I recently created our Fall schedule, and it was definitely the most difficult to work out and balance that I have ever done. In case you are wondering, the second most challenging time for me was when Kaitlyn was born and I was figuring out how to balance two little children at the same time.
We had some new things happening, like playgroup, piano lessons, dance class, and Kindergarten. I had some new things to juggle, while still wanting to make sure McKenna got the attention she needed for things like blanket time.
I started off with one piece of paper divided into three columns. At the top of each column, I wrote each child's name. Under each column, I wrote all of the activities that needed to happen in that child's day each day, along with my estimation on how much time was needed for that activity. I included everything from chores, to meals, to homework...everything.
I then took a new peice of paper. I used one piece of paper per child. I put the child's name at the top, and then wrote times down the left side in 30 minute increments. I then wrote activities that were set in their time slots. Such activities include nap times, bedtimes, school times, and meal times. I then worked in other activities in the times that remained. As I added my activities, I checked them off of my first list with three columns so I was sure to add each activity.
I now plan to use these schedules for a month or so, tweaking as needed. A schedule will rarely be perfect from its first creation. You will realize some things make sense in different orders or for different amounts of time. You always want to be evaluating and willing to change things that don't work.
Let's review, hopefully in a simple way:
Get a piece of paper
Divide that paper into the number of columns you need
Write the names of each person at the top of their respective columns
Write each person's daily activities in their respective columns. Include things like getting ready and eating meals.
Get a new piece of paper for each person
Write the name at the top of the paper
Write time increments on the left-side of the page. I went in 30 minute increments (7:00/7:30/8:00 etc)
Write in the items that are pretty non-negotiable. These might be nap times, meal times, school time, etc.
Think through your remaining items and decide where they would all fit best
Try it out for a while. Make adjustments where and when needed. It doesn't have to be perfect from the beginning
Don't stress out about exact times. When you write a schedule out on paper, it looks jam-packed and stressful with little wiggle room. When you live it in life, take it easy. Remember, the clock doesn't rule you. If you and your child are having a great time playing a game, don't feel the need to cut it off because your "schedule" says you need to. Shift other items in the schedule. This is to give you a guideline, not to rule your every move and make life methodical and emotion-less.
Related Posts/Blog Labels:
- Let Your Schedule Serve You, You Don't Serve Your Schedule:http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2007/12/let-your-schedule-serve-you-you-dont.html
- Schedule Blog Index: http://www.babywisemom.com/2009/12/index-schedules.html