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Category Archives: Back to School

Teacher appreciation, thank you jar of chocolates

It was Teacher Appreciation Day recently.  My youngest daughters teacher has been absolutely amazing this year and whilst I admit I forgot it was teacher appreciation Day until the night before I wanted to take the time with Miss 9 to put something together for her teacher.  A little thank you from us for always […]

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  • Caroline

    I love these!My children are all grown up now but they would make good gifts for neighbours I’ll be making some for mine this year.ReplyCancel

Tips to organise your home

School holidays for me are about relaxing, spending time with the kids and getting the house back into order.  Sometimes life just gets busy and cupboards get messy and piles start appearing.  Here is some inspiration for you if you are tackling any organising tasks these school holidays. How to organise the food in the […]

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  • Jaq

    Ooh wow, I simply love the space you have created for your kids bags. We keep them in their rooms and I must say I always find them on the floor, behind a door or the contents spattered in the lounge room. This is such a great use of space, we have an area very similar.ReplyCancel

    • Katrina

      So pleased this has inspired you Jaq, please send me a picture if you are able to create an organised space for your bags!!ReplyCancel

  • jackie arnel

    I recently ordered from your website the end of may some things from you and I am still waiting for delivery. It has been 6 weeks?? The purchase order amount has been taken out of my visa account (either 26 or 28th of May if I can recall). I am very disappointed with this service. JackieReplyCancel

    • Michelle Rayner

      Jackie, the stuff is usually an instant download, not something that gets posted out. Have you checked your emails?ReplyCancel

      • Katrina

        Thank you for helping MIchelle, I really appreciate it xReplyCancel

    • Katrina

      Ooh Jackie, I’m so sorry I”m only seeing this now, I’ve taken 2 weeks away from the computer to spend time with my kiddies over the school holidays. All my products are instant downloads, you should of been able to instantly download them after purchase, via the accounts page or via the email sent to you. Please email me via the contact form on the blog if you have troubles accessing.ReplyCancel

  • Wow!

    That is organised!ReplyCancel

  • Jaime

    I have wanted to do something similar for my kids’ school bags, i have the perfect wall spot, but for the moment at least I think they’ll have to stay on the floor – I worry about my 2yo trying to pull it off the wall!ReplyCancel

    • Cathy

      We filled in the end of a hallway with a built in cupboard with separate cubby holes for each of us – 4 kids, husband and myself. Didn’t cost too much as hubby is a carpenter but you could try IKEA. Got my idea from the childcare centre as each child had their own “cubbyhole”.ReplyCancel

    • Katrina

      Originally I used some wooden letter hooks with 3M tape on the back, these were pulled off the wall. I then replaced the letters with this long and heavy wooden rack making sure it will forever stay on the wall. Hope you can find something suitable for your space xReplyCancel

Preparing for school holidays

Today is the last day of school before the school holidays start here in Queensland. I’ve been working really hard the past few weeks to take some time away from the blog to spend with the kids, I’ll pop on in the evenings once the kids are in bed to check everything is running smoothly, […]

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  • Nat Mardon

    Love it! Can I ask where the little heart magnets are from? They’re adorable!ReplyCancel

Holiday Fun with Disney’s Planes

This post is sponsored by Walt Disney Studios Easter school holidays are upon us for most of the kiddies in Australia  which is usually a great time to do some activities/crafts, bake up a storm and/or snuggle on the couch to watch some movies, a perfect way to spend time with the kids. I’m always […]

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  • Mellie

    So cute, and perfect timing… I am planning a Disney Planes birthday party for my son next Friday! Thank you!ReplyCancel

School Holiday planning with Mum’s School Holiday Checklist

I’m so excited today I am visiting the 1st winner of the Kia ‘Win The Organised Housewife for a Day’ competition.  So that means I have to be very organised and well planned these school holidays, it’s a very busy week as I am flying down to Sydney to visit the winner and again a […]

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How to clean slimy drink bottles

Some drink bottles come with very small opening making it hard to get a sponge or a brush in there for a good clean.  Over time if a drink bottle is not cleaned properly or left for a period of time in the car or bag it can become quite slimy. A simple trick to […]

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  • Redrose

    Hi there, thats a great idea. but how do you get rid of the mold that gets built up around the the small opening?ReplyCancel

    • PookiMa

      That’s guck is so annoying and it keeps reappearing! I’ve invested in a big pack of pipe cleaners. Just bend the tip into a U shape. They’re really good for getting into the straws as well.ReplyCancel

