How Do You Tackle The School Run? | Mother Distracted

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Monday, 28 March 2016

How Do You Tackle The School Run?

For some reason the media seems a little bit obsessed with the morning school run at the moment. If they’re not reporting on parents being banned from wearing pyjamas at the school gates, they’re now musing about the time we spend getting the kids ready before the bell goes.

Stack of children's books - how do you tackle the school run? - motherdistracted.co.uk
Are you organised for the school run?
Hitting the headlines recently has been a debate about the ultra organised, which appears to have first stemmed from this Australian blogger’s post about her personal approach to school organisation, which involves setting up a special headquarters in her home that’s exclusively dedicated to school prep.

It’s a rather nifty idea that many other mums and dads across the globe also seem to have put into action into varying degrees and as articles about the post gained momentum, parents started sharing their own hints and tips for tackling the school run more smoothly.

Feeling inspired? This post will explore the age-old problems that cause parents stress on weekday mornings and offer simple solutions to help you triumph.

Setting up a school station

Setting up a special zone where you keep kids school bags, coats and shoes along with other items such as letters from school, reading books and brollies might at first seem a little extreme. But be honest, how many times have you been late out the door because someone’s shoe had gone missing?

It is of course possible to get everything ready without having a special area of the house dedicated to it, but designating a space to that particular purpose will hopefully stop the chaos spreading and encourage responsibility among children to keep their kit in order!

If you don’t have a dedicated porch or utility room to convert you consider sectioning off a segment of your hallway. You could do this simply with a curtain or install some internal bi-fold doors then if things do start becoming a little bit messy, at least you can close things off.

Ultra-organised mums recommend dividing kids school kit into separate shelves or lockers or using hooks at different levels to create special spots for each child to get ready to leave the house. These IKEA shelves have little cupboards already built in.

Labelling each child’s shelf or hooks and putting up a simple schedule that shows their activities for each day of the week will remind them what they need to back on what day, which should mean less time spent chasing children with PE kits.

Along with their regular weekly routine, you could also include a place where they can record ad hoc weekly activities such as school trips or non-uniform days.

The school run rules

Do you have particular rules that you follow as a family each morning or evening? Perhaps each child is responsible for their own packed lunch? Does homework have to be checked and transferred to schoolbags before bedtime? Do smartphones stay off until everyone is packed up and ready to go?

Maybe you have a quick chat with your little ones before bed to make sure everyone is on track for a fuss free exit? Or perhaps you all have set bathroom times?

We all have little rules that we try and stick to, sometimes they work and others they go out the window but how do you make sure they’re drilled into everyone? Would you go as far as having them printed and put on display?

How much help is too much?

While ultra organisation undoubtedly saves precious time in the mornings and might prevent a row or two also, there has been some debate over just how much of a head start you should give kids with getting ready.

By putting together rules and regulations and specialist school stations, are we taking responsibility away from children and stopping them from developing their own solutions and strategies?

There’s definitely an argument that time saved getting ready means more quality time as a family elsewhere and there’s got to be something said for having parents that are less stressed too.

Technically, a lot of the responsibility for getting things ready could still fall with the kids, leaving you to check things over before departure, but does ultra organisation stop kids from thinking for themselves?

Stack of exercise books and pencil - how do you tackle to school run - motherdistracted.co.uk
Oh to be organised!

What do you think? Does it pay to be super organised in the morning? Do you already have your own school station in place in your home or perhaps a set of published rules or a timetable for getting ready? What works for you and your kids?

*collaborative post

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