I can’t believe that the school year is half over already! While I am certainly not wishing this last week of the school holidays to move any faster than it has to (in fact I’d be happy with an extra week please!) I am quietly preparing for the second semester to start because I desperately want to be organised.
On the whole the girls starting school did wonders for my organisation. For a start it got us all out of bed and going before 9am, almost unheard of before the whole school thing! But there are a few things about school life that I despise…
Making School Lunches.
I hate making school lunches. I hate that I have to come up with something that my girls will eat. I hate that I have to do it five times a week. I hate that I have to make sure that I buy enough food to last a week of lunches, and make sure that no one else eats it before the week is up. School lunches are not my favourite thing.
School lunches are a little more bearable if I am organised.
A friend happened to mention that she makes ham rolls a week in advance and freezes them, so I tried it, and lo and behold they freeze great and at least Zoe will eat them every day! Izzy likes tuna in her rolls and while I’ve discovered that doesn’t freeze well, I can pre cut and freeze plain bread rolls and then all I have to do is fill them the night before and put them in the fridge till the morning.
My girls like tiny teddies and the like but they are expensive so I’m going to try and get back in the habit of making and freezing sausages of biscuit dough from my Hundred’s of Biscuits recipe. I’m going to experiment with making tiny little biscuits and see if they have the same ‘cute’ factor. I’m also going to buy a few more nude food movers tubes (does anyone know if I can just get lids alone?) and start backing other snacks a week in advance, to save me time and stop everyone eating everything.
And I’m going to cut myself some slack while the renovations are happening and allow for one lunch order for each of the girls once a month… $6 and two home made pizza’s won’t kill anyone.
Keeping Track of Stuff
My girls are not exactly on the ball when it comes to keeping track of their belongings. Izzy lost her school jacket no less than four times last semester. Luckily it managed to find it’s way back each time but she lost two last year which does not bode well for the next 11 or so years of school uniform wearing. And then there are the drink bottles… we just keep losing those too, as well as hats and hair ribbons.
This semester I am re-labelling everything. We’ve had name labels in the past but while they were pretty to look at they just didn’t stay stuck. This time my lovely new sponsor Bright Star Kids sent me some stick on and iron labels to try and so far I’m loving them. We put the stick on labels to the ultimate ‘frozen drink bottle test’ and they are still stuck fast. So I’m going crazy and sticking labels on everything and anything. It’s an ongoing battle to get the girls to keep track of their stuff but I’m hopeful that, if they do lose stuff (and they will) we have at least a fighting chance of it coming back.
Keeping Track of Events
Monday is violin day. Tuesday Izzy has show and tell. Wednesday it’s Zoe’s turn for Show and Tell. Thursday is library day and Friday they have sport. I can barely remember what day of the week it is, let alone what needs to go to school on any given day. And having to come up with a kick arse show and tell item five minutes before we need to leave for school does my head in! (oh how I loathe show and tell)
I need to get on top of this so I’ve played around with my weekly menu planner and come up with a very simple kid’s weekly schedule. Hopefully this will serve as a visual reminder to both me and the girls so there is no more mad dashes back to school to drop off violins or library bags. Click on the image above and you can download a pdf version of the schedule if you like.
Help me out here…
Have you got any fail-safe tips for managing school lunches, keeping track of stuff and remembering what day of the week it is?
Read the comments or scroll down to add your own:
I DETEST making school lunches five nights a week…I think it is because we always land up making it when we are so tired.
I have given up sending lunch boxes to school for my boys, because they forget to bring them home because they are not allowed back to their upstairs classrooms…and getting a 2 week old lunch box returned with old fruit and veg in it is just not pleasant. Eeeuw.
So, I hate to admit, I have gone the unenvironmentally friendly route and use brown paper bags and ziplocks…and there is less washing up to do each night (!)
Luckily my kids like cut up veggies and hummus, so on Sunday night I cut, peel, wash veggies for the week and keep them in a container of water. When I am making lunch I just pop them straight into a ziplock…quick and easy.
And yes…Thank God there is such a thing as “Lost Property.” We frequent that quite often. *sigh*
Ahh I am going to try keeping the cut up veg in water, it always just dries out and looks rubbish otherwise.
