Back to School

Going back to school is not only emotional for mom – it’s hectic! In the last couple of years I have developed routines with Ella to make sure we get out the door on time. And now getting ready for Kindergarten, Emmalie is getting in on the action!

Much like the chore list, I make checklists for the girls of everything that they need to do before going to school. This may seem really basic, but I have found giving them the checklist eliminates the need for me to constantly question/nag, and gives them a little control. Who doesn’t love to be in charge of them self!? Also, Ella makes her own lunch – this helps to ensure she actually eats it, as she made the selections and put it together herself.
For Em I used pictures of items as she is not quite reading – a simple solution! Just in case you are wondering – backpacks are packed the night before, as homework is done.

One other thing that has made a big difference is outfit options. My girls love to dress themselves, but the result is sometimes crazy! For school, I put outfits together on hangers, with clean underwear, and allow them to choose from the hangers. It is easiest to do as I fold laundry, and I have thought a hanging sweater organizer would work well too.

We have found giving our kids a few decisions to be made, in a controlled environment, helps with making other decisions too – a good thing in our book!

Do you have routines for getting your kids out the door? What works for you?

I’m always looking for more ideas :)



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By | 2017-11-17T09:14:37+00:00 September 9th, 2009|My kids|20 Comments


  1. Sew It Up! September 9, 2009 at 10:13 am - Reply

    I totally can understand the craziness in the mornings and after school. My kids are in 5th and 3rd this year and my 5th grader is taking band too. I just created a list specific to each individual. The list includes chores and tasks they need to accomplish to get ready for the next school day. The list is on their bedroom doors and an extra copy on the fridge. They understand that "The List" has to be completed before they get any free time. This way they become more responsible, learn to manage their time, and I'm not constantly nagging them to get things done. (One day they took their time completing chores and had no free time. That is all it took for them to learn time managment)

  2. Allie September 9, 2009 at 10:20 am - Reply

    I think your list is a great idea. My kids seem happiest when we are on a schedule and they know what they can expect. It does take us a little while to get back to our routine. We do the same as it sounds like you do, right after school, we have a snack, empty the backpacks, get homework finished and the backpacks loaded back up. Then they can have their play time.
    My kids are past this point now, but when my daughter was all about choosing her own outfits, our deal was she picked one item, and I picked the next. It worked out great until she learned how to match better.
    I love hearing your ideas.

  3. Kristen September 9, 2009 at 11:42 am - Reply

    those are such good ideas! I don't have kids yet but I love that you put the outfits together because they still have the choice but at least you know it looks good together!

  4. SewAmy September 9, 2009 at 11:45 am - Reply

    i don't have any routines, but this is a great idea. LOVE IT.

  5. jodi @ Pleasant Home September 9, 2009 at 12:34 pm - Reply

    Awesome Possum! Had something similar when the boys were little. This is much better. Great idea!

  6. Jackie September 9, 2009 at 12:43 pm - Reply

    You are just so organized, it simply amazes me. I love your ideas. My children are teens and have developed there own little routines.

  7. Amy September 9, 2009 at 2:03 pm - Reply

    With all due respect my friend: are you crazy? What do I do to get Jake out the door? PUSH! :)

  8. Anonymous September 9, 2009 at 3:41 pm - Reply

    good job, Babe, love Mom

  9. rattie4fun September 9, 2009 at 4:11 pm - Reply

    Yep it sounds like you have it all together. I did the same for my kids, and it does make it so much easier. This is the first year without the checklist – she's in high school now, and no problems getting her stuff done and out the door on time. You are doing a great job!!
    Linda in Calif.

  10. MomBrose September 9, 2009 at 5:44 pm - Reply

    We do something similar so I'm glad to hear it works when more than one is in school. :) Reagan actually likes to wake up super early so she can get through her list and have free time before we leave for school. She's not concerned about what she wears so I pick out her clothes the night before and hang it on the chair in her room. I'm afraid what her lunch would look like though if I let her make it herself :D I can guarantee there wouldn't be many carbs or protein :D She would pack only fruit and maybe a cookie!

  11. AnnieO September 9, 2009 at 7:12 pm - Reply

    I've always thought teaching your children decision making is the best way to raise successful adults–if they only learn to obey, they don't have any experience in choosing for themselves to follow what they're taught! You are a smart mom and loving as well. Your kids have a great start!

  12. Penny September 10, 2009 at 6:33 am - Reply

    Great ideas! my littles is 3, so we're not ready for lists yet…although she may enjoy the picture list idea. My middle daughter is 16 and homeschooled, so she's past the list stage. My oldest is 19 and has been working full time this summer and starts full time at Drexel University next week..yikes..however she loves lists!

  13. amylouwho September 10, 2009 at 1:33 pm - Reply

    smart smart smart!

    Alison is going to start going to preschool this year. I may steal this little gem from you!

    (Sometimes I think my husband needs a checklist too!)

  14. True Blue Nana September 10, 2009 at 7:18 pm - Reply

    I stumbled on your blog. My children are all adults now but I used to always use charts. I was a teacher so it made sense to me. They laugh about it now. My second son would fill his chart perfectly and his brother and sister used to get so mad with him. Those were fun days.

  15. Lara September 10, 2009 at 8:01 pm - Reply

    Getting out the door is organised chaos in our house! My oldest son is nearly 2… I get him to help out by keeping things in the same place everyday – that way I can ask him to get things (like his boots, hat, jacket, baby carseat etc) and he knows where they are and can help out! Like the picture chart – very visual… I think I might make one for Ollie for his night time routine!

  16. audreypawdrey September 12, 2009 at 8:14 am - Reply

    I love this idea! I am keeping it in the back of my mind for when I need it in a couple of years.:)

  17. amandajean September 14, 2009 at 8:47 am - Reply

    ha! the same thing is happening in our house…chore charts are a must make this week. there has been a lot of complaining about chores, but i've noticed when there is a bit of structure, things go much much better. it's a fun journey, this parenting thing, isn't it?

  18. Bekhy September 14, 2009 at 5:01 pm - Reply

    Whoa! Your list looks almost exactly like ours! Hehe…we have it posted on the kitchen door that goes into the garage, one for each child, and it's divided into morning chores and after school chores. At the end of the week, their allowance is based on how well they did their "job" over the week (ie homework and minor chores). Seeing yours cracked me up!

  19. Rebekah September 15, 2009 at 12:06 pm - Reply

    your chart and outfit selection sounds like really great ways to get the kids out the door sooner. I think I may need to try this out for myself :)

  20. Lucy September 15, 2009 at 9:14 pm - Reply

    great ideas esp. the outfit choices
    have to remember it when mine get a bit bigger (they're 1 and 2 at the moment)

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