    • Kim

      To get rid of mould on lids I soak them in Milton(used to sterilize baby bottles). You could soak the whole bottle.ReplyCancel

  • Norlin Mustapha

    Great tip!!! Never thought of that!ReplyCancel

  • Louise De Luca

    Would you be able to soak them in bleach then rinse in running water to cleanReplyCancel

    • I wouldn’t Louise, I would keep bleach well away from surfaces and products that are used for eating or drinking.ReplyCancel

  • off duty dentist

    That build up is a biofilm, like plaque on false teeth. Best way to disrupt a biofilm is to scrub it off with hot soapy water and some kind of brush. A toothbrush gets in most places. You can bend the handles if you heat the plastic to make it easier to get inside rims. Then run em through the dishwasher.ReplyCancel

  • […] Theorganisedhousewife – How to Clean Bottles […]ReplyCancel

  • Sarah

    I clean plastice bottles with hot soapy water, about a tablespoon of rice, and a whole lot of shaking. It helps to get the gunk on the bottom of the bottle that is hard to reach with brushes.ReplyCancel

  • Monica

    I clean my water bottles with a bottle brush (from the baby aisle).ReplyCancel

    • Katrina

      Monica, i have also used the baby bottle brushes too, they work well i agree . I like to also use the denture tablets for those hard tricky places i can’t get to with a brush.ReplyCancel

  • Amanda

    Katrina, do you know if the denture tablets can be used in steel drink bottles or just plastic? (I recently replaced all of the plastic drink bottles with steel!!!)ReplyCancel

    • Kate - Kat's Assistant

      Hi Amanda, Yes they can be used in both.:)ReplyCancel

A tidy and organised area for school bags, hats and books

This post is sponsored by Stuff Masters I love sharing new and exciting products with you and I am thrilled to share this rather unique unit created by a great Aussie business called Stuff Masters.  The story behind this fab unit is beautiful… Stephen and his wife have 4 kids, Mrs Stuff was searching for […]

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  • Isobel

    What a brilliant idea! Although I don’t know if I’d have them in the hallway-as they aren’t very attractive- maybe in the garage? Extremely practical though-and a lovely story of how they came about though.ReplyCancel

    • I agree Isobel, such a sweet story and he listened to exact what his wife wanted. The garage would be the perfect place, or even in the kids bedrooms to store books and hand school uniforms from too.ReplyCancel

  • meandmyreadymadefamily

    That is such a great idea. I love how you’ve added the charts so it is like a command centre for the kids!ReplyCancel

    • It’s a great little centre, you could also remove the charts and put hooks on the side to hang their school uniforms. So many different possibilities!ReplyCancel

  • Kelly law

    Love this! wish I could get them for in the UK!ReplyCancel

    • They are very unique Kelly, I have not seen them anywhere myself either before StuffMasters contacted me and made me aware of them.ReplyCancel

  • Megan Jamieson

    These would be perfect for my two little boys, shame you can’t get them in NZ.ReplyCancel

    • Such a pity Megan, have you contacted StuffMasters, see if they can help out at all??ReplyCancel

  • Susan Potts

    These are very clever – wish I’d had these when my kids were all little. I would have them in their bedrooms next to their study desks – that way they have access to the books they have to lug to and from school.ReplyCancel

    • Susan, that’s a great idea, we were trying to decide between the front entry or next to the kids beds, we decided front entry to tidily store all the shoes and there was enough space needed.ReplyCancel

  • Cherie

    How perfect! This is exactly what we need.
    p.s. I love your girls school bags, where did you get them? :)ReplyCancel

    • Cherie, I asked them same thing when I was setting up and the reader mentioned she purchased them a few years ago from Dreamworld.ReplyCancel

  • mone

    i want one with a spot for my work bag etc as well as for the kids heheheheReplyCancel

    • that’s a great idea mone, they could be used for so many different things. If I had more room in my garage I would like them for the kids sports gear!ReplyCancel

  • Christy

    I wish my partner would let me get one of these, the front door is a jumbled mess but he doesn’t see the point. Maybe it’s because it would be used to clean his mess more than the kids lolReplyCancel

  • Celeste Thomson

    Great idea – an extra would be a small side cupboard for bats, hockey sticks etc. Gorgeous design love it.ReplyCancel

