Remember the days when my calendar looked like this:
When I could actually fit all the calendar items in one square.
When the kids’ activities were color coded.
When there was white space.
When I wrote everything down for everyone.
When we could calendar the whole month at one sitting.
(You can read about the good ole’ calendaring days in the post In the Loop. )
These methods worked great when my kids were younger, but sadly, those days are gone, and now it’s time for Family Calendar 2.0.
Now I have my own planner and that is the master calendar. I have to use a fine point pencil to fit in all the activities. The eraser must also be full and capable because schedules are always changing. I keep all the calendars I get from school, scouts, church, art class, etc. in the front of my planner so we can reference them if necessary. Chad keeps his calendar on his phone.
Now we have to calendar e.v.e.r.y Sunday. We usually do it after church, but before dinner. One calendaring session lasts about a half hour.
Now we go over only one week at a time. Everyone hears everyone else’s activities so we all know what is going on and where mom will be. We cover who is taking kids to practice, who is picking them up, who is babysitting, and when they will have to wait. (It’s less frustrating to wait 20 minutes if you know you are going to have to wait 20 minutes.) We also schedule who is walking the neighbor’s dog, who is teaching Family Home Evening, and what our plans are for the weekend. We try to cover everything so that our week can go smoother. We even schedule when we are going to schedule.
Now every child has his/her own calendar. Last year the kids all used free calendars from our insurance agent, except Elle who needed a cute one. (Target and Home Goods always come through for us for cute calendar/planners.) This year the kids all have Kindles so they record their events digitally now, except for Locke who has a Star Wars calendar that we got at the dollar store. On a side note, calendars/planners make great Christmas or New Year gifts.
Now everyone records their own activities. They also keep track of the details of their activities like what color jersey to wear or what to bring to school for the party or when to be ready to go. This places the ultimate responsibility on each individual child to be responsible for his/her own schedule. I, of course, keep the info in the back of my mind and on my master calendar, but with their own calendars the responsibility shifts from me to them. When I’m asked a question I often answer with, “Check your calendar.”
I wouldn’t say that our calendar meeting is fun, but it is necessary for survival. We NEED it to function with so much going on. Most of the kids actually like sitting down, reviewing the week, and recording their activities. I think our family calendar meetings make the kids feel important, mature, trusted and in control.
Life is about growing and evolving and that includes our calendaring methods. I can only imagine version 3.0.