It may be the hardest part about being a parent–making sure the entire family is on the same page. Managing family schedules involves keeping track of several moving parts. Even if you think you have a set plan, there’s always going to be last minute additions and changes. It’s a challenge to keep up with everything while keeping your sanity. Your Local Kids wants to help with this guide on how to manage your family’s schedule.
Creating a Calendar
The first step in making sure your family schedule is well planned is making sure your calendar is organized. Different people like different systems, from writing in entries on a wall or desk calendar, to using popular apps like Google Calendar. These apps can help you along because different family members can share information from their personal calendars and the information can be synced to your phone. If you use a traditional wall or desk calendar, you might want to consider color coding it with each individual family member represented by a different color. Whatever system you use, make sure you’re comfortable with it and are committed to using it.
Once you’ve set up your scheduling system, it’s time to decide what to put into it. That can sometimes involve more than just making a list of activities. A big decision that must come first is whether your children should even be involved in certain activities. If your kids are over-extended, you’re going to feel overwhelmed as well. Good Housekeeping recommends limiting each of your children to two activities per child each school year. It’s equally important that you manage to build in enough downtime, because you’ll be shuttling the children around from activity to activity. Adults should plan time away from the kids too, Give yourself a parents night out.
Implementing Your Scheduling Plan
Now that you’ve taken care of the big picture stuff, you need to remember to make sure you’re paying attention to all of the small details. Any time you have an appointment, make sure you mark it down. If you have a meeting at the school, your child has a game or an event, if you have a deadline to RSVP, sign up or register for something, that needs to be marked on your calendar too.
It’s also a good idea to meet with the family every week to make sure you’re on the same page. A professional organizer writes on the Smead website that families should discuss what’s coming up for that particular week, address any scheduling conflicts and divide up the week’s chores, like shopping trips. You should revise your calendar to reflect the results of the meeting and look ahead to what might be coming up.
The most important step is making sure things still run smoothly once your schedule is in order. That means having a regular routine for daily activities like washing, brushing your teeth, getting dressed and packing for school. You also want to maintain a sensible sleep schedule.
Plan Your Outings With Your Local Kids
Keeping your family running like a well oiled machine is a full time job, and many parents do this on top of a paid full-time job. But taking a few steps, maintaining communication and keeping records can help you get organized. We hope we gave you some good ideas and when you decide to plan family activities, Your Local Kids will keep you plugged in to what’s going on in the area.