The relentless routine of school and how to survive it – Term 1

February 2 this year we started big school.  I say we, because it was a baptism of fire for us all.  I wrote the below post when we were in the thick of the chaos.  I thought about changing it but I like it just the way it is, and I thought maybe you would too.

PS – I have to say Term 2 is much more relaxed or at least organised and we are much calmer! Maybe I’ll write a post to review the end of each term! 

Term 1 – 2015 – March

Each morning as I slowly wake up I try to remember what it is that’s changed in daily life for me and the little people. Then in it hits me like a brick, school. Big school has begun. It’s every day and it’s here to stay. For one point five more seconds I am sad that there will be no more weekday pyjama days. Now that Mr Five has started big school we run to a routine and it relentless.

There’s no lounging around and having a pyjama day if we feel like it, there’s no cruising into kindy at 9 or 9.30 or on a bad day 10. We run to a timetable and a strict one.

Up at 7.00am, breakfast by 7.30am, toilet, teeth, wash, bed made, school clothes on by 8.00am. Some school reading, letters or snap cards if there’s time, then lunch from the fridge, check for water bottle, hat, library bag/reading folder/tuckshop order and down the stairs by 8.30am.   Well at least that’s the aim.

In the car, battle the two school traffic in a tiny town and scramble out of the car at 8.45 for the long trek (trust me with a two and five year old it can be long and slow) to the traffic light and then back up the other side to school to wait for the 8.55am bell and a 9.00am start.

Phew I’m exhausted just writing about it.

You would think that two hours is enough time to get two small people ready and out the door but somehow, some days it just isn’t enough. Especially when Mr two decides that walking down the stairs is a great time to give you a little present in his toilet training Dusty Crophopper undies. But that’s okay there will be days when you win.

Take your wins when they come and run with them.

Some days will have you sitting on the silver benches having a leisurely conversation with Jenny while Ruben plays handball with Sam and Max chases Maya. The bell will go and Ruben will go and line up in an orderly fashion with his school bag in place and nary a complaint to be heard.

Some days will go pear shape, let them go.

Some days you will be screaming like a banshee and even your neighbours will know your kids aren’t dressed yet. There will be breakfast cereal all over the table, a wee on the floor and wet sheets still on the bed. You will get in the car and realise that the school bag is still upstairs. You will fly out the very narrow roller door, proximity sensors squealing and roar down to school at 8.50am for the 8.55am line up. The morning line up won’t go so well and you will find yourself putting Mr 5 into line with a gentle nudge.

So you take the wins with the pear shape days, but there are a few tips that can help you get through the morning a little more easily.

6 tips to help you get out of the door quickly and calmly

  1. Hug your kids in the morning. Have a quick cuddle and a whisper in their ears while the sleep in their eyes.  Enjoy the calm quiet moment, it may be your last for the morning.
  2. Get the kids to empty school bags including giving you notes, reading folders, library bags, lunch boxes and water bottles the night before
  3. Get the lunches/tuckshop orders made the night before
  4. Have uniforms cleaned, ironed and hanging up for the week and the blue socks are in the draw on Sunday night
  5. Start a pictorial job chart so that the kids can tick off each of their jobs like teeth cleaning
  6. Offering (okay maybe bribe is a more accurate word) cartoons or ipad when the kids are fully ready and you still  need a shower can work wonders
  7. Breathe – inhale, exhale it will all be over by 9.10am.

It is relentless but in the words of Arnold Schwarzenegger, “You can do this” and each day, week, month you will do it and it will get easier.

And did I mention that the school holidays are only three weeks away?