I like to give each of my children a freshly printed calendar for each week. The calendar shows not only the routine for our day but also the amount of time expected to spend on study. On Monday mornings we go through the week – at least we talk about the week as we see it at the time! Things change.
We use Google Calendar, though any calendar programme will work for you. I choose Google though because it allows individual calendars or you can merge calendars and get a family routine with a click of a button. I have the standard, regular, to be expected routine set as my template and then review and tweak it at the beginning of the week to reflect the learning opportunities and commitments that I know are going to happen.
Printing weekly calendars as opposed to having a permanent calendar gives me the flexibility to flow with family life. Giving each of my children a routine helps them to know what is happening. When they have a calendar of their own it is also an opportunity for them to learn to be accountable for their time. Though I don’t like to be a clock watcher we do need to be aware of the time, and use the time we have wisely. There is a balance between being driven by time, and using time as a tool to accomplish the things you want to accomplish.
When my kids were younger I used pictures to indicate the different activities of the day. To keep the flexibility I laminated each picture and used Velcro dots to build my daily routine. Another idea I used, which was hands on, was to write each time block/activity on a blank magnet square (the kind businesses use to print their business card on). I used the front of my fridge for the routine/calendar. It was easy to change and yet was there for all to see.
The benefits are not just directed towards the children. I find as the children have the plan in front of them I am held a lot more accountable for how I spend my hours too, after all how can I resist when Daniel is reminding me it is time for his phonics lessons, or Jess is asking for help with her Creative project.