Before the last-minute back to school rush kicks in, now is a good time to start preparing for the major schedule shift that’s just days away. Along with buying school supplies and organizing your kids’ wardrobe, it’s a good idea to plan out your kids’ school and after-school schedule so that you can make sure you have the right after-school and back-up care in place.
Thinking through your child’s schedule will help you arrange carpooling with friends for after-school activities, schedule the sharing of morning and evening routines with your partner, and make sure you can adjust your work schedule to fit the new school demands. It will also help you to write an appropriate job description for before or after-school care and hire the right candidates.
Believe us, some pre-planning can make the school year run smoothly–here are a few things to consider when it comes to back to school season:
Morning & Afternoon Routines
Think through how you will coordinate school drop off with getting to work on time. What meetings will you need to reschedule? If you like to exercise regularly in the morning, consider alternating the responsibility of the morning routine with your partner. If you can leave work in time to pick up the kids from school, make sure you let your colleagues know your hard stop time. Otherwise, you can arrange after-school care with friends, family or a babysitter.
Plan the homework routine that you’d like your kids to stick to–even if it’s a babysitter or nanny implementing the structure. If they’re not yet getting homework, you might like to charge your carer with maths and writing brain-boosters as well as playful activities. There are many great online courses and apps to help guide you. You can also ask the school for the upcoming year’s curriculum so that you can stay on top of what your child will be focusing on this year.
After-School Activities & Transport
Ask your kids what after-school activities they want to do this year. Once you’ve decided, start planning the logistics: How will you get them to and from practice? What equipment or clothes will they need? What can they do to prepare, e.g read up on the rules of basketball, watch some dance videos, go to some piano recitals? Check with other parents to see if you can plan a carpool system. And if hiring a nanny to shuttle kids around, make sure they have a clean driving record.
Once you get back into the school and work schedule crunch, it’s easy to forget to make plans for the weekend. Include weekend activities on your calendar. Research events and activities that are coming up in your city. Write a list of places you’d like to visit or things you’d like to do either as a family or by yourself. Plan some getaways, making sure they don’t coincide with important sports or weekend school events for the kids.
Are you planning to take time off over the school holidays or will you need to hire holiday care? Can you share a school holiday babysitter with another family so that your kids can hang out with their friends? Plan your needs ahead so that you can make sure your after-school babysitter will be available for longer days during school holidays or you can hire someone for the time that you need them.
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