Monday, August 29, 2011

The Calendar

I am not an organized person. In fact, I revolt against schedules and expectations like nobody's business. But I also know that kids like routines. In order to meet in the middle with this, we have a little calendar.


I found the calendar itself cost 50 cents last Christmas at Michael's. The picture each month is a black and white coloring page, so Margaret colors it at the beginning of each month. I will put a little picture in the box of the day showing what we have planned that day: swimming? I draw water. Playing with friends? I draw stick people. Birthday? There's a birthday cake sticker. Going to the aquarium? Fish sticker. Library? Book sticker. La Leche League? I draw a couple of breasts.

Then every morning at breakfast, Margaret will ask what we are doing that day and run to the calendar. We mark off the previous day and circle the current one. I'll mention the day of the week, the date, and the month so she can get practice with those ideas. She absolutely loves it. I give Margaret the freedom to choose what day she wants to do things. For example, I let her put a dinosaur sticker on the day she wants to go to the dinosaur museum. When she wanted to plant flowers, she picked the day and I drew the flowers in. I don't feel overscheduled since we only do one picture per day. And it can be simple: want to make cookies? Pick a day! And that's the only thing I'll have set for us that day.

We've found this calendar idea works well for us. I thought I'd share since I know the world is thinking about going back to school (or not back to school) and homeschooling and scheduling is on everyone's minds.

What do you do to organize your life with kids?

11 comments:

  1. That's a great idea. How old was she when you started it? My son is almost 26 months, so I wonder when Margaret started to get excited about the idea.

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  2. That's brilliant! My Maddie asks daily what day it is and what we are doing and what day is the next day. Definately going to start doing this!

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  3. I've graduated to Google calendar. Now that my kids are older we have a lot to keep track of and paper doesn't cut it, especially for my husband who has a hard time remembering when we have plans. This allows us to see each other's stuff and not overschedule. I miss the days when life revolved around naps and I couldn't do more than one thing a day! It goes by too fast and then kids are asking for dance classes and music lessons and want to see their friends all the time. Enjoy this peaceful time!

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  4. The amount of comfort children find in routines is always a surprise to me. There are time I try to deviate from the routine and my students remind me of everything I am forgetting. There are many times I believe spontaneity is something we embrace more and more as we grow.

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  5. Megan- We've only been doing it for a few months, but we probably could have done it sooner.

    Vanessa- I really don't look forward to those days! I like my one-thing-a-day schedule! But my DH is a big user of google calendar, so I'm sure we'll get on board there later.

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  6. I love this idea!

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  7. I love how Margaret gets to choose the activity and the day! That's such a great way to help her make decisions and see that her actions (good or bad) have results (good or bad). Way to go, TopHat! :):)

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  8. I just thought of another benefit- I don't say "no" as often. Sometimes I just don't have time to plant flowers like the people in her picture book, but I can say, "Yes, we can plant flowers! Pick a day!" It's a tantrum reducer. :)

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  9. I would love to do this with my son. He is really struggling since his baby sister was born. The problem I am having is finding activities to do that don't require too much money and such. I'd love input from anyone on things I can included for him! He is 2yrs 3months (27 months).

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  10. Heather- do you mind if I do that for Inquisition Monda next week? I think you'll get more responses in comments that way. :)

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  11. This is cool. I've been meaning to get a calendar for Michael. It will be really helpful since he'll be going to preschool 2 days a week. He's already been begging to go every time I mention it, and I have to tell him "On Wednesday, on Wednesday." He knows Wednesday is a day but doesn't know where it falls in the week. I could see him loving the calendar thing.

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