How to keep your child's schedule organized
Yes summertime can be busy. But it's usually when school starts that schedules become hectic — and sometimes too hard to manage in an organized fashion.
Lead by example
A school-age child will pick up on your organizational skills whether you notice it or not. The first place to start is to organize yourself before putting together a system for your child. There are many practical and useful organizational tools for parents, which help to keep your days and weeks running smoothly.
Organization and responsibility
By educating your child on the importance of being organized, you're not only teaching them an important life lesson that will carry on with them for many years. You are making it possible for your child to take charge of their independence and responsibilities.
There are many ways to accomplish a successful organizational routine with your child's schedule. Depending on a parent's personal preferences, there are iPhone apps, online websites, personal planners and visual tools for the home to help accomplish a routine — and one that flows smoothly each week.
These schedule ideas and parent favorites are great for scheduling family activities.
The miCal app (iTunes, $2) for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad is an award-winning app to help you easily organize multiple schedules from any location.
The 2012–2013 Life Planner (Erin Condren, $50) is made with moms in mind thanks to its attention to detail with morning, day and night schedules, two page monthly spreads and a place for every note, phone number and reminder.
The Martha Stewart Dry Erase Weekly Planner (Staples, $5) can be placed on a high-traffic door, moved around the house and is highly effective for reminders and weekly activities at a glance.
Different ways to organize your child's schedule
Preschool-age children: A visual system is often the best organizational solution when it comes to a schedule and routine for children ages 3 to 5 or 6. Not only does a visual chart help introduce your child to organizational skills, it can help prevent tantrums, frustrations and unnecessary behaviors when it's time to transition from one activity to the next. To make a visual organizational chart or schedule, take pictures of your child's activities, laminate the photos and stick adhesive Velcro to the back of each picture. Stick the other side of the Velcro to a chart, garage door or movable board and rearrange the pictures to visually show your child's schedule for the day.
Elementary-age children: A visual chart, magnet board or chalkboard can be used as a schedule planner for older children. Children who are working on handwriting, spelling and responsibilities can get involved with the daily arranging of their schedule by writing out the plans for the day.
Preteens and teenagers: With technology becoming a big part of our day-to-day lives and being incorporated in schools, tweens and teens can now keep track of their responsibilities online. With free websites, like My Job Chart, parents can create an online chore chart, assign chores and manage a rewards system to motivate and fulfill their child's individuality, while creating and promoting responsibility.