School Night Checklist

Posted September 14, 2015 by Prairie Wife - 4 comments

School is now beginning its third week and I’m proud to say that we haven’t been late yet. There was that one morning where the kids went sliding into the doors as the bell rang but, when your finally potty trained two year old says he has to poop…what’s a mom to do?!

I’m finding that with three kids now in school (4th, 2nd, and Kindergarten) our after school time has gotten more chaotic. While our evenings aren’t packed with after school activities (another post for another day) things are still busy. As an ex-teacher I think it’s extremely important for my kids to have downtime when they come home, a little time to play and unwind. After all, when you get home from work do you really want to jump right into paying bills or making dinner? In this house school is my kids’ job so, I think  it’s fair to give them a break.

When I start to make dinner it’s time for the older kids to round up and begin their homework. I’m right there in the kitchen to help them with any questions and it just seems to work for us. At this point in their education they can get all of their homework done before dinner. This leaves us the hour or so after our family eats dinner to do chores, take a walk, or hang out on the couch watching TV.

Last week when the full homework load began I found myself getting more than a little frazzled. Having to say 6 billion times “Did you empty your papers out of your backpack? Where is your lunchbox? Do you have homework? Did you do your reading? I need to sign your assignment notebook! Is everything back in your backpack? Did you zip your backpack?” to each kid, was making me sound less like a caring mother and more like a crazy talking doll whose batteries were running low while the button was stuck! Finally after the second night in a row where I found myself blankly staring at the stove trying to figure out exactly what I had just been doing to make dinner, I knew something had to change.

When Cowboy J started preschool I made him a checklist with words and pictures showing what he needed to do every day to get ready. I was tired of telling him to get shoes AND socks, get his backpack, put on a coat etc. When I saw he had missed a step I simply told him to look at his checklist! It made those first few months so much easier, and eventually I was only prompting him once or twice a week.

school night checklistI sat down with the Cowkids and chatted with them about what we needed to do every school night so we were ready for the next day. We came up with a list and I typed it out on my computer and hung it up in a place they could all easily see it. Cowboy W is only in Kindergarten so he needs a little help reading it. I chose not to do pictures because I’m lazy lol…and I might be adding some if he’s still having trouble next week. When it’s time to begin homework I just ask the kids to look at the checklist. SO much easier than listing over and over to each kid what needs done, and we are all happier!

What do you do to make things run smother on school nights?

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4 thoughts on "School Night Checklist"

  1. The Tall Mom says:

    Great idea! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Prairie Wife says:

      It has made things run A LOT smoother around here!

  2. Angela says:

    I like this checklist. I am going to start using it as I am always forgetting something to do. Thanks!

    1. Prairie Wife says:

      Thanks Angela, stop back by and let us know how it’s working for you!

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