It’s that time of year again. School supplies, new clothes, new backpacks, sports tryouts, after-school clubs, and everything else that comes with the beginning of a new school year. It’s also an opportunity to begin a brand new routine that will help your family have a well-prepared and chaotic free (as much as possible) school year.
Routines and schedules are just one tool that can help make this happen. The following steps are what we use in our home to help make the days as stress-free as we can.
Step #1 – Divide the day into 2 categories: Morning & Evening
Step #2 – Make a list of everything that needs to get done during a school day, from the moment the children wake up, until they go to bed. Place each task under one category. Some tasks may have more than 1 category, for example ‘brush teeth’ may fall under both morning and evening.
Our list looks like this:
Step #3 – Organize your schedule in a way that works best for your family. You can simply write it out and post it on your refrigerator. You can type it out and laminate it so you can use a dry erase marker to check off each task as it’s completed. You can add stickers, graphics, images, or real pictures of each task listed.
Step #4 – Once you have the schedule completed, show the entire family, children and spouse, what’s expected of them each and every day. My husband calls me the “Family Manager” and he helps out with the daily tasks as much as I do. It’s important that I communicate this schedule with him so if, for example, I ask him to help our son complete his morning chart, he’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.
Now here’s the great part of this system: You can use it for anything else in your life that needs direction or a process to help things work more smoothly.
I use this same system for myself. In the morning and evening, there are certain tasks I like to complete to help my days run more smoothly.
I also use a system like this for our family’s chore chart. As a family, we sat down together with a list of everything that needs to be accomplished on a daily and weekly basis. Now that our kids are older I do get their input on which chores and tasks they’d like to complete. This helps them take ownership of each chore. Also when they complain about not wanting to do it I remind them that they chose that particular chore.
I’d like to share with you a template of what we have set up in our home. I tried to display these on a wall in our entryway so it looked nice, but that really didn’t work for us. The kitchen, not the entryway, is the hub of our home. So now I have the various schedules and charts we use hanging on our refrigerator or kitchen cupboards.
I’ll be sharing pictures of what we use in our home in my newsletter this week. To sign up for my FREE weekly newsletter, which also includes my free pdf “51 Ways to Calm an Anxious Child”, click here.
Do you have schedules, routines and chore charts for your family? If so, do you use this same process or do you do something completely different? I’d love to know what you do in your family. Please share your pictures or your ideas in the comments below.