Designate an area in your home - preferably close to the door - that will allow for easy loading and unloading at the beginning and end of every day. The more convenient it is for your child to track their belongings, the higher the rate of compliance. Assign each child an individual space within the backpack station where they have a hook for their knapsack, a transparent tray or container for homework, permission slips or important documents, and a bench with shoes, umbrellas or lunch bags stored underneath.
Explain the purpose of the backpack station to your child so they will be invested in the success of the area. It’s a joint project for the whole family to keep track of school items and important documents, like homework. Whenever your child needs a pen, calculator or book, they can go straight to the station to find what they’re looking for. Scheduling notes regarding afterschool practice or doctor’s appointments can be tracked on a dry-erase calendar in their station so that everyone can prepare accordingly.
Several weeks into the school year, you might notice that the backpack station looks more like the rucksack graveyard -- straighten the area, discard papers or homework that you don’t need any more, update the calendar with current information and wash any stray sweaters, socks and other miscellaneous clothing items that might have collected. Clutter will accumulate over time and occasional chaos is unavoidable, but a midterm refreshment will make everything run a little smoother.
A backpack station is a wonderful way to organize new school schedules, paperwork and book bags and will help your family transition into the new school year like a well-oiled machine. With one central location for all school-related items, you’re sure to get an A+ from the family.