It’s back to school season, as I’m sure you are aware! Many of you have already been back for a few weeks. We started this past week- a couple days after labor day. This time of year can sometimes feel like a second New Year. Pushing a reset button on a lot of things and looking for ways to reorganize our lives. It’s a good time to re-establish routines or make new ones so the days and weeks go smoother for everyone in the family. Utilizing routine checklists and making a few easy systems can make a huge difference!
There are sooo many things to organize and keep track of when it comes to school. The paperwork and artwork that comes home, school lunches, healthy fast breakfast, and keeping track of everyone’s schedules. Most importantly, making sure your kids remember to do all the things like brushing their teeth and doing homework.
In our home, we are working with preschool, but many of these tips can be applied to daycare schedules and getting your 2 year old involved in routines and daily responsibilities. As well as older kids of course.
Routines & Independence
My first goal is to make sure I’m not holding up absolutely everything in the house. I want my kids to have a sense of what is required of them and not have to remind them fifty billion times. It’s always a work in progress, but trust me- I kept at it with my 3 year old. He just turned 4 and he HAPPILY sets the table and feeds our dog Nahla. Many times it was a battle, but over time he just became to accept it as his contribution to the household. His feisty 2 year old brother looks up to him and is getting on board with the chores as well.
This holds true for brushing teeth and getting himself dressed in the morning. I personally have to let go a little bit of control because since I’ve pushed this independence, he also wants to pick out his clothes. And man! He picks out the craziest combinations! But hey- at least he does it himself while I dress myself or his brother.
We’ve undertaken this by printing out daily routine chore charts, but I’ve realized that it can take a lot to actually print, cut out, and make the system. Having a way for kids to hold themselves accountable can all be accomplished just as easily with a few checklists! So of course, I made some. 🙂 If you’ve been around the blog for a while, you may already realize that I’m not a stranger to checklists and they really do help!
There are 3 total and you can set them up wherever makes the most sense for your household. Print on 8×10 cardstock first. Then, laminate them or just pop em in an 8×10 frame, your son or daughter can use a dry erase marker to check off items as they are finished. They will wipe off easily on either surface for use the next day.
I used pictures because I start using these at age 2 or 3 when reading isn’t mastered yet. The photos help guide them along their checklist.
We have found that cleaning up, feeding pets and setting the table are great chores for toddlers and preschoolers. If my son said he didn’t feel like doing it, we just remind him that we all do our part to contribute to the household. Even if I don’t feel like cooking everyone dinner, I still do it because the family is counting on me to do my part.
5 Simple Organization Hacks
A family command center! I love these and we have a very small version because I couldn’t find a wall area suitable. Essentially it can organize all the paperwork, to do lists, calendar and events for everyone in the family. I love this post about how to create a command center and all the essential elements to include.
Using a hanging closet organizer to plan out the week’s outfits is genius! It adds to less nightly and morning chores if it is laid out each Sunday.
Talking about planning for the week, having a lunch organizer in your fridge can take a lot of the stress out of packing lunches. If there are choices, your child can take an active role picking out what they want to include each day. Also, these are some of my favorite lunch ideas – all in fun bento boxes.
I don’t know about you, but I try to have as much planned for the mornings as possible. I’m just not a huge morning person and planning ahead helps A LOT. Which is why I love doing this breakfast meal prep, where we make a bunch of oatmeal muffins and egg muffins that are all ready for us to heat up and eat in the morning.
Finally, we don’t have homework yet at our house. But I love these ideas of a DIY homework caddy and a dedicated homework station. Even as an adult, I need a dedicated workspace that is different than I do other things in the house. So a homework area can get your child more focused on what they are trying to accomplish. Especially if all the supplies they need are also integrated into the space.
And that’s it! Hope you have an amazing school year that is a little less stressful and more enjoyable. 🙂
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7 thoughts on “Master Back to School with Routine Checklists & 5 Simple Hacks”
This is a great idea! Where can I find the back to school checklist for printing? I couldn’t find a link and it wasn’t in the email I received. Thanks 🙂
It is in the resource library. The password and link are in the email you received!
I’m helping a friend with two boys who are trying to adjust to a new home, school and daily routines because they now have a new man involved who they call “The Boss” by their choice and he’s very involved in their lives. This is a wonderful thing since they both have different types and levels of autism (among other issues their real father wanted no part of) so having “The Boss” involved with their upbringing is really going to help them adjust and develop better than any program I’ve heard of, they just need a little help on how to get the boys to understand they’re not being punished by being given “chores” but are in fact being given a choice of what “chores” or activities (like jumping on the trampoline outside) to earn extra “points” that they can redeem for iPad game time since that’s all their father ever did with them (“go play on the computer”) so this combination of work and play is a perfect way to get them to “unplug” and get involved in the real world! Thanks for the printables because I think they’re exactly what my friends need to start their new lives as a new family with new techniques to help integrate them into a whole new and exciting lifestyle where they’re not always being made to feel like they’re doing something wrong because they didn’t have visuals showing them that they were earning “points” and it’s a good/positive way to live a “PRO” life! TTFN KLP
Chore Charts is really work.
It’s so true that we need to implement responsibility into our children early on.
I am a single mother with three children all of them of preschool age so I know how important keeping organised. The eldest child I raised with a variety of printable charts. The stars chore chart works best. Printable cards and magnets are constantly lost. Now I use the Manini app for three children. These are the same printable cards but in the phone. In the app, you can mark the completion of tasks and children like it very much. And the app has a goal Board that lists all chores and self-care for kids under the age of 5. We mark together with the children the tasks that have already been mastered. Also they actually ask for tasks themselves to make a mark the task. I felt much better. And I’m not nervous and it’s easy for children to become independent. And I have time to take self-care.
I can’t figure out how to download the checklists… Is there a link I’m missing? I’ve just started using a chore chart with my 6 year old, but these look super helpful!
Hi! So sorry- the form didn’t load properly. It should be fixed now! At the end of the post, there is a box to subscribe and get the checklists sent to your email. Hope they are helpful! They make a huge difference in our house. 🙂