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6. Nail up a notice board
Keep a notice board at "base camp" so that you can pin up reminders, invitations, school menus or whatever else you need to keep tabs on.
7. Do it now!
If anything comes home from school that requires your attention, do it immediately. Fill out forms and put them straight back into satchel. Write dates into your diary there and then, and reply same day too. If you postpone it, you will forget it!
8. Give homework a home
Establish a place and time for doing homework and stick to it. Keep dictionaries and other necessary books nearby, as well as a spare set of pencils, rulers and other stationery you might need. Make sure that homework is put back into satchels as soon as it is completed and that satchels are returned to "base camp" straightaway. Get out a kitchen timer if kids are reluctant to start (or finish!)
9. Be prepared
If your car is running short of petrol (gas), fill it up on way home from school in afternoon rather than panicking following morning! As you drive home, run a mental check on whether you have necessary supplies for dinner, and breakfast. Nothing makes kids more miserable in morning than an empty fridge.
10. Get ahead
Set your alarm to wake you up 10 minutes earlier than usual. You will be amazed at how much more in control that 10 minutes will make you feel. And finally, leave for school 5 minutes early. Arriving early takes away an enormous amount of stress and will put your children in right mood for school.
Are you convinced? Start initiating some routines in your school days and you and your kids will feel benefits very quickly. Making sure that your kids feel comfortable and in control before they get to school gives them best possible start to a school day. And once they get used to afternoon and evening routines for homework and preparation for day ahead, nighttimes become more peaceful too.
"We first make our habits, and then our habits make us." ~ John Dryden
Lindsay Small is the creator and editor of Activity Village - providing the ultimate one-stop resource for parents and teachers looking to educate and entertain their kids. Visit the website at http://www.ActivityVillage.co.uk and subscribe to the free newsletter at http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/free_newsletter.htm