  • Kylie @ Handmade Kids

    Wow, love this idea- what a great Australian product :)ReplyCancel

  • This post is fantastic Katrina. I just love the launch pad. I am forever tripping over school bags when I walk through the door.ReplyCancel

    • Katrina

      It is such a great unit, keeping everything beautifully tidy!ReplyCancel

{GIVEAWAY} Reading Egg Subscription

This giveaway is brought to you by ABC Reading Eggs Would you like your child to succeed at school? ABC Reading Eggs is the perfect program to provide your child with the literacy skills needed for success at school and in life. Providing a comprehensive range of online reading lessons and e-books, ABC Reading Eggs is successful because […]

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  • carmen

    My son will still be 4 for some time when he starts prep next year. I would live to give him a boost with learning his letters and sounds by using a system such as reading eggs.ReplyCancel

  • Kylei Denniss

    Entertaining her as she learns phonics… she is behind 2 years due to a school failing her. Back on track now with a diagnosis, reading eggs could make a big difference for her.
    ReplyCancel

  • Anita fearnley

    It will assist my child to learn his sounds, improve his speech articulation and understand how to read and learn mathematical concepts in a smaller learning environment that is tailored to his needs. ReplyCancel

  • Andrea Jansson

    My 3.5 year old would love to be able to read his books. Although I do quite enjoy his entertaining, oulandish stories while he’s pretending to read them to me :)ReplyCancel

  • Soraya Sarcos

    My daughter is 5 and reads perfectly. She has always loved book, I guess because I read to her since she was a newborn. She likes to practice her spelling and reading new stories. She just can’t get enough of reading and learning. Reading opens doors for her and shows her different points of view which makes her more sensitive to other people and cultures.
    My twins are still to little, they are just learning to talk, but how the love books too!!!ReplyCancel

  • Heidi West

    I have been reading to my 4yo since I was pregnant (never too early to start). Early last year she was diagnosed with a severe phonological delay which means speech therapy until she is talking using the correct sounds. I never knew ABC Reading Eggs existed until I saw the free trial on your web page the other day. We have used the free trial and tis amazing. We sit there together and are going through all the sounds which helps as the more she hears things correctly the better. I don’t need her to read (that would be a bonus), just hearing and being encouraged to use correct sounds is sooooooo beneficial to her and us. The other bonus is that she doesn’t even realise it is helping her as its fun, unlike the homework from the speech therapist which she knows is work no matter how fun we try to make it.ReplyCancel

  • Pernilla Hokanson

    My daughter is 4 y/o and so ready for Prep. She’s enjoying the 4 week trial at the moment. Would be lovely to see her blossom even further as the cost of Reading Eggs is out of our league.ReplyCancel

  • cassie

    My foster child has come into our care two years behind the developmental age of her peers. We are trying to improve her literacy and this trial could help us know if she would enjoy the program and we could continue the subscription. ReplyCancel

  • Lauren Day

    My daughter is infatuated with books and tries to read to herself…. Reading is just part of our daily routine, so a subscription to reading eggs would be icing on the cake for my daughter’s little sponge of a brain!!!!ReplyCancel

  • Cassie86

    My daughter is 3 and is really enjoying learning her letters! We decided not to send her to kindergarten this year for social reasons but we still want to encourage her first steps towards education at home. I believe reading eggs is a wonderful and engaging way to help her take these first steps with phonics and letter recognition.ReplyCancel

  • Renata

    I would love to incorporate reading eggs in my homeschool. :)ReplyCancel

  • Michelle

    This little chook,
    She loves her books,
    And her learning is ready to hatch.
    Reading eggs, I am sure,
    Would be the perfect match.ReplyCancel

  • Amanda Byrnes

    Reading Eggs is awesome. I have purchased the program at different stages for my 4 older children. But now money is tight. I have had to put options like this into the Luxury category, and at the moment there is nothing to spend on luxuries. But I would love to be able to give my 3 nearly 4 year old the opportunity to give it a go. Being the 5th child she has developed much quicker than the other children and gets frustrated that she can’t read already. I know this would be an awesome help for her.ReplyCancel

  • Sharyn

    I have been a teacher for 40 years and have used reading Eggs very successfully. My grandson was born with a cleft lip and has been slow to talk. Reading Eggs would give him a huge lift in self confidence and just the boost he needs before he starts school.ReplyCancel

  • Tara

    I believe it will help foster a love for learning in our homeschool environment for my two children. It will also help teach them valuable computer skills.
    Thanks for the opportunity to win a great prize like this one. (And finally, one that is for Aussies only. lol) :)ReplyCancel

