Now that school is back in full swing, life can get pretty busy. I think it is important to communicate with our kids when it comes to schedules and activities. They like to know what is going on too and they can help us remember. Here are a few tips that have worked for our family to keep everyone in the loop:
1.FAMILY CALENDAR- We have a color-coded family calendar displayed in a family gathering area. The kids all have their own designated color that denotes their activities. When I see a pink “dance” I know it is for Croft and not Elle. Color coding allows me to write less and it also helps the kids keep track of their own activities.
I post two months at a time so we can always be looking ahead, and we add to it as new activities come up. (I am erasing August today and getting up October.) I got my calendars at Potterybarn, but I’ve seen whiteboard calendars everywhere.
My husband hates this calendar and thinks it is archaic. But as I have told him time and time again, iPads and smart phones are great to remind adults, but what about the kids? Unless we want them to all have phones, than an old school family calendar still has a place and a purpose. (He hates it even more when I’m logical.)
2. MONTHLY CALENDAR MEETING- We try to meet as a family the 4th Sunday of every month and make sure we have everything on our family calendar for the next month. Calendaring is the only thing we do in that meeting. Our kids’ attention spans are too short to discuss anything else. We get down what activities, birthdays, meetings, and sports events we know about at the time. My husband puts everything into his Outlook and I record the events on a big family calendar.
3. WEEKLY REVIEW- We briefly go over the WEEK’S calendar at our weekly Family Night. We do lots of other stuff that night so we only spend about 5 minutes on the calendar review. We just want to make sure all the bugs are worked out and make sure we have everything on the calendar for that week.
4.CHALKBOARD- We have a chalkboard hanging in our kitchen area and I update it daily or weekly with special events or messages. This simple message: “Good Luck Elle!” reminded everyone that Elle had a Knowledge Bowl competition that day.
Having a visible family calendar, a monthly calendar meeting, a weekly calendar review, and a daily chalkboard to celebrate the fun stuff helps everyone stay in the loop and connected. And I also think it helps put some of the responsibility on the children.
Good luck with those busy schedules!