How To Stay Organised Throughout The School Year!
Trying to stay organised throughout the school year can be stressful for a lot of parents, especially working parents.
If you've got more than one child, then you've got to be super organised to stay on top of it all.
So what are some things we parents can do to keep the stress levels down during the school year?
The KEY WORD here is organised, so let's get organised :-)
There is loads of information and articles, backed with medical and scientific proof of the benefits of a good nights sleep. While it's important for adults, it's even more important for growing kids. When kids are sleeping, they are growing, resting their bodies and minds, and if unwell, they are healing. The following is the recommended amount of sleep for kids:
- Infants under 1 year: 12-16 hours
- Children 1-2 years old: 11-14 hours
- Children 3-5 years old: 10-13 hours
- Children 6-12 years old: 9-12 hours
- Teenagers 13-18 years old: 8-10 hours
Some kids are really good sleepers, and others are not. Personally, if I have any issues getting my kid to sleep, then I get him into bed, and put on guided relaxation mediation on Youtube. Works every time, and he is usually asleep within a couple of minutes.
Some other great ways to get kids to sleep are: a nice quiet dark room with slow piano or nature music, or read a story to them as part of the bedtime routine.
If you can get the sleep routine down pat, then this will help to reduce your stress levels, and you will also get the luxury of a good night's sleep. No-one wants to be grumpy and/or lethargic from lack of sleep.
2) Meal Plans For Healthy Eating
Research shows that there are certain foods, that can attribute to student performance. We are all busy these days, so it's very easy just throw those packets of chippies, single wrapped shop bought biscuits etc into the lunch box. In a recent article I read, research was conducted on: if household income affected what was going into kids lunch boxes, and surprisingly, it didn't. Even wealthier families are going for the fast easy option of highly processed foods in the lunch boxes.
Some schools provide a tuck shop menu for kids, but even these have been under scrutiny of late. Quiet a lot of the tuck shop food is in need of an overhaul, it's been reported.
The easy packet foods we are packing in the kids lunch boxes, or they are purchasing from the tuck shop, are either/or loaded with sugar, highly processed, contain large amounts of saturated fats, and or refined carbohydrates.
Meal prepping is a great way to stay on top of the healthy eating for lunch boxes, which is something that I'm trying to get better at myself.
For some facts on how diet and nutrition affect a child's ability in the classroom, then please go to this link and get informed: https://www.publicschoolreview.com/blog/how-diet-and-nutrition-impact-a-childs-learning-ability
Prepping meals, and having healthy nutritious meals in the fridge and freezer ready to go can really help to stay organised throughout the school year.
Many parents get their kids involved in the kitchen from a very young age, and those parents then reap the benefits, as those kids can prepare their own food earlier than others.
Another way to do this and still have plenty of space, is to invest in a chest freezer to store all the pre-made food. At least this way, you know what's going into the food, which is better than bought frozen meals, and snacks that may contain undesirable ingredients. Take it a step further, and label the food with the dates it was made.
Get organised food wise :-)
Most schools have a calendar on their website and or app, so if you take a look at the school calendar, then you can find out when lots of things are on, such as: events, camps, tests, exams, excursions etc. Get ahead with the planning by using the school calendar.
If you want to take it a step further, then you can either write up a calendar for each child by hand, use a white board, or pop it all into your outlook, gmail or whatever email provider you use, then set up reminders. While this may seem a difficult task, believe me, it can come in handy. One of the benefits though of either a written or whiteboard system, in place, in the kids sight, is that they can then become accountable to read it each morning, and prepare everything for the day/week/month/term themselves.
You can also incorporate any after school activities into the calendar.
I've always found that using the school calendar to prepare for the year a fantastic tool. It makes the day to day schedule a lot less stressful.
4) Do Things Ahead Of Time
So we've covered: bedtime routine, preparing food ahead, and the calendar ahead, so what are some other things we can do ahead of time to get organised throughout the school year?
^ Purchase uniforms, shoes, stationery (if required at your school) throughout the year. For growing kids, make them a couple of sizes bigger. For example, if there is a sale on ( particularly for designer wear ) then buy them, and keep them in the cupboard ready. This is a neat way to make sure that your kids are well kept, especially through the teenage years, when designer clothes are all the rage, and more important to them.
Plan any medical appointments ahead of time, for example: dental appointments.
The person that picks up a book, is not the same person when they put it down - Tom Panos.
You can never underestimate the power of reading, and this applies to any age. Knowledge is power!
Apart from the intimate time you get with your kids reading with them, in certain books you can literally transfer your minds to far away places, see yourselves as the characters, and even try to predict what will happen in the story by thinking about what you would do.
Some of the benefits of reading include:
^ Reading strengthens your brain
^ Increases your ability to empathize
^ Builds your vocabulary
^ Helps prevent age-related cognitive decline
^ Reduces stress
^ Prepares you for a good night's rest
^ Helps alleviate depression symptoms
6) Plan Holidays And Chill Out Sometimes
You need to chill out sometimes. Whether that's one day a week, for example the weekend, or mini breaks, or big long breaks. There's companies such as: luxury escapes, that offer 12 months to take your holiday. With Covid it's been difficult for people to plan a holiday. Overseas travel's been difficult, especially with the isolation periods.
You could take a long weekend away to somewhere nearby. You'd be surprised how many local places there might be close to where you live, yet you feel like you're a million miles away. Couran Cove on the Gold Coast is an excellent example of this.
Family time is important time. Time is the one commodity we cannot replace, so enjoy chilled time with your family. It's also an opportunity for great bonding time.
8) Get A Tutor If Needed
The homework that comes home can seem never ending. I don't know what it's like for girls, but many boys would rather be outside playing, or inside playing on their computer games with their friends, than doing their homework.
If you're a working parent, and don't want to fight about it, then you may want to consider a tutor, to assist getting all the homework out of the way with your kids.
There's a false misconception that tutors are for kids that are behind on their school work. Many parents get tutors or even high school students to assist their kids with homework. The relationship is different with a tutor, so kids are more likely to do the work. With mum, they can get their way out of it, with comments like: " I'll do it tomorrow night," or " in the weekend."
Save yourself the mental stress, and delegate a tutor or high school student for this task.
There are so many other little things that you can do as well to make life much easier when you're organised for the school year. Join your school social media groups. Refine it even more, with your kid's grade page/s to keep up to date and informed throughout the year. This is also a great way to get to know other parents.
We hope that our " How To Stay Organised Throughout The School Year " blog has been informative for you, and thank you for reading :-)
Kim - Personal Assistant To The Creative Director - Josh