What do you mean you need to make a model of the solar system and it is due in tomorrow?!

The Scene: An ordinary suburban kitchen around 4pm the Sunday before school reopens after half term…

The Characters: First we have Mum, who has just sat down with a cup of tea and is inwardly congratulating herself on being fully prepared for the first day back to school – all uniform washed and ironed – all bags packed – all school shoes present and correct.

Then we have The Boy – who without taking his eyes off the PlayStation screen announces – ‘Oh, I just remembered – I was supposed to make a model of the solar system over half term – it’s due in tomorrow’.

The ensuing panic is something most parents will experience at some point during their child’s school days. The hastily cobbled together project, then usually in truth, involves the parents hurriedly making and child simply observing. The end result is a learning opportunity wasted. Parents working or looking after younger siblings and the demands from school ever increasing can make keeping track of the to do list seem like a full time job in itself.

Communicating about homework projects, announcements about events or reminders about dress up days and charity events can be one of the trickiest issues parents and schools face. It would seem ridiculous that in our constantly connected world the message that little Freddie needs to come dressed as a Roman Soldier this Friday can still fail to get through. Most schools have a weekly newsletter and a Facebook Group, a school website and even a text messaging system, but there will always be the ones who miss the message, myself included. We’re lucky if there is a super organised parent who will do his or her best to ensure that everyone is up to speed.

As a parent I’d like a little bit more warning sometimes of the need to turn a sheet into a Toga. Involving parents in medium term planning is something which some schools do – an outline of what is being covered that term and any key dates and projects given in advance can be a godsend for busy parents.

I miss the days of the printed school newsletter and the simple system I used to have of fishing the crumpled sheet of A4 out of the bottom of a damp school bag. I’d pin it straight on to the notice board in the kitchen and highlight any dates with bright orange pen. Whilst I get that schools want to cut down on printing costs and the cost to the environment, it always seemed to be a far easier way. Our digital worlds are so huge these days that request for half a dozen iced cupcakes with stars on can so easily get lost in the cloud.

We’ve created a printable which will help keep you on track with 7 weeks or approximately half a terms worth of ‘must do’s and don’t forgets’

Download your free copy here – whether you print or use it digitally it’s up to you but we hope it helps…