If you know me, you know by now I'm a HUGE fan of clipboards! A few months ago I shared my family Clipboard System and it's been a fan favorite ever since! You've seen my Summer Clipboard System, so now by popular request, today I'm sharing my School Year Clipboard System! This is what we use to keep us on track for homework, time with friends, screen time, chores, allowance, and more! I've even included a free printable (because I love you that much) so you can print out these bad boys and use them to help keep you on track this school year as well!
Here's how this clipboard system works…
First, let's print them off! We made you some free printables below. But you could certainly make your own! In the past I've just used Pages (mac program) or Canva has lots of fun options too. Either way, print it off!
Get your pink school year checklist printable HERE:
Get your green(ish?) printable HERE:
Simply print these sheets on your printer at home as an 8.5×11 standard print. I like to print mine on white cardstock paper for a firmer surface. Keep it in a clear sheet protector so you can use dry erase (or wet erase) markers to cross off the boxes.
Pick up some clipboards, one for each child. I got my clipboards from Target for $3 each. You can also find them on Amazon or any big box store.
HERE'S HOW IT WORKS:
Customize the list for each of your children. Include things they need to get done daily. For my kids, their clipboards include:
- Get dressed
- Say prayer (working on life-long habits, here!)
- Make bed
- Spelling (we do this during breakfast)
- Homework (including 15 minutes of reading)
- Clean room
- Put clothes away (explained in my laundry routine)
- Chores (we love chore sticks)
- Pack lunch (explained in my lunch system post)
- And Cleaning Zone (explained in my Summer Systems post)
We tailor the list per child, and make sure their clipboard matches the daily responsibilities and duties that are reasonable for them. For my younger kids who can’t read, we add little clip art pictures so they know what their list says without our help, as shown in last year's clipboard:
We hang our clipboards on the wall in our homework station using these awesome clear wire Command hooks. This way, the kids know exactly where they are at all times. We also organize the printed task list in order of when they need to accomplish the tasks (for the most part). For example, “get dressed”, “make bed”, “say prayers” needs to be done before the kids even come downstairs in the morning. Likewise, “Practice spelling” is something we usually do at breakfast, to get it done early in the day when their brains are sharp. Then as the list goes on, they have until the end of the day to complete the rest of it.
As for what we keep on the clipboard – we typically have TWO clipboard per child. One is for the checklist, and the second clipboard is what we clip homework, assignments, permission slips, and anything else important that the child needs to notice or be responsible for.
3. SET EXPECTATIONS & TIMELINES
As mentioned, the expectation in our house is that each child's clipboard needs to be completed by bedtime each day. It gets wiped off and starts over clean each morning. Their clipboard has to be completed before they can:
- Watch TV
- Play on a screen
- Play with friends (including going to a birthday party!)
- Get allowance
- Earn extra money
- When our kids are older, we will use this to track privileges like going out with friends, and even using their cellphones!
Maybe your kids are too busy to do daily clipboards. That's fine! Adapt and make it a WEEK-LONG clipboard that has to be accomplished by Sunday night, and starts over Monday morning. Just set a timeline and stick with it.
4. USE IT FOR ALLOWANCE
Set an allowance for each child (I recommend 1/2 their age per week), then set expectations for earning that allowance! Maybe it's “Clipboards must be done 5x completely each week in order to get your allowance”. Or maybe it's “You get $1 each day your clipboard is completed”. However you do it, these clipboards help you keep track of it all!
The expectation in our family is that the clipboards need to be done 5x per week in order to get their full allowance. (We don't do them on Saturdays and Sundays; as we spend time as (and work as) a family on those days instead. To make it easy for us, we take their allowance and divide it by 5, and for each day our kids get their clipboards done before bedtime, they get their allowance that day.
Right now my kids are saving up for big things like child 4-wheeler (pretty cool, right??) so we have upped their allowance to $5/week even though it's a little higher than my “1/2 age per week” recommendation. Thus, our kids get $1/day their clipboard is done, and also have to help with family chores on Saturday. Outside of the family chores (that they don't get paid for; that's just part of being a family!) they can then earn extra money, so long as their clipboard is completed that day.
Friends of ours use a similar system, but had to adapt it for their teenagers. Each child (regardless of age) gets $5/week. They have a clipboard that has a WEEK'S worth of tasks to accomplish (rather than daily), and it has to be done by Saturday night. Most of their teenagers wait (or have to wait, because they are so busy) until Saturday to complete their clipboards. Theirs is an “all or nothing” policy; if the clipboard is done by Saturday night, they get their $5. If not? They get $0. Likewise, once their clipboard is done for the week, they have the opportunity to make extra money by doing extra jobs around the house.
Just adapt the system and make it work for you!
There you go! Hopefully this helps you keep things a little more manageable this year, and helps you keep track of homework, allowance, and privileges!
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Do you use the clipboard system? Share in the comments how YOU do it so we can all learn!
Happy tracking, Freebs :)