  • Janet

    R eading
    E ggs will
    A ssist my
    D arling by making reading
    I nteresting and give them the encouragement they
    N eed to keep
    G oing.
    E xcellent, I think it will be an excellent tool to help my child develop
    G reat reading skills and will be
    G ood for me to have something else to use when helping to teach – will help keep my
    S anity!ReplyCancel

  • Venita

    I would love to give my son this opportunity. He has been sick from birth with chronic kidney/liver disease and chronic lung disease and requires to travel to see Specialists at least every 4 weeks – he has just started school and having a program like this would be amazing – we could continue using it when he is unable to attend school and is in hospital etc. The one thing we want to keep on top of is reading – the school don’t care how much school he misses just so long as we can work on reading outside of school. After all, if you can’t read – it will affect everything else. This would be such a blessing for him.ReplyCancel

  • Kathy

    my son (5) has only just begun to overcome significant hearing issues following surgery late last year which has affected his attention span, speech and learning via audio. these eggs I’m sure would be just the thing to help him catch up with the other kids in his year by engaging his attention and making learning fun.ReplyCancel

  • Leeanne P

    My daughter would really benefit from reading eggs-she missed the school cut off age by 2 days this year so she is very keen to learn letters and words yet she is in Kindy for another year.ReplyCancel

  • rachel

    My daughter has just started kindy but has had to have speech therapy since she was 1yr old! The therapist has said she has caught up mostly but she still struggles a little with saying her letter sounds. I know this is going to make it harder for her to sound out letters and words and learn to read. Reading eggs will provide her with extra support in a fun and engaging manner to ensure she doesn’t fall behind due to her struggles- and all the while she will think she is playing games! :)ReplyCancel

  • Natalie

    Reading eggs has helped my 2 older children to read and now my baby is 5 it is his turn!ReplyCancel

  • Carly Carroll

    My little boy cannot read
    This prize may well just plant the seed
    Reward, encourage and be fun
    It’ll help him become number one ReplyCancel

  • Caroline

    Our little one has just started the Reading Eggs trial and is loving it. I think reading is an important part of childhood & I’m hoping my little ones will have the same love of reading that I do. Fingers crossed Reading Eggs will help kick start that love :)ReplyCancel

  • Sally

    As one of the youngest in his kinder class, reading eggs will give my son an extra boost to keep up with his peers and keep up his self-confidence and love of learning!ReplyCancel

  • Christine

    We’d love to win a subscription to reading eggs. Why will it help my child read? He is a visual learner and reading eggs is set out so beautifully. Boys are often reluctant readers so I think reading eggs will give him confidence and help to instill a love of reading.ReplyCancel

  • Julie

    Reading Eggs could help my daughter as she has a great imagination, books and reading would just make that magic grow!ReplyCancel

  • Erin

    I would love to win this for a Grade 6 student I teach. He is a refugee and has no English, so it would be a great way for him to listen to reading and build his vocabulary.ReplyCancel

  • Katie Bull

    My son Archie has just started Prep and I believe reading eggs would be the perfect program to help him recognise letters and build strategies which will ultimately lead him to learn how to read.ReplyCancel

  • Vyktoria

    We would love to win this subscription for our Miss 3.5 as she is an avid reader and storyteller and sadly we don’t have as much time to read to her as much as we did before her new baby brother was born. This would especially help me while I’m breastfeeding to keep big sis occupied :DReplyCancel

  • Nicole Kent

    ‘Reading Eggs’ for little miss 4
    For reading, maths, spelling and more
    Get her ready for school to come
    Start at home with help from mum!ReplyCancel

  • feline1981

    I have 3 small girls who would love this. My 6 year old loves the iPad and loves to read- great combo! She has taught our 3 year old to read a bit and is now wanting to teach the 2 year old to read! What a great idea!ReplyCancel

  • Melanie d'Arbon

    My middle boy has just started kindy. He’s obsessed with computers and we are struggling to get him to take an interest in anything besides Minecraft. His screen time has been severely limited to encourage him to do other stuff. We take him outside and show him the world. He gets to go camping and boating. He gets to ride horses. He has a small sister and a big brother to play with. I offer him paint and paper and colourful, messy things to do. All to no avail. He just flops around the house, moaning piteously, wailing and gnashing his teeth. Apparently he has nothing to do inside (despite a room full of Lego, craft stuff, Star Wars action figures and other cool things – sigh). Reading Eggs would show him that you can use the computer for learning AND it can be fun. It will (hopefully) get his mind out of the Minecraft world and into the literary world. He can read about adventurous children that go outside and don’t melt in the sunlight. He needs Reading Eggs. I need Reading Eggs! For pity’s sake, give us Reading Eggs!!!! Save us from floppy, sulky kindy boys…argh!ReplyCancel

