Sunday, January 25, 2015

Home Office Stations

We've talked about setting up a home office, homework tables, and backpack stations. This time we will discuss all the different "stations" in a home office, or really any central area in your home.

For my family, we have seven major stations to help us function: Chores, Work, Homework, Backpack, Behavior, Schedules, and Files. I'll break down each one for you.

The Chore Station:
 We keep the chore charts hanging in the office. There are numerous chore systems you can use, we have simple dry erase chore charts for the kids. Each kid has their own color chart, and matching dry erase marker attached with velcro. Notice how the little one loves to graffiti the wall around her chart.
The kids know when homework time is over, they must start on chores. They see exactly what they need to do, and they know they can't start playing until all the chores are checked off. We spend less time telling them what to do, and more time working together to keep the house in shape.

 The Work Station:
 The main function of the home office is to get work done. You just need a space that suits your needs and works for you. Mine is fairly simple- computer, desk, writing tools, and printer. You may need more or less space depending on what kind of work you do. Crafters may need more table space and writers may need less distraction. Keeping the desktop free of clutter helps to minimize distractions and maximize efficiency. I also love that I can close the doors to my desk and hide everything. It makes everything look so much neater when visitors come by.

 Inside the doors of my desk I keep my to-do lists and vision statements. They are all laminated so I can use a dry erase marker and change it daily.

 I have my bookshelf right next to my desk so I can quickly grab a notebook and get to work. Because I like my shelf set up a certain way, and the kids have difficulty putting things back, I have a "book return" box on the bottom. When they finish a book, they can just put it in the box and I will put it up for them.

 The Homework Station:
My post on the Homework Station was more detailed, but essentially, you need a quiet place for the kids to do their homework.

 The Backpack Station:
My post on the Backpack Station covered how to set up a backpack station and the products we used. This is one of my favorite areas, and it saves us so much time in the morning!

The Behavior Station:
This section includes our House Rules, behavior clip chart, and consequence chart. You can read here to see how we set it up and get the details.

The Schedule Station:
This is one of the most important stations in our home. It keeps everyone on time and in the right place. The calendar shows the month's events, the weekly planner shows repeat activities- such as when the boys have P.E. and need to wear tennis shoes. The large time planner shows the kids exactly what they should be doing at each time, and helps them learn to read the clock. Our clock has color circles around each ten minute mark. This helps the kids time themselves- so handy when they need to take turns! They know they each get 10 minutes to play a game, then they switch. No more fighting over who played longer or whose turn it is. 


The Filing Station:
I've already discussed my complete filing system, and this is where it is. The filing cabinet matches my desk without looking out of place. It is right next to the door, so I can quickly file mail or papers when we come in.

These seven stations help keep my family on task and on time. There are no more piles of clutter by the doorway, stacks of paper laying around, or missing shoes and backpacks. Everything can immediately be put away upon coming home, and the stations work together to get us out the door on time.

Does your family have a command station? How do you manage schedules and get everyone out the door on time?