Back to School Launch Pad: Out the Door with Ease - Evolved Mommy
This month Holly Shacklet of Simply Organized is doing a weekly series for us. With all the kiddos getting ready to get their booties back in the seats you might be feeling a little overwhelmed or underorganized (yep, that’s my new word for today). Holly is here to help with practical advice to use TODAY!
You can get your student out the door with ease every morning with a little help by setting up a launch pad. Personally, I have been obsessed with figuring out the perfect launch pad for my Kindergartner. It’s important to me to set up a good habit from the start, so I wanted to have it all ready for her on her first day of school.
Designate a space
Your student needs a designated place where he’ll retrieve his backpack and papers every single morning. It is easy to create that space. Near the garage door, the kitchen, or the front entry are ideal. I chose our front entry for the launch pad since jackets and hooks are already here.
Evaluate the needs
After I decided on our front entry I evaluated the space and thought maybe a narrow but tall bookshelf would fit. If the flooring in my entryway were consistent I’d maybe choose a cube system. I eventually settled on something non-traditional. I chose a magazine table from the 1940s which was on sale at a local funky store for $30.
I like that it has side slots for incoming/outgoing papers, and I like that it had a shelf opening that is big enough for a backpack and a few other things. And shoes can fit underneath it if need be. When choosing your furniture for a launch pad you need to consider what you need it to store. Try to avoid the floor as a launch pad. I decided not to use a hook for the book bag because we have just a few lower hooks my kid can reach and they are valuable when it comes to coat and jacket weather. Plus back packs get heavy!
While I only have one student at the moment, even this little table can serve as a launching pad for two.
Train the kids (and significant other)
For a few weeks your job is to direct your students to the launch pad when they walk in the door from school. Show them how you want them to empty their back pack, where to put the papers you need to look at. Have them put the papers you need to see on a shelf above their backpack. Mine will be in the side pockets of the table.
Make it a habit
Kids learn so much by modeling, not just listening. Actually do it for them while they watch the first few days. The next few days talk them through it, while they do it. This will become a habit. If you have to, make this a daily “chore” asking if they’ve done their backpack chore for the day.
Do your part
The next part of your job is going through the papers they’ve laid out for you. If you can have an ingoing and an outgoing “tray” or shelf, then the papers that need to go back to school can then be put in that spot and you or your child can check that spot in the morning and simply drop those papers into the backpack in the morning, or save a step and simply put the papers into the backpack.
With your launch pad set up and your child “trained” you really can launch out the door with ease!