Saturday, October 3, 2015

how we get out the door OR to the van, safely.......

How we manage to get our crew out the door!

With school starting and extra curricular activities, and Co-ops, along with regular life, we need to be able to move our crew out the door and to the van, oftentimes through a parking lot. Parking lots are dangerous, let alone one where everyone's trying to leave at the same time, such as a Co-op.

This years school crew, the kids who go places with me and are involved in these activities are ages,

15, 13, 12, 9, 7, 5, 4, 2, and new little princess in November.
or very close to that age :)
Let me also just point out that the ones 7, 5, 4, and 2 are all boys!
Yes that matters! Even though some girls can be like boys, boys are still boys!
So here's what we do, let's look at our co-op, as that's one that everyone goes to, and everyone brings supplies and bags, plus Mom brings supplies for classes too.
In our Co-op we designate an area, or corner to be our dropping place. As you enter there's a large entry hallway, that leads into a large open gymnasium. There are bleachers in the gymnasium, but other than that it's a walk way and gathering area. All the classrooms are off that area. I choose to place our families things in the gymnasium area. Why? As people are coming and going, the entryway, while large, can easily get very congested. Also there are toddlers wondering around, and in a tighter area, they tend to want to explore in others things rather than run wild along the gym floor :) Also we just find a seat in the gym area to eat our lunches. So if our spot is right there, then we can meet there for lunch distribution too.
This year, the gymnasiums floors were refinished, so we have been asked to walk barefoot or with socks only there, so all shoes are removed too. For this, I will have a tote to put our shoes in next week. That way we don't have shoes ending up everywhere! I will also bring our youngest son slippers. He has a shoe issue, he has to wear shoes everywhere, except when we get into the van- then he's happy to take them off, go figure! I am hoping that if those slippers are only wore at co-op they will feel special, and he won't bother others shoes, or be upset that he doesn't have his on!
Along with backpacks and school supplies and class supplies needed throughout the day, we have to pack a lunch. My kids enjoy being able to have their own individual lunch boxes, so I've purchased them one at a local thrift shop, the DI. That way once everyone has their food, we pray as a family, and the youngers are all sitting and eating, older children can go sit with friends if they'd like to.
So now we've been there from 9:30-2:30 and it's time to go home. It's CRAZY!! We have over 20 families in this co-op (I believe) lots of littles and lots of children who want to run and play, and mom' who want to get home, and toddlers who are cranky and want a nap! Along with remembering to get everything and help put things away and somewhat clean up, there's a ton going on. We do have a clean up family, who we pay a small fee to stay and get everything clean.
Here's our plan:
My last class I teach is nursery and the nursery and younger class, ages 4-7, are having a PE time. So I am able to let the little ones run and play, and the other mom's who help teach nursery and I take turns gathering our supplies and things and cleaning up the toys in our nursery room. I gather my things to one pile, in that room. Then I play with the little boys and girls in the class. When everyone's done we meet at our spot where we keep all our things. Everyone grabs their own backpacks and lunchboxes, all the way to the little 2 year old. The two littlest boys have tiny little backpacks I found, just so they feel special! Plus they have crafts or color pages they do in class too.
Then the oldest is the youngest child's buddy, and the second oldest takes the 2 boys- ages 7 and 5. I do that because, often I have him grab something to carry too, so he can walk behind those two boys and make sure they are safe, but can hold something else in his hands too. The 12 year old takes the 4 year old, as he needs a hand still. And the 9 year old carries more things.
Then we LINE UP! This is one thing my homeschool kids have learned is to line up! I lead, or my oldest daughter if I will be a few more minutes. Each child walks in order of age, except for my 13 year old- he takes up the rear. So for a visual
15 year old with 2 year old
12 year old with 4 year old.
9 year old- who carries extra things
7 year old- who carries if needed
5 year old- who carries if needed
13 year old- who carries extra thing, and makes sure everyone stays in line.
They walk to the van, put their backpacks and lunch boxes in the back, put all children into the van. The two girls, ages 12 and 9 start buckling up carseats, and making sure everyone's buckled up. My 15 year old and 12 year old, head back into the building for the rest of our supplies.
Nice and orderly! That's how I like it!!
Then once we are all in, all last minute conversations are done. We close the door, and do a roll call. Yes, we roll call whenever we are leaving a group setting! Even though typically someone else notices another sibling not in the van, it's just for my own peace of mind! :)
Then we are off!!! Watching out for running kids!!!! :)
This is how we go grocery shopping as a family too. I have a cart, with 1-2 small children in it. The older children hold hands with the younger (if needed, or if they aren't in the cart) and then we line up. Only difference is that the 4 year old is right behind mom and the cart, and we line up youngest to oldest. Then we have mom leading the way, and still aware of the younger children right behind her, and the older children behind to keep the line straight and moving forward.
If we don't line up, then we look like a mob coming!!! :) Trust me it can feel overwhelming!!

And that's how we get out the door, or to the van safely!!! Hopefully some of those tips will help, as you are trying to get a crew moving in the same direction!!! I've done this with just younger children too. I buddy them up, and have them line up 2 by 2!


  1. We do "roll call" every time we get in the van, too. I find it easiest if I have all of the children with me . . . having one or two not with me means I have to check and double check that I get the correct number of responses. :)

    1. Usually when we roll call, and someone's not with me... I get odd answers like "she's on vacation, to Hawaii!" or "Just landed on the moon!!" Remember Mom, she/he didn't come!!!

  2. Roll calls are essential :). Love looking at your plan! You were always so good at being organized...and CALM!

    1. Sometimes to organized!! and maybe to calm, too!!! :) I always have a plan, and usually one stirring in my head too!!!!!!!!


since August 13, 2009

since August 2009
Website Traffic Statistics
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Proverbs 22:6