Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Making our lives easier...

While we're still (kind of) in back-to-school mode, I wanted to share a few things that I've implemented with my kids that have really helped to keep all of us on track...

Morning checklists: I used Command hooks on our front door to hang cheap-o dry erase boards that I happened to find in each of the kids' colors (so they know which one is theirs at a glance).  I glued a little ribbon on the back to make it easy to hang up.  On school nights (or in the morning if I spaced it out the night before), I quickly run through what each kid needs to do to be ready to leave for school.  I generally write it all out once at the beginning of the week, then just re-draw the check boxes daily.

Breakfast choices: I printed two 3x5 note cards, one with breakfast entrees and one with fruits.  If we have another kids of fruit or maybe leftover french toast, I just stick a post-it note by the other choices.  The kids stick their magnets (again, in their colors) on their choice before bed every night.

This makes my mornings *soooo* much easier!  I can do minor prep the night before and breakfast is usually on the table by the time the kids get up (I try to get up half an hour before them....  when I can...)

Snack choices: Again, I printed on a 3x5 note card.  Then I used a sheet protector to "laminate" it so that the kids can use the magnetic dry erase marker (that's next to it) to mark off what they've had.  (Note: veggie snacks are unlimited, it's just on the check list to make sure that they take at least one)

Our weekday schedule: This one is the big one...  I sat down one day and wrote out usual weekday schedule.  Then I added pictures, printed it up and stuck it on the fridge.  We use a little magnet to keep track of where we are in the day.  (I also have alarms set for most of our evening stuff)

...Here's what our schedule looks like:

6:30 wake up
7:00 breakfast
7:45 leave for school
8:00-11:15 Mom's housework time
11:20(ish) Ollie gets dropped off at bus stop
12:00 lunch
12:30 Ollie's play time
1:00 Ollie's homework time
2:00 Ollie's nap time
3:00(ish) girls come home/snack time/play time
4:00 girls' homework time
5:00-5:30 kids' housework time
5:30 kids' t.v. time/play time
6:00 play time
6:30 dinner
7:15 kid #1 showers (other kids read)
7:30 kid #2 showers (other kids read)
7:45 kid #3 showers (other kids read)
8:00 bedtime/grown up reads
8:30 lights out!

...I'm realizing as I writing that this all looks a little overboard, but I have to say that, as a mother of three who also has ADD, it *really* helps me.  Like A LOT.  It seems to help the kids, too...  plus, they think it's fun to check things off and move their magnets.  

Would you try any of this, or do you think I'm crazy?  (haha)
How do you keep your family on track?

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