  • Kristie Crawford-Ferguson

    It’s quite difficult to find an Australian phonics program and app. my miss 4 loves story time this would her help learn the basics.ReplyCancel

  • Emma Ribbans

    Computers, phones and tablets
    Have made ours an electronic age.
    (Though if you ask me,
    nothing beats turning a real page).

    Harnessing the kids interest
    In the gadgets at hand,
    I can secretly teach them
    To become readers so grand.

    Encouraging a love of reading
    Using fun stories, games and song
    With our Reading Eggs program
    We just can’t go wrong!ReplyCancel

  • April P

    My son is in Prep, he enjoys school and is making friends, l want to help him as much as l can, l know the ABC reading program would help him, it is a very good teaching program, l would love to see my son confident in reading.ReplyCancel

  • TajKai

    Mr 5 has just begun Kindy. He can read most letters, but is not yet making the connection between letters and words.

    He’s hungry to learn!

    I’m also hungry for him to learn … there are only so many times I can read him his favourite bedtime story ‘Do pirates have wobbly teeth?’ without falling asleep myself.

    Reading Eggs with their fun learning methods, graded learning and rewards for achievements have everything my son needs to maintain his interest and motivation in becoming a proficient reader.ReplyCancel

  • Michelle Gray

    To fill in the gap between what is learnt at school and what I know to teach at home, Reading Eggs would be a fantastic tool to ensure my daughter gets the best possible start and hopefully not struggle at all.ReplyCancel

  • Katrina Corbett

    My 6 year old son who has ADHD and sensory processing disorder would really benefit from a program like this. He is keen to learn but is often distracted in the class room, so something he can do at home (like this) would really help his reading skills.ReplyCancel

Tips to get the teens to organise study time and a place to do homework

At the beginning of this Back to School Series I asked what topics you would like me to write about, there were quite a few readers asking for tips on how to help high school kids, organise study time and their desks.  As I don’t have teenagers myself I put the call out for somebody […]

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10 tips to help parents get organised for school

This is a guest post by Sara from From Baby to Kids 10 tips to help parents get organised for school Ensure you buy all the required items that each child needs for school early on as often the shops will sell out early. Some of the things they will need are lunchbox, school uniform, […]

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  • Amy

    Great tips! I have most of these covered but will implement a few more before my big boy heads off to kindy.ReplyCancel

  • Lauren

    Shame the promo code expired yesterday :(ReplyCancel

  • Thash

    Thank you SO much Katrina – my little girl starts Prep next Tuesday and I am nervous and am terrified that I’ll forget something. I’m excited for her and she is excited to start Prep and is happy to go off to meet new friends so that part’s all good. Just want to say Thank you SO much for this post :)ReplyCancel

    • Good luck, it’s the first morning that’s the hardest!ReplyCancel

      • Thash

        Thank you – just went through it and she seemed fine – can’t wait til 3 already!ReplyCancel

  • This is fabulous. Our 5 year old starts on Wednesday, will be sure to try some of these strategies. Michelle @ http://www.snaplaundromat.com.auReplyCancel

Homemade Shredded Chicken Breast for School Lunchboxes

I love a BBQ Chook bread roll, it’s a quick and easy lunch to make the family.  However they are too expensive to have often and high in fat, but I have found an alternative.  I purchase a kilogram of chicken breast (it’s cheaper from the supermarket deli than packaged in the meat section), poach […]

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Start your Back to School Routine Now!

It’s now one week here in Queensland until the kids return to school.  In our household today is the day we start to return to our regular routine, no more sleeping in till late and we make sure the kids go to bed at a reasonable hour. Routine has played a very big part in […]

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  • Meg J Supel

    Hi Kat,
    Just wondering whether it’s possible to get the “Have you packed” in place of the “After school routine” in the bundle?ReplyCancel

  • Terri

    Hi Kat,
    Just an FYI that the link for “visit shop for purchase” right at the bottom of this post has a 401 error. Cheers,
    TerriReplyCancel