Write your lunch orders out for the term and even pop the money in, if you are doing it for a time saver .. I’ve found it takes me longer to get the paper bag, the canteen list, have the discussion, write it, and then find the right money, than to slap together a peanut butter or vegemite roll and be done with it LOL I save lunch orders for when I’ve been caught short on bread or rolls because I actually find it more effort.
My kids aren’t at school yet, and I’m already dreading school lunches, between the two I have five sessions of kinder boxes to pack and that is something I’ve yet to master.
But what I do do with extra activities is repack their bags as we go. e.g. dancing, we get home, I hang the bag, we wash uniform, once dried it’s placed straight back in the bag, not in the cupboard. That way I know all their essentials are in their home and not getting muddled up. I also do this with their swimming bags too. They hang on thier hooks in the garage on our way out the door all I need to do is grab them. it helps.
Hate school lunches with a passion!
With the hair ribbons, slip the ribbon under one loop of the hair band before tying it into a bow, even if it comes undone, it will still stay under the hairband… increases the chances of it making it home.
Thank you so much for this post. I want to let you know that I posted a link to your blog in CBH Digital Scrapbooking Freebies, under the Page 2 post on Jul. 11, 2011. Thanks again.
the iron on and stick on labels are a must-have for our house.
for a bit of a break from sandwiches i like to make a big batch of pasta salad (great for when the weather warms up. hurry up with that!).
our daughter also loves sushi rolls which can be made the day before.
both our kids have made tags for their bags at school with pictures of what they need to put in their bag each day. eg. monday will have a pic of lunch box, drink, hat, library bag, etc… they are made on pieces of cardboard about 10x8cm and then each piece is laminated and a hole punched in it and they are all attached to their school bag with a keyring. each morning they can check their tag and pack their bag. i love this system.
would love to know if you have any luck finding lids for nudie containers. we have lost a few of those this year…
I have two big magnetic clips, one with each child’s name stuck on it. They are up the fridge and everything that they bring home notewise goes on their clip. It has saved me so many times when I forgot what they need for an excursion, dancing etc, everything is safely in one spot right under my nose! The other essential is my calendar which is in the kitchen where everyone can see it. As soon as a note comes in for an event it gets written on the calendar. At the beginning of each month all the weekly stuff (dancing, karate, library day etc etc) gets written on first. My husbands flies in and out so that goes on too. As I teach fulltime and the kids have more on now they’re older chaos would reign without my calendar!! The kida know to write things on and check it (they are 10 and 13), still training the husband!!
I can’t recommend a bento style lunchbox highly enough. You can do pretty much anything that isn’t boring old sandwiches (which we can’t do anyway what with the whole low gluten thing) but you can still do them as well. For example we put some bean mix, sour cream, corn chips and guacamole in each of the little compartments, clip it up and there you go, lunchtime nachos! And since it was made up from leftovers of dinner, it was absolutely no effort at all to make!
We’ve got this lunchbox – http://www.planetbox.com/
Oh I’ve seen those planet boxes before and thought they were cool… my girls would LOVE the nacho idea too! thanks!
I have the daycare routine down pretty well I think. On Sunday, brown paper lunch bags for the week are labeled and filled with dry snacks (tiny teddies, fruit bars, granola bars, etc) in baggies or plastic containers. I have to make the sandwich the night before or it goes kind of crunchy so that gets added in at the last second along with refridgerated stuff. The backpack never gets put away, only emptied, refilled and left by the door for the morning.
I might have to try your labels, nothing seems to stick to our water bottles. How did they go in the dishwasher?
Also, can you get the Homebrand tiny teddies? They are only $1 a box which I think is a good price. Do you have an ALDI near you? They also have some cheap ones I think.
One other snack suggestion, a co-worker makes museli biscuits. The recipe is on the back of the packet of museli and doesn’t have too many ingredients but they taste great.
so far so good with the bright star kids labels in the dishwasher. They even went from dishwasher to freezer and back and are still stuck… I’m impressed :)
Temi Soboyejo says
i love the schedule but its printing horizontaly
make sure your printer options are set to print ‘landscape’ rather than portrait…. that way it will print across the page not up and down. Hope that helps
My neighbours have 11 kids and all go to school with different sandwhiches! I couldn’t beleive it and one of the kids explained that there is a list of sandwhich choices and they all have to tick what they want each day and thats what they get! Im not sure if they do it on a sunday for the whole week or just the night before but it seems to work beautifully!