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Busy B Mum of 3, Claire, shares her tried and tested tips for getting younger kids organised for school!

1. Be prepared – Prepare snacks and pack lunches into their lunch bags the night before and put in the fridge, so you can easily grab ‘n’ go in the morning. Lay their school clothes out the night before, in the order they should be worn (and making sure they are not inside out!). Have their coats, shoes, gloves and hat along with any bags at the front door so they don’t spend twenty minutes looking for shoes…

2. Set a routine – Kids thrive on routine and once you do something 21 times (although it may feel like 2000 times), it becomes a habit. A good bedtime routine means your kids are less grumpy, ready to learn and you get some adult time. Encourage them by giving them an alarm clock, my son loves his, why not try this Batman one! Set it for 10 minutes earlier than they need to get up, which means if they don’t jump straight out of bed, they can have a little longer to wake up.

3. Independence – ask them to choose their own breakfast (within reason). In our house, we offer a few different options – cereal, toast, fruit – and if they think they are in control they are less likely to have a meltdown. Getting dressed – because their clothes are laid out (see point 1), they know what to put on. Sometimes we set a challenge to see who can get ready the quickest, and if they’re fast, they can watch TV for 10 minutes before leaving the house – it’s amazing how quickly they get themselves ready!

4. Avoid fall out – Give a five minute warning that they’ll be leaving to go to school so they can finish up what they are doing and make sure they go to toilet before they leave! To keep them entertained in the car we listen to Jolly Phonics. You have to sing when it’s a letter in your name, keeps them amused and stops bickering in the car.

5. Feel the love – a big cuddle before waving them into class, if you have a child who doesn’t like you being affectionate in front of their friends (meaning: embarrassed), make up a code – my youngest son holds my hand and we squeeze it three times which means I love you.

6. Treat them – Have a snack ready for them coming out of school, usually two – a healthy one and another more treat type like Bear 2 Strawberry Yo Yos.

7. Home sweet home – Give them some downtime to relax when you get home, this also allows you some time to empty their school bags and lunch bags uninterrupted. Fill out any forms from the school or party invites straight away or you might forget. We enter our information onto our Busy B Family Calendar (http://busyb.co.uk/store/products/calendars-diaries/family-calendar-2016-birds.html) – the pockets are great for keeping invites and forms in.

8. The dreaded homework – Sit down with each child and write out their homework planner for the week, I use the Busy B Homework Planner for this. We usually have a new reading book each night, as well as Literacy and Maths homework. We work out the best day to do each one ensuring they meet any deadlines! This is great to work out in advance so it fits in with their afterschool activities such as Drama and Football. We also add some fun activities each day such as jumping on the trampoline 50 times or cycling home.

What are your handy hints for getting your kids organised for school?

Written by Claire, a Busy B Mum of 3