How To Make the Schedule
A chart can be the easiest way to keep track of everyone's schedule. Create a column or row for each member of the family and add all the activities everyone does together. Then fill in the activities that pertain to each member of the family. Color-code the calendar so everyone can easily see what's on his agenda for the day, Scholastic's Parents website recommends. You might also make smaller reproductions of your larger calendar for older children so they can keep their commitments and expectations straight even when they aren't at home.
What To Include on the Family Schedule
The first step in creating a home schedule is to write in all the activities your family does together. For example, you'll include the meals your family eats together and times you sit down at the table to eat. You should also include activities that happen on a daily or weekly basis -- such as attending church services as a family or visiting relatives for dinner. Family game or movie nights, if they happen regularly, should also be included on the schedule.
What to Include on Individual Schedules
Once your family schedule is complete, you can add in the activities that pertain to each individual child. Include morning activities, such as getting dressed, brushing teeth and packing a lunch, and the times your child needs to start and finish doing these. Evening activities, such as doing homework and picking up toys, should also be included. If your child plays sports, takes piano lessons or does other extracurricular activities, write these on his schedule, too. Also leave space for activities that aren't regular, such as a band concert, recommends the PBS Kids website, and be flexible about moving regularly scheduled activities to accommodate these special events.
Make the Schedule Work For Your Family
Hang your home schedule where everyone can see it. Meet once a week to go over everyone's commitments for the week and to fill in the schedule for the upcoming week, Scholastic advises. Include bedtime and wake-up times on each child's schedule, because adequate sleep will give them the energy and stamina necessary to engage in all the other activities on their schedule. If your children tend to argue about screen time, include specific times when they're allowed to watch TV or play video games.
Use a ruler to draw three vertical lines on a piece of poster board. Draw a horizontal line at the top through the lines about an inch from the edge.
In the left-hand column, write hour or half-hour increments starting with your toddler's wake-up time. You may also want to draw a clock face with each hour to familiarize your toddler with the concept of telling time. Draw a horizontal line under each time to keep the chart neat and orderly.
Write "Every Day" at the top of the second column. Think about the things you and your toddler must accomplish on a daily basis. For instance, your child must get up, get dressed and eat breakfast. Other everyday activities might include daycare drop off, meals, naptime, bath time, brushing teeth and bedtime. Fill in the everyday activities next to the appropriate times. Use different-colored markers to designate times for meals, naps and hygiene.
Write "Free Time" at the top of the third column. Use a colored pencil to shade blocks of time that are free for outside activities. For instance, you may have time between the end of your toddler's nap and dinner to go grocery shopping or schedule a doctor's appointment. Use a different-colored pencil to shade blocks that are free for adult activities. You may have an hour to workout, clean house or relax while your tot naps.
Write "Optional" at the top of the final column. Make a list of activities that you'd enjoy doing with your toddler. For instance, you might want to attend story time at the local library or make a trip to the zoo. Write the day and time next to each activity where applicable.
Things You Will Need
- Poster board
- Colored pencils
Post the chart in a conspicuous place to keep both you and your toddler on track.
Model effective organization for your child to set a positive example, the Duke Talent Identification Program website advises. Keep a calendar of appointments, write to-do lists, put items away in their proper places and schedule your time efficiently to manage your responsibilities. As your child sees you conducting yourself responsibly and respectfully, he’ll learn valuable skills from your actions.
Assign chores to teach your child life skills and to enable her to contribute to the household. Kids often develop important feelings of competency and proficiency with the assignment of chores, according to Sheila Gains, with the Colorado State University Extension.
Assist your child in developing a daily routine or schedule that fits her activities and responsibilities, suggests educator Richard Gallagher, with The Child Study Center. Discuss every activity she needs to perform each day and create a schedule that will help her complete these tasks. For example, if your child has school during the day, soccer practice three times a week in the afternoons and piano lessons one afternoon per week, schedule these required activities. In her other available time, she will also need to perform homework, piano practice and chores with time for meals, family and relaxation. By mapping out a daily and weekly schedule, you can help make life more manageable for your youngster.
Give your child an assignment book or calendar so he can enter school projects and assignments for completion, recommends certified professional organizer Mary Sigmann. With assignments recorded, he can see at a glance how much time he has to work on reports and special projects. Advise your child to cross off assignments and projects after he finishes them -- to give him a sense of accomplishment.
Provide your child with a designated place for working on schoolwork at home. Optimally, your child should have a place where she can keep papers, books and supplies she needs during homework time. Encourage your child to keep her work area neat and organized by giving her file folders, baskets or desktop organizers.
Check in with your child daily to make sure he’s handling his responsibilities successfully. If he feels overwhelmed, help him reorganize or restructure his schedule to enable him to achieve his responsibilities. If he’s succeeding, provide positive praise and feedback.
Eliminate clutter and make use of your space in a constructive manner, advises Jean E. Bross-Judge in a creative studies article for Buffalo State College. Clutter and disorganization in your home and life can cause you to feel stress. When you feel stress, it can cause your kids to feel stress as well. By ridding yourself of clutter and organizing your home so that it is functional and inviting, you can eliminate some of your own stress and create a positive environment for your entire family.
Create a schedule that works for your family, advises the Niagara Region Public Health System. Kids feel comfortable with routine and that helps them gain confidence and self-esteem. Make sure that most days follow the same pattern. That pattern does not have to be the same as anyone else’s -- after all, your family is not the same as the rest of the world’s families. Create a routine that your kids can count on, from waking up to doing chores to getting ready for bed.
Set rules and limits, and let your children know what you expect of them, advises the Niagara Region Public Health System. While your kids will undoubtedly attempt to test their limits as well as your patience, rules, expectations and consequences for misbehavior help make a positive home environment. When your kids know that they can expect to lose a privilege or go to time-out when they misbehave, it’s a positive reminder that they are loved and cared for.
Make time for family and affection. A positive home environment is one in which families spend time together, whether you play a game, watch a family movie together or just sit down and eat a meal as a family while discussing your day. Give lots of hugs and show affection. Tell your kids you love them and make sure they know that even when they misbehave they are loved.