actually found it easier to do reading before school. They were less tired and I had less to do.
We 'practice' getting up a couple of days early after the summer holidays. Ours go back on a Wednesday this year so we will be setting the alarm for normal for school on Monday and getting dc out of bed, giving them breakfast at the time they would have it when going to school etc. They're usually a little bit slow and lethargic the first couple of days but by the time it's actual school they're back in the groove a bit. (Also gets their erm toilet routine back and we don't have as many
I need a poo incidents halfway to school)
Decide your level of involvement with PTFA, school trips etc and stick to it.
We have a box for each child where they put shoes/book bag near the front door so they're always there.
I did have a weekly list on the wall at some point with what they needed for each day- so Monday: PE kit, Tuesday: flute etc. For them to check- also handy to glance at when in a hurry.
When I pick mine up before we leave school premises I always check that they have coats and jumpers, check for any letters, check they don’t need the toilet, and when older I would check they had changed their reading books. It is so much easier to sort things out at the end of the day than at the beginning.
Phone calendar, shared with partner, of all upcoming school events, parties etc.
As pp said about practising morning routine, mine will also start school night bedtime next week then do the morning routine a few days before. Morning doesn’t work if they are still up a little later.
We have a little box in the kitchen with loose change in it, little envelopes, a pad and pen as well as a few paper clips. This is very handy when they suddenly announce they need 20p or suddenly produce a letter from a pocket that needs signing or you need to give something to the teacher (the DC go to before school club, I know the teacher looks in their reading book everyday in reception so the easiest way to get a message like "DD is going home with X today" was to attach it to her reading record).
Also, reply to party invitations the day they come home and note the crucial details (name, venue, time) on the calendar there & then. And stock up on some generic cards & presents now.
Don't get them dressed until last. The number of children who turn up with breakfast/toothpaste down their jumpers is unbelievable!
Leave PE kit in school for the full half term. It will NOT need washing every week! Write their names in everything! Check reading bags daily for notes home. Don't put a note in the bag expecting your DC to remember to hand it in, give it to the teacher yourself.
Try to remember that the teacher has 29 other children to teach, so if your DC comes home with their skirt inside out, or shoes on the wrong feet, don't make a song and dance about it in the whatsapp group page!
If they have a packed lunch, don't send in too much food.
When you pick your DC up at home time, don't have your phone out, don't bring them sweets, do give them a great big hug and ask them if they've had a lovely day.
Remember, if their friend falls out with them one day, it's NOT bullying!
Don't be dragged into one upmanship with other parents on the playground, it isn't a competition what colour book band your child is on.
When you drop off in the morning, let your DC go in and sort themselves out hanging their coat up, putting book bag in the right place etc. Make a quick get away! If they see you lingering looking a bit upset, they will become upset. The majority of children by far who might cry at drop off will stop crying the moment you're gone.
I am really disorganized. But I got through by making good school gate/mum friends and checking school website regularly.
It's nothing really to worry too much about. You will get used to it.
I found buying 2 pairs of School shoes help, at least we don't have the "wheres the shoes" every morning. Also helpful too when the shoes come home wet and the weather isn't cold enough to put the heaters on.
My best friend has 3 kids and has these plastic drawer units, 5 drawers in each unit (Mon-Fri) and she fills them every Sunday with clothes for the whole week, pants, vests, socks the whole lot and whatever else they need to take on a particular day, they live on her landing. When dd3 goes to school I'll do the same it's a brilliant idea.
My two best tips are:
Check their book bag after school everyday for letters, and deal with them as soon as possible. I add to calendar, fill in any consent form and put it under my keys to take in the next morning and make any payments online asap and then stick the letter on the noticeboard,
Have a list up of what they need and where they need to be each day (homework, pe kit, swimming kit, afterschool club, snack etc). Then all brainpower is taken out of remembering what they need each morning.
As soon as the weekly newsletter/email comes out write every date on your calendar along with anything required eg
“Raising money for disadvantaged otters day - wear purple”
I am quite organised - any dates go straight onto calendar, letters into kitchen noticeboard, bag checked night before blah blah blah. HOWEVER if your school is anything like ours, they'll send some messages by letter, others by word of mouth, email or pinned up in window (where people who use breakfast/after school club won't see it). They managed to tell one year group about an early finish for Xmas and nobody else last year. So get on the WhatsApp group and assume that any info you get is probably only half the story.
OP, I did reading each morning, whilst brushing putting up hair. I started it from day one, so it was just part of the routine and never had any battles about it, and meant it never got missed.
Have a pile of name stickers and a black sharpie at the ready for last minute labelling of everything and anything at short notice. There will be all sorts of things your child is asked to bring to school that you’ll never have thought of.
Join the PTA Facebook page
Join the Parents year group page (great for reminders)
Put a purse in her bag with £1 in change for cake sales etc so if you forget they aren't stuck
Calender for dress down days
Put stuff for the next day in the hall where you'll trip over it! Book bag shoes coat kit etc
Pay for meals and trips on time
Send letters for parents evening straight away etc
Google calendar - put in:
- all school holidays/inset days
- all regular things (musical instruments etc)
- class assembly dates
- countless pta requests during Christmas/summer fair prep
- everything else (including parties) as soon as dates are set
Set alerts for all activities.