I have a thing about Sundays. They can sometimes feel like all you are doing is preparing for the following week – errands and chores galore. And while I think that some amount of preparation on a Sunday is a good thing, it has to be balanced out with a little each day – so that you can have some well deserved rest at the weekend as well.
One thing I am trying to remove from Sundays for that very reason is preparing my daughter for school the following week, and I’ve found that doing this on a Friday works well as a great alternative.
Why?, well: –
- It only takes a little extra time when you walk through the door on a Friday night
- You are unpacking everything anyway – so why not take a few more minutes to get straight for Monday
- You have the promise of a whole weekend ahead to do more of what makes you smile.
- If you need something – or something has broken – then you have time to replace/fix – the shops are open and stress levels stay in tact!
As my little girl is only 8 there are still lots of things I do for her in terms of sorting her out for school of course. But as she gets older a lot more of this can be delegated to her instead.
The key here is not necessarily WHO does it, but WHEN it will be done – as this will be a habit that continues throughout her life (even getting ready for work ahead of time etc….).
So, the easiest way to take you through what happens, is to go through it step by step.
What I Do On A Friday As Soon As We’re Back From School
#1 – Unpack And Repack School Bag
I check to see if there are any notes from school / homework etc….
Put anything back in the bag that doesn’t need to be looked at again, and action any letters etc.. (reply there and then, and put back in school bag ready for Monday).
Anything that we can’t do right then goes in a plastic folder for me to deal with over the weekend.
NOTE FOR HOMEWORK – usually she gets this mid week, so we try and get at least some of it done in the week, and if not, depending on what it is and what the plans are for the weekend, we decide when is best to finish it. This means it can be forgotten about until that time so it’s not forever hanging over her head (Getting it done and out of the way as quickly as possible is a great habit, so Sunday stays clear – there’s nothing worse than waiting until the last minute if it can be avoided).
#2 – Add Items To Bag That Are Needed
There may be other things that are needed at school the following week, that are carried in her school bag.
These could include things like money / snacks / books etc… – so I add those in at this stage as well so they can be forgotten about.
#3 – Wash And Dry Water Bottle And Lunch Box
There is nothing worse than stagnant water that’s been in a bottle for days, or food left in a lunch box – so I make sure that any food/drink taken to school is sorted out and the storage items are fresh and ready for the following week.
#4 – Check Diary
As with most of my lists of what to do to be prepared, the diary comes into play!
I check the diary for the week ahead to see if there are any classes or events that need specific items (swimming, musical instrument etc…) and make sure everything is ready for those.
TIP – Leave items for school in a place where you can easily grab them. I have a basket where we keep her school bags / books etc… in the kitchen which keeps it all contained and handy. Only things that are needed on Monday will go into her school bag itself.
TIP – Set an alarm (recurring each week if needed) for the night before each class that needs something taken in – that way when the alarm goes off you can grab what’s needed and leave by the front door. As time passes you will get used to each days requirements and it will become habit.
TIP – Have a weekly planner visible and fill this out each week so that kids can see what they have each day as well – helps them to know what’s going on and to start getting organised themselves.
#4 – Check All Uniform
Any uniform from the Friday goes straight into the wash (including PE kit if its brought home), and then we hang up a full clean uniform in her wardrobe there and then so we know that at worst she has uniform for Monday already done.
We also check if shoes need polishing or her coat needs washing – as then there is plenty of time to get that done as well.
TIP – Make sure you have 3 sets of uniform. 1 to wear, 1 in wash, and 1 ready to wear. That way you should always be prepared and be able to avoid late night washing/ironing sessions
#5 – Relax
aaaand – we’re done! – It’s Friday and the whole weekend is ahead of us, but we can be safe in the knowledge that everything’s sorted (or on it’s way to being sorted) so we can relax properly. Perfect!
When do you get things sorted for school? Have you tried Fridays?
It all sounds like a lot to do – but honestly it takes no more than 20-30 minutes once you get into the habit of it (not including Homework, of course!) – and it feels amazing to know that it’s all done and dusted and ready for Monday.
The other good thing is that my daughter then knows that she can pretty much forget about school for the weekend then, and enjoy the break. I find that if I try and check with her what’s what in her bag, she’s much more clear about it on a Friday straight after school – so there’s less hassle there as well.