All three of my little ones will be in school this year, at least for part of the day. By creating a kids' organization center near the door, I've been able to guide the kids towards being responsible for their own schedules and belongings. Our system is not at all fancy or perfect, but it helps. I pieced together several thrift store finds. I repaint and re-purpose as needed each school year. Below are a couple of the highlights I found helpful.
1. To keep all of the show and tell, library books, memory work, and paper work straight, I make a fresh dry erase schedule at the start of the school year. I initially did it to help myself out, but quickly realized it really helped the kids be independent. As they go through their morning check list, they check their schedule for any books or other items that need to go to school that day, and toss them in their own back packs. Even the 4K aged kids manage with reading help from our oldest, and they soon learn what "show and tell", "chapel", and "library" look like on their own. To make your own dry erase schedule, print this free schedule printable, and laminate it with a laminating machine, laminating pouch, binder sleeve, or just slip it in a picture frame! I have three kids, so have three rows, but feel free to print additional copies for more kids! (This basic planner also works for homes without kids, using the categories for meals, goals, or to-do items.)
Each Sunday night, I go through all of our family calendars, schedules, and notes from teachers, updating the schedule for the kids to follow. By the end of last school year, I found that my oldest was taking library books back to school without me even having to remind him it was library day. Now, that is one less thing I need to keep track of!
2. I have the clock and some encouraging Bible verses and quotes near the organization center that I can switch out now and then. The pink Psalm print shown here is a free printable found here. I also test drive new artwork for my own shop quite frequently.
3. The basket on the shelf is something of an outbox for the kids. Library books are kept there, or other notes that need to go back to school. Since we've moved to Colorado, the sunscreen is especially essential, and I keep that in this area as well.
4. We have a coat closet, but the kids can reach these hooks, so that's what I use for them. They put backpacks and winter coats here. Shoes go below, usually with a rug or boot tray in the winter.
Check back again soon. I will share a couple of other affordable organization ideas for families!