My boys are going to be in second and first grade this year, and I’m setting up a few helpful resources to encourage them to be responsible and in charge of their stuff! Read the three simple “hacks” below!
Print out a “menu” to help guide the kids in making their lunches.
I have not been consistent with making the boys’ lunch the night before a school day but I’m determined to do better this year. And I want their help! This year both boys will be attending the same school (you may remember that we homeschooled Luke for his kindergarten year, which was the best decision) so we will be a little bit busier in the evenings with managing any projects or things they need to do when they get home at the end of the day. I’m really aiming for lunches to be made and almost completely assembled the evening before school and this “menu” I printed out is an effort to help guide their selections. We keep meals pretty simple around here, in general, and the same is true for school lunch. My kids are happy eating repeated meals, and for lunchtime that keeps it really simple!
Store socks right by their shoes.
I’ve shared this hack a few times over the years, but I wanted to share it again because it instantly solved an ongoing problem in our family. I would always store the boys’ socks in their bedroom dressers but found myself repeatedly asking them to go back upstairs to get socks before we ran out the door somewhere. We typically run around the house barefoot because we have hardwood floors throughout, including the stairs, and I don’t want anyone to slip. So I started storing my kids’ socks down in the “shoe closet”, which is essentially our mudroom, and it may be my best “system” set up in motherhood. I’ve never had to ask the boys to run back upstairs when we’re trying to leave because everything is ready to go right in the mudroom!
Encourage personal responsibility with a “home from school” checklist.
I typed this out and printed it a few times to place in strategic locations for the boys to notice for their “home from school” transition time. They will each have a computer that needs to be charged every single night, and they also will have lunchboxes and cups that need to be washed (we use reusable lunchbox things as much as possible!). So this list will help them get into the practice of taking care of their school day things when they get home. I imagine having to talk through this routine several times at the beginning of the year and decided a checklist would be a better way to encourage the boys to be responsible for their own things. Whenever we travel, I print out a little checklist of things to pack and they both genuinely like following the guide to pack their own things. I’m sure that it makes them feel mature and responsible, and I’m always happy to encourage those feelings in them!
A few other helpful things:
Machine washable and dishwasher safe labels for cups, lunch boxes, jackets, etc.
I’ve used these Bento boxes for years for my kids. The boys are requiring bigger lunches these days, but I still have these to use for Emily!
I used Canva to create the printables that I hung in our house. It’s such an easy way to create visually interesting printables!
My boys have to wear uniforms to their schools but if they didn’t, I would still generally follow this plan for buying new clothes for them.
Cheers fellow caregivers and parents, we made it!