The summer days of chore charts are gone, and we are back to a short morning school routine. The goal is to get the kids out the door on time, with as little yelling as possible, and with the house still intact. (Am I asking too much?)
I came up with this clipboard/checklist system that we are re-trying this year. I made a few tweaks and am hopeful it will be more successful than last year. (The kids are older and I took off tasks that had to do with me, like family scripture study and eating breakfast.) In order for this to work, every task on the list needs to be relatively mom free (so they are never waiting on you).
The kids and I brainstormed what needed to be done in the mornings. I let them determine their own personal order to the tasks they needed to accomplish. Crew loves getting dressed first thing and Elle prefers to put her room together before she puts herself together.
We typed the tasks out and printed them on card stock. I mounted it to a piece of colored card stock solely for looks and then we clipped the lists to the clipboards.
The clipboards are decorated. I used spray adhesive, mog podge, scrapbook paper, and ribbons, but any clipboard would do. I promise.
The original idea was for the kids to move their cute little mini clothespin (found at office supply stores or scrapbook stores) down the list each morning as they progress through their checklists.
This before school checklist is working great with Elle, my 9 year old daughter. But I should have known the delicate little clothespin wasn’t going to survive the bull in the china closet, Crew. His clothespin was broken the first day and the second clothespin was broken the second day, so we’ve given up that dream. Now Crew just looks at his checklist and sees what he has left to do.
Since they don’t get to play with friends after school until their morning checklist is completed, the kids are motivated to get it done. (Occasionally someone is making their bed after school, but that has been rare.)
Elle wants me to do a bedtime checklist on the back of the paper so she can just flip the card stock over at night. This was last year’s bedtime checklist. Again, when I redo it, I will take off Family Scripture study (because that depends on me) and I would add “Get Backpack Ready.”
I consider the kids still in training throughout the month of September. So I still ask Crew many mornings, “Where are you on your checklist?” We are making progress, but the goal is complete independence in the mornings. I am happy to report that so far so great! The kids are getting out the door early and with their beds made and rooms clean. We even have time for our love rituals.
What more could a mom ask for?