Expert Advice

Fat Mum Slim's 4 tips for surviving the school term

Chantelle Ellem shares her advice on how to avoid the morning meltdowns and make it to the finish line of the first term.

By Chantelle Ellem aka Fat Mum Slim.
With my baby, Lulu beginning her first year of school this year, we like many households started the year with high hopes and trying new things to make sure everything is organised and gets done - from keeping lunch-boxes nutritious and interesting, staying on top of homework deadlines, and ensuring that school uniforms are clean and ready for the day …
But after a few weeks, we've started to lose sight of the light at the end of the tunnel. Hang in there, I've got some simple tips to make the rest of the school term is breezy and brilliant.
Little Lulu began school this year, and the time for getting (and staying) organised is NOW! Image: Fat Mum Slim.

1. Create a family organisation centre

As all busy parents know kids need consistency and discipline in their lives and so do we! Create a space that will become your family's go-to place for staying organised near the kitchen. In our home we have wall calendar which is easy to follow and lists out Lulu and parents schedules, a chore chart, a folder for the numerous notes you accumulate throughout the week and a meal planner.
Having a routine and having your kids pitch in for easy jobs means the whole family stay productive and accountable, freeing up time for things activities, you and your family love!

2. Create deadlines that are before the real deadline

Finding your family rhythm, like anything, requires trial and error. Don't be afraid to lay down some ground rules as a framework and go from there. Avoid the last-minute tasks by putting a deadline into your calendar for important tasks at least two days before they are due. Replicate these reminders in a digital calendar so there is no way to miss them - this will feel like a life-saver!
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3. Create a lunch box creation station.

Food preparation is key to avoid the morning mayhem. Simply label baskets in your pantry for: breakfast, lunch boxes, snacks and fun treats. By separating sections, it makes it simple for kids to pack their own lunches, and by giving them options this can get them excited about their lunch – and better save you time.
A favourite recipe I've created this year is MAGGI 2-Minute Noodle Nuggets. This is a tasty and time-savvy noodle nugget recipe that are a versatile and fun snack that keeps LuLu (and myself) satisfied – made with the goodness of whole grains, they're freezable meals, a great school or after-school snack, and fantastic solution when we're short of time!
Noodle nuggets - who knew? Image: Fat Mum Slim.

4. Declutter once a week

At the end of each week, as a family we go through all the school notes, brochures and newsletter announcements in the school bag to ensure we keep on top of all school stuff and then we recycle these that week – this is a simple tweak, which allows you to plan for the week ahead and not hold to unnecessary clutter – it allows for a fresh start and you'll feel lighter coming into the new week.
Implementing these simple tweaks and time-saving tips will keep you feeling organised and in control of the school routine and will make the last few weeks of T1 a breeze!