How To Get To School On Time
I have a confession to make – I’m usually the parent hurling their kids out of the car onto the footpath in the drop-and-run zone as the bell goes at 9:00am (give or take a couple of minutes!) It’s a rare morning that my kid doesn’t have to run to class. So I’m writing this guide for myself as much as I am for anyone else, because organisation and time management don’t come naturally to me. I need a plan! (And then I need to actually stick to it….)
So here are my 5 tips to help you (and me) get to school on time this year.
Prepare lunches the night before
What’s the saying? Fail to prepare – prepare to fail. This applies doubly to school lunches. When I’m being a super-organised (it comes in bursts) I’ll prepare lunches WEEKS in advance. I buy 2-3 loaves of bread, and I make up 2-3 different kinds of sandwiches (super simple ones like jam, honey or Vegemite.) And then put the pre-made sandwiches back in the bread bag – label the bag with what spread is on it – and put them in the freezer. Average loaf of bread makes 10-12 sandwiches, so each loaf covers one child for at least a fortnight.
Then in the morning I’ll just finish up their lunch box by adding a piece of fruit or two, and either a piece of cake (also, prepared in bulk and frozen) or a packet of crackers etc from the cupboard. Just make sure you have “grabbable” snacks on hand.
Use Lunch Containers With Lids Permanently Attached
In the morning when you take the pre-made sandwiches out of the freezer you want to be able to just toss it right in a lunch box – without having to rummage around the “Tupperware cupboard” for 20 minutes looking for a goddamned lid that probably doesn’t even exist anymore. Sandwich or lunch boxes like the ones from Nude Food Movers are a major time saver in my house.
Lay Out Uniforms the Night Before
I know, I know – it’s the most obvious advice ever. BUT it’s important. And not just the uniform. Get out their socks, undies, singlet, hat – everything. Absolutely everything. Even hair ties if you have to. While there’s a 90% chance my son will still stand in this bedroom shouting “I can’t find my socks” and I go in and say “They’re right there in front of you!” at least I know that there is a complete uniform clean, dry and ready to go. It’s no good finding out at 8:45 am that the kid is out of clean socks.
Allocate Time Frames For Your Routine
If you’re like me and you have a really poor sense of time and how long things will take, have your morning planned to the minute. It’s important to allow reasonable time frames for how long your kids normally complete their morning tasks, rather than how long you think it should take. (I’m pretty sure my optimism that is partly responsible for making me late. Because I think 5 minutes is a perfectly reasonable amount of time for getting dressed, but my children prove me wrong every. Single. time.)
7:30 am – Wake up
7:45 am – Breakfast
8:10 am – Get Dressed
8:25 am – Pack School Bags
8:30 am – Brush Teeth
8:40 am – Leave house
(Though this is a much more accurate version of our school morning routine)
Again, this is advice for me just as much as it is for anyone else. Don’t stress – or at least try to stay calm. Stress leads to the shouting and the not thinking. Neither of which will get us to school any quicker and just makes the whole process unpleasant for everyone. Remember – it’s not the end of the world if the kids are late to school. And if you can keep your cool the chances of getting to school on time are greatly increased.