Getting 3 kids out of the door and to school, ON time, WITH all of their stuff, isn't an easy task! So, we developed a system using a set of "cubbies" that I bought from a daycare that was upgrading theirs. This has been a lifesaver for our family, so I thought I would share our "system" with you. Each kid has a section of their own. The oldest and youngest have the two outside spots, while my son once again finds himself smack dab in the middle of his sisters!! The other two are for "overflow" or when friends come over.
I used my handy dandy Dymo to label their "space" with their name. Eliminates all squabbles about where stuff belongs (or doesn't). The clear crates are for hats, mittens, scarves, etc. Hooks in the cubbies are for backpacks and coats. A place at the bottom for shoes if they wish. The mesh basket on top is for homework and papers that I need to read/sign. The mesh basket is also labelled with their name AND library and share day info...
I was struggling to keep track of which kid had library books due on which day, so this helps! So, here's how it works.
1. When they get home from school, they enter through the garage (where the cubby is).
2. Hang up coat and put away "stuff". Backback is TOTALLY emptied into the mesh basket. That means all homework, papers, empty lunchboxes, rocks from the playground :), etc.
3. Mom and Dad then empty the mesh baskets...cleaning out lunchboxes, reading/signing papers, and making sure kids do homework.
4. Parents and/or kids put completed homework, signed papers, library books, show and tell items (whatever needs to go to school the next day) back into the baskets. Lunchboxes are put there in the morning if they are taking one.
5. In the morning, the kids take everything that is in their basket and put it into their backpacks and off they go to school. Piece of cake! Seriously, it's made things pretty easy!
Here's the "I'm the parent and it's my job to teach you to be responsible" part. IF we have done our part and gotten everything they need into their baskets and ALL they have to do is put it in their backpack AND they take off to school without grabbing it, then OH WELL! Meaning if we made sure on library day they had both library books in the basket and they went off without getting them and then they call me to ask me to bring them, I don't. I know that might sound mean, but I'm telling you it works. I had 2 kids in school last year, no system...lots of trips to school to deliver homework, lunches, show and tell. This year...twice...once because MOM forgot to put a lunch in the basket and the other because MOM read the note that said it was "pop day" the next day and forgot to go to the store!! ;)