Back-to-school is so last week. Now we’re deep into scheduling – working out after-school activities, car-pool arrangements, homework strategies, chore plans and screen privileges. No matter what your system for scheduling is, creating a visual calendar that your kids play a part in creating goes a long way toward 100% family buy-in. So get your calendar all synced up digitally or whatever your tried-and-true method is, but make a calendar that hangs in the kitchen or entryway that the kids can reference. Cross out days as you go so kids always know what’s on deck for tomorrow.
Pick a Calendar Style Since Mixbook’s calendar templates let you start with any month in the year, you can create your family’s custom calendar any time. Mixbook has three brand-new themes perfect for family calendars. The Chalked Calendar template is just right for a family with boys or older school-age kids. The Watercolor Florals or Krafters Paradise templates are ideal for a family of girls or younger preschool-age boys. Each design allows for infinite possibilities for customization. Work with your children to create a calendar that’s a hardworking tool for your family’s sanity – just follow the simple steps here…
Create Structure Kids thrive on structure – the predictable nature of their days is comforting and reassuring. That’s why it’s in everyone’s best interest to have the big-picture scaffolding of your days and weeks front and center.
Add aftercare schedules so your child knows if he or she should get on the bus to another after-school program, walk to a friend’s house, or stay at school to wait for a ride.
Input every school event, including back-to-school night, school dances and socials, performances, holiday celebrations, teachers’ and principal’s birthdays, and early dismissals.
You can even add school lunch plans (whether it’s a packed-lunch day or a hot-lunch day) and your regular family meal schedule, like mac & cheese Monday, taco Tuesday and pizza Friday.
Add quotes to each month that act as a sort of compass for your family values. When life gets so busy that you’re buried in the details and logistics of each day, it’s nice for everyone in the family – parents included – to see a few grounding words that remind everyone of overall family goals.
Depict the Fun Ahead Just like us, kids love to have things to look forward to. For each month, add photos of your kids taking part in their favorite activities that they’ll be engaged in, say soccer in September, basketball in January and baseball in April. Then add photos of holidays and special occasions.
Add in details about family vacations. If you’re headed to the mountains for Christmas, for example, instead of just including travel dates, add in a few big-picture plans of what you’ll be doing each day, like sledding or building a gingerbread house with grandma.
Finally add in every family celebration for the year. For each birthday and anniversary, add a photograph right to the day to illustrate the day’s special meaning.
Hang It Up! Post your calendar front and center. Kids will get in the habit of checking it – and you might even find that they remember what’s happening each day better than you do! When daily plans shift slightly, simply make a notation with pen. Kids respond really well by seeing a manual override of standing schedule – it helps them understand that while basic patterns are firmly in place, things come up.