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Secrets from a Teacher: Plan Ahead

As a teacher, I was required to write lesson plans.  And quite honestly, it was one of the best parts of the job.  I loved searching for ideas, organizing my thoughts, and getting ready for the week.

Unless you are homeschooling (or a stay at home mom to little ones) you probably don’t need to schedule out your entire day, but planning ahead still has some merit.  Think about it – which evening goes more smoothly? The one where supper is in the crock pot and ready for your hungry little mouths at 5:30?  Or the evening when your kids tell you they’re hungry and you haven’t a clue what you’re going to feed them?

Unfortunately for my family, the latter happens more often than not at my house.  The kids are starving, the turkey is still frozen solid and I have no idea what to make for supper. 

And then there are Saturday morning soccer games.  How do they sneak up on me so quickly?  It was on the calendar all week, but we still run around like maniacs looking for the jersey, shin guards and socks every week!

The solution to these problems?  PLAN AHEAD!

plan ahead

It sounds so simple in writing, doesn’t it?

Every good lesson plan lists the supplies needed.  And every good teacher makes sure those supplies are ready to go well in advance.  (A good routine helps guarantee this.  I used to get the spelling packets ready every Monday before school.  Boom! I didn’t even have to think about it and it was done! And let’s face it, mindless copying and stapling was a good job for early Monday mornings.)

So, let’s try an experiment together.  On your weekly calendar, try listing the “supplies needed” for each event and get those things ready the day before.

  • Soccer: jersey, socks, shin guards
  • Sunday School: church clothes, church shoes, snacks
  • HomeShed sale: receipt books, Red Granite Farm sweatshirt, toolbox

As a teacher, I used a daily organizer like this to make sure all my supplies were ready to go. 

The small baskets may not work for a family, but a closet organizer would be great for laying everything out in advance. (affiliate link)

As I write this, I wonder how I could possibly have taken my job as a teacher so seriously, but fail so miserably as a parent in many, many ways.  Of course my home is not a classroom, but there are so many aspects of classroom management and teaching that would make my life as a parent easier.  Is it ironic that the first tips I’m focusing on are the ones that I need to put into practice more often in my own life?

(This post is part of a Secrets from a Teacher to Make You a Better Parent, a part of the write31days.com challenge.  The best way to keep up with this series is to subscribe via email here.)

Would you like to comment?

  1. It is because you didn't have two little kids running around while trying to get things organized. You were able to get organized before any kids were running around... :)

  2. I love the idea of organizing the week's supplies by day. Thanks for the tip!

    Also don't beat yourself up with words like fail. Most of us run our private lives less rigidly than our work ones!

  3. This is totally true! As a former teacher myself, I used to mentor interns and first-year teachers. The first thing I always told them was to get organized and be prepared - PLAN AHEAD. Obviously, you can't plan for everything, but the day sure goes a tad more smoothly when you do! :)